In an effort to keep you up-to-date during this time, the Alliance is publishing a COVID-19 e-newsletter every Monday for our providers.
Member outreach efforts during COVID-19
Out of the Alliance’s more than 335,000 members, 70,000 are classified as higher risk for severe illness as a result of the COVID-19 virus. The Alliance considers member outreach during the pandemic as a core function of the organization and part of our collective community responsibility. The COVID-19 Member Outreach Campaign was the Alliance’s recommitment to its mission to: connect with members personally during a critical time; educate them about resources in their local area for both basic needs and COVID-19 information; and prevent recurrence or occurrence of illness. The campaign launched in early April 2020 and will continue through the duration of the pandemic and/or the shelter-in-place order.
The Alliance’s Care Coordination, Complex Case Management and Whole Child programs already have robust initiatives in place for frequent outreach to our highest risk members. But many others who don’t fall within that program are still likely to feel isolated and uncertain. From the 70,000 higher risk Alliance members, the top 5,000 – the highest risk – have been, or will be, contacted by Health Programs and Regional Operations staff over the phone. Care Coordination nurses may be called upon to monitor these members through follow-up calls
Early outcomes and next steps
As of April 24, Alliance staff members completed 3,954 person-to-person calls with a successful connection in 82% of the cases. In addition, over 22,000 automated (robo) calls were placed with a 46% success rate. The initial outreach efforts revolved around providing information about how to access basic needs such as food, medicine and health care. Staff also emphasized information about the basics of the COVID-19 virus and the governor’s order to shelter-in-place and practice social distancing.
An unfortunate trend that has been observed nationally, as well as locally, is the tendency of people to avoid seeking health care during this time. We have observed that our local hospitals have fewer than usual heart attack and stroke victims. We know that families are avoiding preventative and routine care for themselves and their children, including immunizations. The Alliance’s outreach efforts are working to shift the focus. In addition to educating members about COVID-19 and community resources, there will be an ongoing emphasis on:
- The importance of routine care, particularly for infants and young children.
- Follow-up care for those with chronic disease.
- Seeking urgent/emergent care for those experiencing new or severe symptoms.
All our Alliance members receive information to dozens of resources on our website, which is updated frequently to provide the most accurate and up to date information. Our direct one-on-one outreach however, has hit a tendon of emotion in our members and in our staff; many of these calls have resulted in tears on either end of the phone as our community braces together in our brave new world.
New guidance on COVID-19 testing
As COVID-19 testing becomes more widely available across our state, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has released guidance on how to prioritize who should receive diagnosis (PCR) and antibody (serology) testing.
The CDPH will update this guidance weekly based on the availability of tests and the changing needs of the state. We will do our best to share this information with you as we receive it, but we encourage you to visit the site below regularly for the most accurate protocols for COVID-19 testing.
To view the CDPH All Facilities Letter (AFL) on COVID-19 testing prioritization, click here: Expanding Access to Testing: Updated Interim Guidance on Prioritization for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Testing.
Member support during COVID-19
At the Alliance, we understand these are uncertain times and that people everywhere – providers, members, staff and community – have questions about the latest updates and information. That’s why we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions for our members and made them available on our webpage at https://www.ccah-alliance.org/COVID-19_member_info.html.
There we have listed answers to the most common issues members are facing as we navigate this pandemic. Alliance staff update the FAQ’s as new information becomes available and the content and resources are available in English, Spanish and Hmong.