DSS PRESS RELEASE
July 23, 2015
MO HealthNet Pilot Project Adds New Community Support to Help Stabilize Outpatient Care and Reduce Need for Hospital Care
Jefferson City, MO—MO HealthNet, Missouri’s Medicaid program, received grants of nearly $426,000 from the Missouri Foundation for Health and nearly $330,000 from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City to launch a two-year pilot project to help MO HealthNet participants in Springfield, Joplin, Branson and Kansas City and surrounding areas who most use MO HealthNet services stay healthier. The two-year project will use the grant to fund 14 new positions for community health workers in those four locations. These individuals will work with those who most use MO HealthNet services to achieve stable health status and promote wellness at home and in their communities. “Beginning July 1st, nearly a thousand MO HealthNet participants could benefit from this innovative community support that may help them overcome obstacles in their life that can come between them and better health,” said Joe Parks, M.D., MO HealthNet Division.
The Community Health Worker Pilot for Primary Care Health Home project will support those who need extra help in maintaining and improving their health, including to make and keep doctor appointments, especially those recently in the hospital or in an emergency room. “Our participants will have a community health worker by their side to check on their wellbeing, to help them access what they need, and to also help them understand what to do and to do it,” said Parks. Each of the 14 community health workers will facilitate transportation needs for appointments, help participants identify and address factors impacting their health, and help clients understand and follow through on health care provider’s instructions on their own. They will also help MO HealthNet clients connect to other community or social services that will keep them safe and healthy at home.
The MO HealthNet team has partnered with the Family and Community Trust (FACT), the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health, to hire, train, and support the new community health workers in these new roles.