Monterey County supes approve local health system unification plan

(BCN) – The Monterey County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to integrate the county’s health care system, making it easier for patients to receive the specialized care they need. The council voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of a plan by the health department and county administrative office and Natividad Medical Center to coordinate patient care services.

Monterey County Health Director Elsa Jimenez argued that the structure of the county’s current health system places the burden on patients to seek care through the “complex and sometimes unorganized systems we have created.

“Right now our system is fragmented, services are siloed,” she said. “And when you think about the demographics of our community, which tends to be an aging population, a population that maybe only speaks Spanish or some other indigenous language that can’t necessarily access our systems, it gives them really imposes a huge responsibility. .”

County and Natividad officials argued that other large multi-county health systems like Sutter Health and Kaiser Permanente have already integrated their patient care networks, and this will lead to improved patient satisfaction and Staff. In addition to approving the plan, the council approved the creation of an ad hoc committee that will oversee the unification of the county’s health care system.

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As part of the vote, county supervisors Chris Lopez and Wendy Root Askew were nominated to serve on the committee. Root Askew noted that after breaking his arm last year, his doctor recommended physical therapy. This referral allowed her to book an appointment at the same health care office in less than five minutes.

“Right now, patients in our county clinics don’t have the opportunity to have that kind of integrated care,” she said. “They deserve to have this kind of integrated care, and the responsibility to create this system lies with us.”

County and Natividad health officials did not give a timeline for when the system will be fully integrated, as it will require several steps, including cost analyzes and alignment of medical records archives.

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