For the poor and uninsured, the wait to see a specialist can take a dangerously long time.
To address the issue, Kaiser Permanente launched the Specialty Care Initiative (SCI) to help health organizations across California identify effective strategies to improve access to specialty care for this "safety net" population. Designed specifically to support coalitions of regional health care providers -- including county healthcare systems, local health centers, hospitals, and other community organizations -- the first phase of the initiative was funded in 2007 by Kaiser Permanente (KP) Community Benefit Programs in both the Northern and Southern California Regions, as well as by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).
In 2009, based on our existing partnership with Kaiser Permanente on other safety net efforts, Community Partners was asked to provide technical support to the 27 statewide SCI coalitions. Now, in the third phase of the initiative, Community Partners is helping five LA County-based coalitions replicate and spread some of the most successful strategies identified in the implementation efforts.