Blue Shield Foundation funds county grants to expand health services

September 21, 2010

By Daniel Weintraub

A major health insurance company’s non-profit foundation is giving nearly $2 million to 12 California counties to help them plan for a federally-financed expansion of care to low-income residents.

The grants will help the counties apply for federal money to match what they are already spending on care for the indigent, allowing them to expand that service in advance of changes coming as part of the federal health reform enacted early this year.

“California’s counties have a unique opportunity to expand health coverage to thousands of people who need it today,” Peter Long, president and chief executive officer of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, said in a statement. “I applaud the initiative that county and state leaders are showing to expand access to care in their communities. Our Foundation is pleased to support their efforts.”

The new planning grants are intended to help the counties demonstrate their ability to deliver care more effectively and efficiently, including by providing better preventive care and coordinating care for patients who now bounce from clinic to clinic and doctor to doctor with little coordination of the services and treatment they receive.

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