Publications / CalAIM Community Supports Early Adopters: Spotlight on Sobering Centers

CalAIM Community Supports Early Adopters: Spotlight on Sobering Centers

CalAIM (California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal) enables managed care plans to offer 14 Community Supports, services not traditionally covered by Medi-Cal that address health-related social needs. Some of these services, like housing navigation and medically tailored meals, have been readily adopted by participating health plans since the launch of Community Supports in 2022, while others have gotten off to a slower start. This fact sheet profiles one of these services with relatively low adoption — sobering centers.

Sobering centers provide a safe, alternative destination for those found to be publicly intoxicated and who might otherwise be transported to an emergency department or jail. At the sobering center, people — mainly those experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity — are provided with a safe, supportive environment to recover safely and have the opportunity to be connected to other services.

In the fact sheet, learn about two organizations in Orange County partnering to offer sobering services — CalOptima Health, the local managed care plan, and Be Well, which offers a variety of mental health and substance use services in one location.

Key takeaways for others implementing sobering centers include these:

  • Offer one-stop shopping. “The beauty of Be Well is we have substance use services and mental health services here on the campus,” said Nicole Ramirez, director of quality improvement for Be Well.
  • Outreach is vital to the model. “We are constantly out in the community reaching out to hospital networks. They are a referral source,” said Ramirez. These partnerships are vital to the model, she added.
  • Reduce barriers to services. “Being able to make referrals to every supportive organization is really important, an ongoing effort by us,” said Mia Arias, director of Medi-Cal/CalAIM at CalOptima.

This fact sheet is drawn from a webinar in a Center for Health Care Strategies series created to help increase uptake of Community Supports by spotlighting early adopters of services that have not been widely implemented. The webinars highlight provider-plan relationships to amplify promising practices for increasing Community Supports uptake across all 14 services.

What's Trending

Explore the most popular publications, blogs, resources, and more from CHCF.