Publications / Perspectives from the Field: Developing the Enhanced Care Management Workforce

Perspectives from the Field: Developing the Enhanced Care Management Workforce

About the Perspectives from the Field Series

As California’s Department of Health Care Services administers changes to the Medi-Cal program, especially those that are part of the CalAIM initiative, CHCF is intermittently publishing short reports that highlight the perspectives of those who are implementing the changes. These “Perspectives from the Field” seek to inform policymakers and other health care leaders about insights and experiences from people on the ground who work directly with patients.

The CalAIM initiative is an ambitious effort to transform California’s Medi-Cal program. CalAIM includes a major new benefit — Enhanced Care Management — provided through Medi-Cal managed care plans working with a team of community-based providers to address the needs of 10 specific California populations with complex needs, including health-related social needs, as well as physical and behavioral health conditions.

The whole-person model of care envisioned by Enhanced Care Management (ECM) requires providers to develop significant new capabilities to develop the trust and relationships needed to successfully navigate across Medi-Cal’s different delivery systems on behalf of their clients. ECM teams must possess skills related to outreach and engagement, care planning, care coordination, health promotion, transitional care support, member and family education, and social services coordination.

Staffing up for this work has proved to be a heavy lift for organizations providing ECM. To better understand what will be required for long-term success, the Camden Coalition conducted interviews and focus groups with numerous California-based frontline care managers, supervisors, program directors, organization leadership, and managed care plan representatives from organizations participating in ECM.

While the interviewees recognized the need for high-quality, ongoing training for ECM staff, they also said they were prioritizing other challenges over the establishment of training protocols and programs, especially hiring and retaining staff. Yet they also described their approaches to training and provided thoughtful insights into the types of training that had been effective in their organizations.

In Perspectives from the Field — Developing the Enhanced Care Management Workforce, hear directly from frontline workers and managers at organizations participating in ECM. Learn about the challenges they face in recruiting and retention, and the types of training they think are effective for new staff.

In addition, CHCF commissioned a compilation of currently available ECM training resources. This training library, compiled by Jess Thacher Consulting, is available for download below and can be sorted in a variety of ways. Please note that it is not exhaustive, and the trainings listed have not been vetted for quality.

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