Annual Report for 2008, 2009
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HealthPlus is a direct consequence of LHC’s proactive role in serving the needs of the community by evolving along with it. A quarter of a century ago, LHC established HealthPlus in reaction to New York State's early experimentation with managed care as a means of increasing access to quality health care and reducing health care costs to Medicaid beneficiaries. HealthPlus was part of a pilot program to give Medicaid beneficiaries access to community-based providers who might not accept fee-for-service Medicaid as payment. Established as a not-for-profit company servicing Southwest Brooklyn, the program has since expanded to include 280,000 participants across the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau County.
The pioneering move Lutheran made in 1984 to facilitate "the other side of healthcare" for our constituency was clearly the right one. Today HealthPlus acts as an advocate for its participants, providing services and support that no fee-for-service organization can give them, such as help with coordination of medical care, preventive medicine options and health care reminders. And with the addition of HealthPlus Elite, patients no longer have to leave the program when they become eligible for Medicaid, ensuring an uninterrupted level of support on which they can always depend.
An exciting aspect of the relationship between HealthPlus and other Lutheran entities is the opportunity it affords them to join forces for the good of the community. HealthPlus and Lutheran Medical Center are working together to identify individuals who are at risk for obesity and early onset diabetes. Together they can help these people to take preventive measures that will eliminate or postpone these conditions in their lives. HealthPlus is also taking its outreach efforts to new places in response to the recent economic downturn, educating groups not previously considered, such as Wall Street.
Each of the four insurance programs LHC manages through Health Plus addresses the needs of specific segments of our community. The first three are funded by New York State. Family Health Plus was the original program set up to benefit uninsured adults ages 19 through 64. Later, we were able to add Child Health Plus to provide much needed insurance for children under the age of 19. Medicaid Managed Care is a New York State program that addresses the health care needs of low income individuals and families. The state moved these beneficiaries into managed care in order to reduce costs to the program, provide measurable quality services, and increase access to providers.
Our fourth program, Health Plus Elite, is a federal program that allows us to complete the continuum of managed healthcare for our seniors and others who are eligible for Medicare. As the federal government continues to look at ways of controlling costs and providing measurable quality services to Medicare beneficiaries, this new Medicare managed care plan enables us to continue our mission of caring for our community.