Southern California Program

Valley Community Healthcare

Health Care
North Hollywood, CA
December 2018

Valley Community Healthcare (VCH) is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving nearly 25,000 patients annually in the San Fernando Valley.  It is facing two major challenges: 1) a lack of primary care physicians and 2) ensuring efficient, cost-effective, high-quality patient care while demand is increasing.  To address these challenges, VCH is implementing the Alternate Touch program that will expand the role of nurses to maximize the utilization of their clinical skills within the scope of their licenses.  A Keck Foundation grant will support the hiring of two bilingual, registered nurse (RN) care managers who will address many patients’ needs independently, including triaging, medication refills, and care coordination, thereby freeing up physicians to see many more patients who require a higher level of care.  By the end of the two year grant, 770 referrals will be made annually from call center operators to the RN care manager on triage duty and 900 “alternate touches” will be provided to patients as part of the care team.  The project will also position VCH for anticipated changes in insurance reimbursement that will be based on improvements in health outcomes instead of the number of visits and tests ordered.

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