What is WPC?


What is Whole Person Care (WPC)?

The County of Orange was approved through the State of California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on October 24, 2016 for a five-year project to implement the Whole Person Care (WPC) pilot program.

WPC is the coordination of physical, behavioral health, and social services in a patient-centered approach with the goals of improved health and well-being through more efficient and effective use of resources for Medi-Cal beneficiaries struggling with homelessness. WPC promotes increased communication between hospital emergency rooms, CalOptima, community clinics, OC Health Care Agency (HCA) Behavioral Health Services and Public Health Services as well as recuperative care providers to improve access and navigation of services for the homeless population. 

The WPC Pilot program goals are consistent with the County’s ongoing efforts to take a broader approach to meeting the needs of those without permanent housing.

UPDATE as of June 2021: Due to delayed implementation of CalAIM resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic, DHCS requested an extension of the 1115(a) Waiver to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to extend WPC Pilots throughout the State for an additional one year period.  Preliminary approval by CMS of the waiver extension has been granted with negotiations between CMS and DHCS expected to be finalized by July 2021.  In the interim, pilots opting to continue for a sixth program year (PY6) under the State pilot have submitted draft budgets in accordance with DHCS specified funding allocations. Orange County will be continuing its pilot program, though with a reduced funding allocation for PY6, which will result in reduction of some of the WPC services offered over previous pilot years. An update with more detailed information will be posted in July 2021.

WPC Funding

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved the application for the funding in June 2016, pledging to contribute local matching funds for a total of $23.5 million over five years from Mental Health Services Act dollars, tobacco-settlement funds and County General Funds. In June 2017, HCA was awarded additional funding from the State as part of the approval of our Round 2 application. As a result, the County will receive an increased match in federal dollars, with total spending reaching $31,066,860 over the course of the program. In May 2019, HCA was awarded additional funding from the State as part of the approval of our Round 3 application. As a result, the County will receive an increased match in federal dollars, with total spending reaching approximately $52 million over the course of the program. Funding for (PY6) as referenced in the "Update" above, is pending finalization with DHCS and subsequent consideration by Orange County's Board of Supervisors (anticipated by July 2021).

Orange County's Whole Person Care Program has funded the following over the lifetime of the pilot:

  • Expands a community referral network addressing non-medical needs of the population. 
  • Brings in the shelter bed providers as WPC participating entities.
  • Recuperative care beds, including some specifically targeted to medically fragile individuals in the shelter programs. 
  • Adds homeless outreach and navigation staff to eight hospitals and nine community clinics. 
  • Adds additional Behavioral Health Outreach and Engagement staff. 
  • Dedicates resources to find housing opportunities for persons who are also living with mental illness. 
  • Provides peer mentoring services to aid persons living with mental illness to stay in housing once placed. 
  • Provides housing navigation and sustainability services for person struggling with homelessness who are not living with mental illness. 
  • Liaison and housing support between County and city housing authorities to optimize and expedite housing placement for various housing vouchers.
  • Provides assistance with move-in expenses associated with housing placements. 
  • Includes a public health nurse to review recuperative care admissions.
  • Provides funding for bi-directional, electronic sharing of information between the WPC Care Plan and CalOptima's Care Plan.
  • Provides additional funding for HCA's administrative costs associated with the WPC.

About WPC Program Services

Whole Person Care Contact Information:

Telephone Number is: (714) 834-4011

E-mail Address is:          wpc@ochca.com

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