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L.A. Care: ER visits, hospitalizations reduced

Caregiver assisting with dressing

Providing caregivers with high-quality training reduces both visits to the emergency room and hospital admissions, according to an analysis of utilization data of L.A. Care members whose caregivers participated in CLTCEC’s competency-based training program.

“L.A. Care’s utilization report proves that trained caregivers have a tremendous impact on the health of the people they care for and on the larger health care system,” said Corinne Eldridge, President and CEO of CLTCEC.

The November 2019 report, titled Evaluation of IHSS Training on Health Care Outcomes and authored by Dr. Matthew Pirritano and Nancy Fang, concludes that training caregivers benefits L.A. Care members. Comparing the number of L.A. Care members’ emergency room and inpatient visits before and after their caregivers’ training, the report found that there was a “significant decrease in ER and inpatient utilization after the training.”\

The authors studied the impact of training for five cohorts who completed CLTCEC’s 10-week program, using member utilization data from 20 months prior to the caregivers’ graduation up to 19 months post-graduation.

“Separate follow-up regression analyses of the pre- and post-training periods revealed that there was really no relationship between time and ER visits prior to the training – the relationship was flat. But after the training the relationship was significantly negative indicating that ER utilization decreased after the training,” the report noted. The same was true for the inpatient analysis.

The report concluded that “the pre-post design which aggregated results across multiple classes bolsters the argument that the training might be causally related to the changes in utilization.”

L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan and provides health coverage to low-income Los Angeles County residents. It partnered with CLTCEC in 2017 to provide training for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers caring for seniors and people with disabilities covered by the health plan.

“At L.A. Care, we understand that the majority of people prefer to stay in their homes, even when living with chronic and complex illnesses, and IHSS caregivers carry enormous responsibilities. This training has provided caregivers the tools necessary to improve our members’ health and comfort at home,” said John Baackes, CEO, L.A. Care Health Plan.

CLTCEC is the largest provider of training for long-term care workers in the state. Its IHSS+ training program is a comprehensive, competency-based course designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of IHSS workers who play a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being of the people to whom they provide care. The modules cover essential caregiving skills such as communicating effectively, reducing caregiver stress, managing repetitive behaviors, and assisting with personal hygiene and activities of daily living.

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