A new federally qualified health center in San Francisco will offer integrated services to the city’s low-income and homeless population.
The HealthRight 360 Integrated Care Center is the first facility in California to offer patients primary medical, mental health, dentistry, pharmacy, substance use disorder treatment, chiropractic medicine and acupuncture services all under one roof.
The center will also offer resources for housing and employment, as well as an adult charter high school.
“I don’t know of anything like it,” Vitka Eisen, CEO of HealthRight 360, told FierceHealthcare. The center is housed in a newly renovated, five-story building located in the heart of the city.
The community healthcare nonprofit, which operates a number of health programs in California, began envisioning a center that would provide integrative care years ago, but it became possible with the expansion of insurance programs under the Affordable Care Act, Eisen said.
The center will provide services to all the city’s residents but is set up to primarily address the multilayered health and social needs of San Francisco’s low-income and homeless patients who often have high needs and complex conditions.
The idea is for the center to provide everything that patients need to get well and maintain their health, Eisen said.
“This is really a chance to offer that in its fullest potential,” she said of the comprehensive services it will offer. So, for example, a patient may come to the center for their primary care, but then get treatment for depression or be linked to housing services or get help building job skills, she said, hoping the center will be a model for others in California and the country.
U.S. House of Representatives’ Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee are scheduled to participate in a ribbon-cutting this afternoon.
The center, with its innovative healthcare model, opened its doors earlier this month with 50,000 square feet of space. It will allow the program to expand from 6 to 11 exam rooms and grow from serving 6,000 patients at its old center to plans to see 11,000 patients in the new center, Eisen said. There are also plans to add to the medical staff, which now includes seven full-time doctors as well as other clinicians. The doctors include two psychiatrists and one who is the director of addiction medicine.
Prior to the passage of the ACA, 90% of the center’s patients had no source of health coverage, she said. Fast forward to today, and over 80% of its patients have coverage under the Medicaid or Medicare program. That has allowed the expansion of services, such as the dental care the center will offer, which is covered under California’s Medicaid program, she said.
The center’s leaders are particularly excited about the addition of dental services, she said. People who are in poor health and who have no dental care often have bad teeth, which has repercussions beyond just their health. “It’s hard to get a job. It’s hard to advance in that job. It’s a dignity issue,” she said.
The center aims to provide all the services that patients need to be self-sufficient, free from addiction and live life to their fullest potential.