Health Center-Based Medical-Legal Partnerships: Where They Are, How They Work, and How They are Funded
The integration of legal services in health centers through MLP has the potential to resolve some of the most intractable social problems that our nation’s vulnerable and underserved patients face. Health centers represent the fastest growing sector for MLP adoption across the healthcare system; the number of health centers operating MLPs in 2016 represents nearly double the number in 2014. Today, 113 health centers operate MLPs, and 38 additional health centers are planning new MLPs. This issue brief from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership describes how and where these partnerships operate, and how state primary care associations are supporting these programs. It also discusses how health-center based medical-legal partnerships are financed, with a spotlight on four states that integrate financing for legal services in Medicaid payment arrangements.
Overview of model
– Colorado set up 7 Regional Care Collaborative Organizations, 4 of these reimburse for legal services at 2 health centers for a small PMPM add-on payment. In OR, the pilot MLP was funded by Richmond Clinic and Health Share of Oregon, the largest coordinated care organization (CCO)
– In Indiana, EseknaziHealth offers MLP services in 5 health centers through a 2-year contract with a Medicaid managed care entity. The contract gave a fixed amount to the centers and its legal partner. All patients at the health center are eligible for services
– In California, LA County released an RFP for “Whole Person Care Los Angeles” a pilot program that is part of the state’s 1115 waiver demonstration. $500,000 in funding is provided for MLP legal services, technical assistance, and training for the first year