CareSource launches Stronger Together™ program to support family preservation, reunification and mental health outcomes
March 10th, 2023 | 3 min read
ATLANTA (March 10, 2023) – CareSource, a mission driven Medicaid plan serving more than 500,000 Georgians, today announced the launch of CareSource Stronger Together™, a program that identifies, treats and fully supports children diagnosed with significant mental health conditions to improve family preservation and reunification outcomes. Following a successful pilot, CareSource officially launched the program for families in Atlanta, with plans to increase presence in other communities throughout Georgia.
Stronger Together’s data-centric approach identifies children with a significant mental health condition and develops individual care plans to meet their specific needs. The program supports children and families with an intensive, in-the-community case management focus that connects CareSource members with counseling, medication management, peer support, planned respite care and other traditional and non-traditional support services.
“In Georgia, many of our most vulnerable children are falling through cracks in the system,” said Jason Bearden, CareSource Georgia president. “Children diagnosed with mental or behavioral health conditions who do not have the proper resources often make multiple visits to the ER, which can potentially lead to long-term adverse health outcomes. We developed Stronger Together to not only identify these children, but to also provide a proactive solution that coordinates their care and provides full, wraparound support to keep children safe, healthy and at home with their families.”
The CareSource Stronger Together pilot used advanced analytics and predictive modeling, for the young Georgians who participated in the program. The pilot included 173 children with significant mental health conditions, with a majority reporting suicide ideation. Through the program, CareSource was able to lower acute patient admits by 59%, ER visits by 19%, and overall costs per member per month by 42%. Other outcomes included:
- Closed care gaps, including dental and well checks.
- Initiated referrals to specialty services, such as alternative or nontraditional therapies
- Supported caregivers in their efforts to safely maintain children in their home
- Provided education to clinical staff surrounding at-risk populations
- Implemented in-the-community support by meeting families where they are
Our partnership programs included in-community case management, art and theater therapy, behavioral health services and preventative care. Specific services provided to children and families included:
- Intensive wraparound care through Hillside
- Art/theatre therapy through Sewn-Arts
- Planned respite through Twin Cedars
- Behavioral health services (counseling, medication management, including peer and parent support, and care coordination)
- Housing support
- Medical and dental preventative care
- Case management specialized training
Together, these services and programs have significantly strengthened family preservation and reunification outcomes across the state.
Although services for families increased during the pilot, cost of care decreased. The Stronger Together program will continue to support members enrolled in the pilot. CareSource will now use its predictive analytics capabilities to identify additional children and families among its membership who would likely benefit from the program. CareSource is also identifying additional unique community-based services and programs, such as Camp Twin Lakes, to be able to provide Stronger Together participants.
CareSource believes its predictive analytics capabilities can also be used across other populations to identify those most at risk of negative outcomes and poor health and to design programs to better engage them and meet their needs.