The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way California delivers health care. Health care systems completely restructured their services to keep both their patients and employees safe. Federal policymakers acted quickly to expand coverage and payment for virtual care. The California Department of Health Care Services also dismantled previous barriers to telehealth and began requiring Medi-Cal managed care plans to pay providers for telephone and video visits at the same rate as in-person visits.

As a result, many California health care providers rapidly pivoted from in-person visits to remote patient visits. For these organizations, this shift has been transformational, as they’ve adopted new technology, overhauled workflows, and redefined team member roles.

While there is still a great deal of uncertainty in how patients will engage with the health care system beyond the pandemic, it is clear they won’t want to give up their ability to remotely access care. This program will ensure essential data is collected to advocate for more permanent policy changes to sustain telehealth and virtual care into the future.

The Connected Care Accelerator, an initiative of the California Health Care Foundation, has been designed in partnership with the Center for Care Innovations to support safety net practices — including community health centers and independent physician practices that predominantly serve low-income communities — in different implementation phases of “virtual care,” also commonly known as “telehealth” or “telemedicine.” The accelerator has two separate tracks:

  • For the Infrastructure and Spread track, CHCF will provide $50,000 grants to up to 30 safety net practices to expand and improve virtual care. The support will be tailored to achieve geographic diversity with a focus on safety net providers whose patients are predominantly covered by Medi-Cal, uninsured, and communities of color. The goal of this track is to support early implementation and build the necessary infrastructure to provide virtual care.
  • For the Innovation Learning Collaborative track, CHCF will provide $100,000 grants and technical assistance to up to 20 safety net practices where the majority of their patients are covered by Medi-Cal and uninsured. This track is designed for organizations further along in their implementation of virtual care approaches and have a committed team to test, learn, and share best practices. 
Program Timeline

The program will run for 12 months.

Key dates

  • Informational Webinar: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 1:00-2:00 pm – Review the webinar recording below.
  • Application Deadline: Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm
  • Accelerator Acceptances Announced via Email: Wednesday, July 15, 2020
  • Program Kickoff Webinar: Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 12:00-1:00 pm – Please save the date.
  • Program End: July 31, 2021
Learn More

Watch the replay and download the Connected Care Informational Webinar slides below.

Download Webinar Slides | Review the Frequently Asked Questions

For any other questions, please contact:

Kathleen Figoni

CCI Senior Program Manager

[email protected]

Jenny Wright
CCI Senior Program Manager
[email protected]

Download RFA as PDF

Review the Frequently Asked Questions