County Agencies Encounter Resistance to Forming an Integrated Family Health Maintenance Organization

Development of a family health maintenance organization

During 1994 and 1995, staff at the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services sought to complete a plan to develop an enriched HMO program for families residing in the California county, with a particular focus on low income families served by the publicly-funded health services system.

However, the program, called the Family Maintenance Organization (FMO), did not come to fruition, chiefly due to the difficulties inherent in establishing linkages between agencies with different funding structures and the loss of key leadership during the planning phase.

Key Results

  • The basic outlines of the FMO Program were defined by late 1995. Two FMO service components were designed to change the health care utilization practices of low-income families:

    • Integrating several categorical public health and maternal and child health programs into a parent education, outreach and support unit for the Bay Point community.
    • Combining case management resources with substance abuse and mental health staff to establish a "behavioral health unit" that would provide more personal intensive teaching and support to families that are high utilizers of medical services or users of multiple health and human service programs.
  • Largely due to the work on the FMO project, all county programs adopted the same broad family health outcome objectives.