Guest: Hans Schiffert
Topic: Health Homes
Published: April 15, 2021
Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Hans Schiffert, Director of Health Homes at WNYIL, and I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program Hans.
Guest: Thanks for having me Ernie.
Host: For those not familiar with Health Homes, they might assume wrongly, that it's some sort of residential facility or a real estate agency or some other aspect of things, but you're actually there to help people that are consumers of WNYIL services with aspects of improving their lives. Who is Health Homes for?
Guest: Well, Ernie, you're correct, we often have a misunderstanding by the title of the program, which is Health Homes. So, the Health Homes program is suited for individuals that have active Medicaid, and that's experienced either substance use disorders, serious mental health issues, or have chronic conditions. So Health Homes is actually a service model designed to ensure effective coordination and management of care, leading to positive health outcomes rather for the individual. So this includes minimizing preventable emergency department and hospital stays. So Health Homes you asked who is it for. It's the services are provided to a subset of Medicaid beneficiaries, again with complex chronic health and/or behavioral health needs, whose care is often fragmented, uncoordinated and duplicative. A care manager, one of my staff will work with the individual to develop and maintain a comprehensive plan for accessing and using services and supports necessary for the person's health. So, these supports and services are provided through a network of organizations which collectively, then become the person's virtual health home with the care manager, overseeing the process, and that the network includes not only health care providers, but all their social and community supports essential to a person's overall health.
Host: You mentioned about helping keep individuals from hospitalization. There's another entity within the umbrella under Mental Health PEER Connection (MHPC), called The Renewal Center that's all about hospital diversion, do you ever work with them?
Guest: Yeah, quite frequently WNYIL family of agencies, it's one of the, I think, beneficial parts of working within an agency that offers such a breadth of services. So we frequently do work in conjunction with many other programs including The Renewal Center, as well as MHPC, and oftentimes the clients or individuals that are enrolled in our Health Homes program are often also enrolled in other areas, or departments or programs within the WNYIL family of agencies.
Host: At the risk of sounding somewhat commercial you might say, coming to Health Homes, since it connects with all these other services it's kind of like one stop shopping.
Guest: Yeah, I actually, I like that as well, and yes I'll frequently use that tagline.
Host: Great. Hans, I'm sure people are going to have questions about your services, how can they reach you to get them answered?
Guest: Sure, they can call the agency directly and that's at 716-836-0822, and my direct extension is 523. I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Host: Terrific. Well we appreciate you being with us and we'll look forward to working with you in the future.
Guest: Thank you very much, Ernie, it's a pleasure, being on here.
Host: Thanks. You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Hans Schiffert, Director of Health Homes at WNYIL, and your host was yours truly, Ernie Churchwell.