Biweekly Briefing Articles

5 Things To Know: San Diego County Survey | San Diego APOT Collaboration | HASD&IC Crisis Stabilization Units | San Diego County Guide and Matrix | MAT Access Points Project

HELP THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO SET BUDGET PRIORITIES: San Diego County is seeking broad, diverse input on its priorities through a short survey to inform the county’s upcoming 2024-26 budget and operational planning process. Key stakeholders are invited to complete the survey on the Engage San Diego County website by March 17.  

For more information, visit the County News Center website.  

SAN DIEGO APOT COLLABORATION BEGINS: At the January HASD&IC Board meeting, there was a healthy discussion on the formation of a local ambulance patient offload time (APOT) collaboration in partnership with the fire chiefs, San Diego County emergency medical services, and the Ambulance Association of San Diego County. This effort is a proactive approach to get in front of Assembly Bill 40, which involves the upcoming implementation of mandates designed to reduce APOTs to a 30-minute maximum for 90% of instances. The goal of this group is to work together on strategies to address pre-hospital and hospital system strain and identify future areas for collective advocacy. HASD&IC will continue to engage members for feedback and provide ongoing updates to our board and various workgroups. 

CRISIS STABILIZATION UNITS SEEK INCREASED REFERRALS FROM HOSPITALS: At the Feb. 23 LPS Provider Meeting, the HASD&IC regional crisis stabilization units (CSUs) shared that they have the capacity to take additional referrals from emergency departments (EDs). To help ease the pressures on EDs, it is important for CSUs to maintain their current capacity in light of changes coming with Senate Bill 43 implementation on Jan. 1, 2025. Services could be reduced if the current capacity is not met.  

CSUs are also conducting more outreach to local law enforcement to promote their service as an alternative to emergency departments for people experiencing a mental health crisis. In the future, the county aims to augment CSU’s contracts to allow them to care for people with primary substance use disorders, which is why it is critical to maintain and potentially expand the services available in the region. 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY EMS ED IMPACT SCORE USER GUIDE AND SCORING MATRIX: The emergency department (ED) impact status scorecard is a novel system stress indicator that allows hospitals to communicate real-time facility capacity. This system facilitates the ongoing partnership between hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS) providers, and county EMS. 

For EDs experiencing capacity stresses, the impact scorecard allows for a standardized, objective calculation for staff to communicate their current situation. Staff should submit updates through the LEMSIS Resource Bridge ED Impact Status field whenever the internal situation changes. Scores that have not been updated within four hours will not be considered accurate. 

ED staff may review the scoring matrix and the user guide for more information. 

MAT ACCESS POINTS PROJECT AWARDS FUNDING TO TWO LOCAL AGENCIES: San Diego Freedom Ranch, Inc. was awarded $550,000 and the Crossroads Foundation was awarded $350,000 to expand the level of medication assisted treatment (MAT) and recovery services reaching the diverse communities in San Diego for people with opioid use disorder, stimulant use disorder, and other substance use disorders.  

The MAT Access Points Project is funded through the Department of Health Care Services California MAT Expansion Project and administered by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.