Who we are
The Health Plan of San Mateo (HPSM) is a local non-profit health plan that offers health coverage to San Mateo County’s underserved population. We currently serve more than 140,000 county residents through several programs, with most of our members qualifying for coverage through Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. HPSM has more than 275 employees and partners closely with clinicians and community organizations throughout the region.
The HPSM Summer Internship will provide an enriched educational and professional experience for those who are pursuing an education and career in the field of health care. Due to the COVID pandemic, all our 2021 student interns will work remotely instead of at our South San Francisco location.
This opportunity will provide the intern with:
- Knowledge and experience in the overall operation of a non-profit community-based health plan.
- Knowledge and experience in the development of programs and services that benefit our diverse membership.
- Professional experience working on a specific project important to HPSM and a chance to present recommendations through both a final research paper and presentation to HPSM leadership.
The intern will be supervised by an HPSM executive sponsor. The intern will benefit from working with a wide variety of internal stakeholders and will be encouraged to seek out and learn more about various functions within HPSM.
- Start date: June 1st (flexible based on the needs of the student and HPSM sponsor)
- Duration: 10 weeks minimum with potential for additional work based on project scope
- Hours: Flexible (work schedule to be coordinated with the HPSM sponsor)
Required Skills & Knowledge
- Currently enrolled in a undergraduate or graduate degree program in public health, public policy, business administration, social work, social sciences, or related disciplines. Minimum 3.0 GPA.
- Basic understanding of the fundamentals of health care and the health care system.
- Solid written and verbal communication skills.
- Self-starter with the ability to work independently as well as work well with others.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.
HPSM will provide the intern with a stipend that ranges from $3,000 – 5,000 based upon the project.
To apply, submit a resume and introductory letter (no more than one page) answering the following questions:
1. Your career interests and reason for seeking this internship.
2. Select the project you would like to work on from the list provided and why this topic is important to you.
Please send to Internships@hpsm.org with the subject line: “HPSM Summer Internship” by May 14, 2021.
List of Potential Projects
Working collaboratively with the HPSM sponsor, the intern will be provided the opportunity to work on one of the following projects during the summer internship:
1. Member Vaccination Outreach
Hosted by the Customer Support Department, this exciting project is for students who enjoy engaging directly with community members. Interns will conduct outbound calls to seniors, members with disabling conditions, and other high-risk members. Interns will answer member questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and assist members in signing up for a vaccine. This is a great opportunity for students interested in public health communications or health education. Students will learn about addressing vaccine hesitancy and will hear directly from low-income patients about the barriers they face in accessing care. Students will also learn about Medi-Cal and Medicare eligibility, call center operations, and delivering high quality service telephonically. Interns will be at the center of one of the most important and pressing efforts of our time, working with public health professionals to fight the pandemic at the ground level!
2. Exploring Value-Based Payment Models
The intern will research and provide recommendations on behavioral health and/or dental value-based payment models that are working and not working nationwide and globally. The intern would contribute to working sessions with our strategic partners and Bay Area public health leaders. The team would work alongside HPSM’s Network, Strategy and Quality functions and get a view into how Medicaid works in a single-Medicaid-payor county, and provide recommendations on HPSM’s roadmap, and decision factors, around assuming more value-based arrangements with providers and large groups. Much of this work will be building off of current research conducted by HPSM Wharton MBA Fellows, merging concepts of behavioral health economics and value-based payment arrangements.
3. Health Promotion
This internship will provide the opportunity to apply MPH foundational competencies such as the following: Assess population needs that affect health and access to the healthcare system, application of awareness of cultural differences to the design of health promotion materials, design a population-based intervention, select methods for evaluation of public health programs, select communication strategies for different audiences, communicate audience appropriate public health content.
Working collaboratively with his/her sponsor, the intern will be provided the opportunity to work on a two part internship project:
1) Formative research regarding Health Literacy and development of a Health Literacy Training Toolkit for HPSM staff
2) Apply health literacy concepts to develop a Health Promotion Member Communication Proposal on one of the following project topics: either women’s health (with specific focus on breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings) OR older adults and healthy aging.
4. Access to Care
Timely access to healthcare services is essential for achieving quality health outcomes, supporting population health management, and improving health equity. Multiple factors can impact access to necessary services for HPSM members, including social determinants of health, health care provider capacity, and potentially inadequate workflows. Each year, HPSM collects data from its provider network on appointment availability, telemedicine offerings, and other timely access metrics to support process improvement initiatives and provider network management. The summer fellow will work with HPSM staff to collect and evaluate timely access data, prepare materials for regulatory agencies, identify access barriers, and make recommendations for improvement opportunities.