Tag Archives: ACA

glma board white house briefing

Wilson-Stronks at the White House

Posted by Amy Wilson-Stronks

On July 24, 2014, Amy Wilson-Stronks, on behalf of Wilson-Stronks LLC and GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, was invited to and attended a special White House Briefing on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the LGBT Community, sponsored by the Office of Public Engagement. LGBT health advocates from across the country were engaged through presentations and panel discussions from grassroots policy and advocacy organizations working to support LGBT enrollment under the ACA.

Briefing highlights included the release of Out2Enroll’s Key Lessons for LGBT Outreach and Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s proclamation declaring Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Pride Month, 2014.

“It was incredible to see so many people come together to discuss solutions to healthcare access. LGBT people suffer disproportionately in access to quality healthcare, and that is why having targeted interventions to communicate, educate, and support the LGBT community during the rollout of the ACA is so important. Kudos to the White House, Out2Enroll, and all of the stakeholders for supporting access. Wilson-Stronks will work to do our part to share this valuable information.”—Amy Wilson-Stronks

As much as this briefing celebrated success, it also recognized some of the ongoing challenges including spread of misinformation outside of the ACA marketplace, lack of public understanding of the differences between the ACA and private marketplaces implementing the law within faith-based institutions (such as Hobby Lobby), access to specialized care for the transgender community, states that have not expanded Medicaid, and states without state exchange programs. Important questions were also raised regarding the limited choice of providers and the expansiveness of the network of providers for consumers enrolled in the marketplace.

Pictured (left to right from top row) GLMA Board members: Sarah Fogel, Henry Ng, Travis Sherer, Amy Wilson-Stronks, Adam Crosland, Hector Vargas (Executive Director), Ed Craft, Jesse Joad, and Laura Hein.

Population Health and Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Healthcare

Posted by Deborah Caputo Rosen

We have been thinking about population health at Wilson-Stronks LLC. Soto notes, “(M)any see attention to population health as a potent opportunity for health care delivery systems, public health agencies, community-based organizations and many other entities to work together to improve health outcomes in the communities they serve.” (1)

Although there are a variety of definitions of population health they share some common themes. Population health has a wider scope than traditional public health because it explicitly includes the health care delivery system itself, and its accountabilities. Not only are health outcomes measured but also the factors that influence them—social determinants of health and disease prevention efforts. A population health management focus includes the active reduction of health disparities and the pursuit of health equity.

Health care administrators have taken a renewed interest in health promotion and disease prevention. One of the drivers for this has been the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Regardless of your political opinion of “Obamacare”, the law creates structure that motivates healthcare organizations and realigns their interests. Increasing insurance coverage increases access; especially for populations traditionally disadvantaged from preventative services, screening and the resultant early case-finding and improved outcomes (with associated lower healthcare and societal costs).

CMS and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, among others, plan to track and study patient results as a research-based means to improve quality. The ACA includes a variety of approaches to increase both the quantity and quality of primary and preventive care, including the development and funding structures of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

A new IRS requirement under the ACA mandates health care organizations and public health systems to engage in community health needs assessment every three years. Communities, including their health needs and health resources, must be described along with a prioritized implementation strategy to meet those needs. Both health outcomes and accountability measures are required.

One size does not fit all” is the lens through which Wilson-Stronks always has advocated and offered services. The new reality of the world of health care provision requires that the population eligible to be served must be identified, its needs and current resources characterized, and the interventions individualized to meet those needs. This offers renewed opportunity to consider culturally-responsive and linguistically effective communication in the design and delivery of care.

Finally, target outcomes must be identified, risk-adjusted metrics developed and mutually accepted and information must be sharable to promote evidence-based promising practices. In the highly competitive and diminishing margins of health care provision, patients and providers alike will benefit when, to quote Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat.

1. Soto MA, “Population Health in the Affordable Care Era”. Academy Health, 2013, pp.2-6