State tabs WesternU disability center to develop new material on Affordable Care Act
June 17, 2013
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The Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy (HFCDHP) at Western University of Health Sciences has been awarded the sole contract statewide to analyze, revise and develop new materials and outreach efforts to help individuals with disabilities successfully navigate the California health care system under the Affordable Care Act.
HFCDHP will help California consumers with disabilities, seniors under Medi-Cal and duals projects like the Cal MediConnect Program and those using the Covered California exchange to have the necessary information to support their move to mandatory managed care and qualify for these three programs.
“”Potentially, we could impact over a million people who will be moved into some type of mandatory managed health care,”” said Brenda Premo, HFCDHP director and WesternU’s assistant vice president for government relations. “”We will be able to get good, simple-to-understand instructions, and refer applicants to the right organization that can guide them through a complex and confusing process.””
HFCDHP was awarded the contract following its response to a proposal request from the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). The contract is valued at $260,000.
HFCDHP and its partners will organize a working group composed of disability experts and stakeholders to guide the development of educational and training materials, to ensure Californians with disabilities have the necessary information to successfully navigate California’s changing health care system.
They also will analyze existing Affordable Care Act-related outreach and educational materials, and DMHC consumer assistance training tools, to identify gaps in information available to Californians with disabilities.
HFCDHP and its partners will write easy-to-understand handouts, create a distribution plan for those handouts, and put information in alternative formats. Seniors and consumers with language barriers will also benefit from this easy and accessible information.
DMHC project partners include Premo and June Isaacson Kailes, HFCDHP; Bobbie Wunsch, Pacific Health Consulting Group; Carrie Graham, assistant director of research, and Kathy Simpson, director of health communications at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, Health Research for Action; John Shea, Allen, Shea & Associates; Kevin Dalcamo, disability specialist, DMHC; and Mary Lou Breslin, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).
The contract is expected to begin around June 15.
Western University of Health Sciences (www.westernu.edu), located in Pomona, Calif. and Lebanon, Ore., is an independent nonprofit health professions university, conferring degrees in biomedical sciences, dental medicine, health sciences, medical sciences, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. The Chronicle of Higher Education named WesternU a 2012 Great College to Work For.
The DMHC regulates managed care health plans in California, protects the rights of approximately 20 million health plan enrollees, educates consumers on their health care rights and responsibilities, and preserves the financial stability of the managed health care system. Since 2000, the department has helped more than 1 million Californians resolve health plan problems through its Help Center. Information and assistance is available 24/7 at http://www.HealthHelp.ca.gov or by calling 1-888-466-2219.