Project Name: “Strengthening Outreach & Enrollment at Maine’s CHCs”
Maine Primary Care Association’s (MEPCA) coordinated the efforts of the state’s community health centers to educate and train CHC staff on insurance marketplace basics, resource sharing, utilizing Certified Application Counselors (CACs) effectively and efficiently and changes to the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare.
Community health centers involved in the project included: Bucksport Regional Health Center, DVD Russell Medical Centers, East Grand Health Center Inc., Eastport Health Center, Fish River Rural Health, Harrington Family Health Center, Health Access Network, HealthReach Community Health Centers, Islands Community Medical Services, Maine Migrant Health Program, Nasson Health Center, Penobscot Community Health Care, Pines Health Services, Portland Community Health Center, Regional Medical Center at Lubec, Sacopee Valley Health Center, Sebasticook Family Doctors, and St. Croix Regional Family Health Center.
MEPCA developed a core competency training curriculum that was disseminated to FQHC staff throughout the state.
Goals of the “Strengthening Outreach & Enrollment at Maine’s CHCs” project were to:
- Develop a cadre of highly trained and competent O & E staff;
- Support the development of technology-based strategies to improve O & E activities and increase the number of people who get and maintain coverage;
- Increase health insurance literacy by developing messaging on the importance of health care coverage and the unique 1:1 support available at community health centers across Maine;
- Identify other potential recall and/or reminder systems to help increase the number of people who receive 1:1 enrollment support.
Key Grant Activities:
A range of activities were undertaken to advance the overall strategy and objectives of the project. These included:
Developing and implementing the Maine Field Guide to Enrollment as a staff cross-training resource for use during the open enrollment period. The Field Guide also offers strategies for helping consumers after they have enrolled in insurance;
Facilitating cross training within each health center as well as promoting communication across and between health centers by offering a 5-part series of structured coaching calls for operations staff. The objectives of the call series were to identify existing processes to support outreach with effective and efficient reminder/recall systems; 2) apply quality improvement tools and strategies to CHC operations improvement; and 3) evaluate the use of reminder/recall systems to improve both individual practice process and patient outcomes;
Investing in and testing technologies that moved outreach and enrollment into the community, including text messaging, use of patient portals, recall/reminder systems; and developing strategies to incorporate O&E into population health management tools; and
Developing a state-wide messaging campaign, “Who’s Counting on You to Stay Healthy?” targeted at the uninsured and other vulnerable populations.
- Through the implementation of technology-based O&E strategies, nearly 26,000 individuals were successfully engaged, resulting in over 5,000 people enrolled in coverage.
- The Maine Field Guide to Enrollment was distributed to several national partners. It was used as a training resource on a HRSA-sponsored PCA O&E call, and Enroll America has shared it through its field academy. Maine’s FQHCs are using the Field Guide as a training tool for new CACs and volunteers. In addition, a sister PCA is considering adapting the guide for use in their state.
- In conjunction with a technology partner, MEPCA began developing a first-in-the-nation O&E reporting template. The template is vendor agnostic, and intended to capture outreach and enrollment data and facilitate required reporting, while also providing population management functionality that can help centers identify patients in need of additional education or support in learning how to use their health insurance or maximize their benefit.
- The “Who’s Counting on You to Stay Healthy?” campaign reached large audiences across the state, driven by a strong print and on-line presence and collaboration with other organizations including the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF). Campaign videos featuring staff and consumer vignettes promoted via social media received over 2,200 views (through January 2015).
About the Grantee:
Maine Primary Care Association (MEPCA) is the statewide nonprofit membership organization for Maine’s community health centers. For more than 30 years, MEPCA has provided technical assistance and training, housed relevant programs and services and advocated on behalf of Maine’s safety net and the thousands of patients it serves.