Morris Heights Health Center






Project Name:  “Health Matters: Health Insurance Outreach & Enrollment @ MHHC”

Project Overview: 

The Health Matters project was targeted at engaging and enrolling uninsured individuals in Bronx County, a diverse group of over 275,000 individuals. First, the project aimed to facilitate an increase in enrollment engagement. Second, the center sought to increase professional and paraprofessional competency and knowledge of the New York marketplace, called New York State of Health (NYSH), in order to efficiently enroll vulnerable populations in health insurance. Finally, Health Matters sought to enhance outreach efforts via the use of non-conventional tools in locally areas that are devoid of health services or access to health insurance enrollment.

The “Health Matters” project goals were:

Goal 1: Increase Enrollment of Special Populations Enrollment Rates in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan, including low-income young adults, community college students, and the especially vulnerable homeless, those who are served by shelters food banks and meal programs.  

Goal 2: Increase Staff Competency by training health center staff and partner organization staff on coverage options and processes, through modules delivered by NYSH experts and certified application counselor (CAC) outreach staff. 

Goal 3: Increase the Use of Enhanced Outreach Tools using tablets, mobile vans, enrollment kiosks and other approaches to expand access to health insurance coverage and move outreach and enrollment into the community as well as areas where there are a high number of at-risk populations.

Key Grant Activities:

“Health Matters: Health Insurance Outreach & Enrollment @ MHHC” project activities included:

  • Strategy 1: Development and implementation of a training module for healthcare professionals and paraprofessionals that explained the Affordable Care Act and health insurance enrollment options and procedures, with a focus on vulnerable and special populations. Staff development training adapted the NYS Health Benefit Exchange training module, and emphasized both coverage options and the enrollment process.
  • Strategy 2: Utilization of non-traditional outreach and enrollment tools to engage eligible residents to apply for health insurance and enhance outreach efforts to improve access.

Outreach and enrollment services were provided at each of the center’s seven locations, as well as at Lehman College, the New York Food Bank and the center’s school-based sites. Through the use of the mobile van, related services were also provided at remote locations.

Enrollment kiosks were placed at three high-volume MHHC sites with the objective of offering seamless coordination between Medicaid, CHIP, and the New York State Health Benefit Exchange, as well as between private plans and between the Exchange and small businesses. Staff used electronic tablets both to facilitate real-time enrollment coverage and for presentations and client education.

Project Outcomes:

  • Through extensive outreach, MHHC was able to expand engagement within the Bronx and Northern Manhattan to reach more than 17,000 individuals, an increase of over 30% from the prior year. Outreach focused on traditionally hard to reach and special populations, including low-income young adults, community college students, and individuals, families, and children served by shelters and foodbanks.
  • Beyond the large numbers of vulnerable children and adults that were enrolled in coverage – a total of 8,276 – the Health Matters project enabled MHHC to register nearly 1,800 new patients for care.
  • Through the use of both electronic tools (kiosks, tablets) and enhanced services via the mobile clinic MHHC successfully implemented 82 community outreach events. In addition, the tools enabled staff to support immediate access to health insurance education and facilitated enhanced outreach and enrollment contact across the service area.
  • Through the development and implementation of the training program, MHHC trained 147 clinical and non-clinical staff and staff of partner organizations.

About the Grantee:

Since 1981, Morris Heights Health Center (MHHC) has provided quality primary healthcare services to all members of the community, including the medically, socially and economically disadvantaged — from medical and dental services to counseling. Morris Heights Health Center is recognized as a Level III Patient Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and is accredited by the Joint Commission. MHHC now serves more than 48,000 patients annually and provides a wide range of primary, specialty, dental, mental health, educational and social services at five convenient locations. In addition, Morris Heights Health Center maintains school-based health facilities in eight New York City Public Schools that provide health care for the students.