Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | July 3, 2013

July 1, 2013 Host Amy Jester Speaks with Humboldt County Public Health Director Susan Buckley and Legislative Analyst Nancy Starck about the Affordable Care Act as a Major Shift in National Public Health Policy

got public healthSusan Buckley and Nancy Starck have been hard at work for the last several years, staying informed, advocating, planning for and implementing programs and strategies related to the Affordable Care Act, one of the largest changes in public health policy in our lifetime.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) has big implications for the health of the public across the U.S. Individuals are required to have health insurance, California residents with Medi-Cal or insurance under Covered California (the new state health insurance marketplace) will be required to select a medical home (ie – establish a relationship with a regular doctor), and those medical homes are going to be incentivized to show that their patients are healthier (healthier patients and fewer repeat visits with troubles for a particular condition = higher reimbursement rates). The feds have also released funding to support local innovative programs. This includes the Community Care Transitions Program, which supports local initiatives that improve care transitions from the hospital to other settings and reducing readmissions for high-risk Medicare beneficiaries. Additionally, public health departments are working on large scale initiatives that address the social determinants of health – how where you live, your income level, and opportunities impact the health of entire subsets (neighborhoods) of populations. Check out the interview to hear Susan Buckley speak to how Humboldt County has been moving forward with these exciting initiatives.

public health imageHumboldt County DHHS has been furiously developing a robust and comprehensive system to support expanded Medi-Cal, which will now be available to people at 138% of the Federal Poverty Level and will cover all children/youth that had previously been enrolled in the Healthy Families program. This means that thousands of additional people will be applying for and enrolling in Medi-Cal…and the County is responsible for reviewing and processing all of those additional applications. Susan and Nancy comment on the development of this new system that will support the majority of Humboldt County residents and what the County is doing to ensure that insurance applications are processed in a timely manner, with great attention to strong customer service so that our community members can have coverage and the clinics can actually be reimbursed for their services (instead of just taking a major loss because someone isn’t able to afford to pay for their care).

public health wordlThe Affordable Care Act [hopefully] means big changes for population health in our communities. Check out the show to learn more!!!










To listen to Amy Jester’s conversation with Susan Buckley and Nancy Starck click the following link     7-1-2013 Amy Susan Buckley and Nancy Starck ACA


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