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Kaiser Brief Profiles Medicaid Outreach and Enrollment at Utah Community Health Centers

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has released a profile in their Getting Into Gear for 2014 series. Entitled Profiles of Medicaid Outreach and Enrollment Strategies: One-on-One Assistance through Community Health Centers in Utah, the brief examines the impact of one-on-one Medicaid enrollment assistance in eight Community Health Centers in Utah.

Noticing many of their patients, while eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, were unable to enroll on their own one health center began using their AmeriCorps workers to help these patients complete their applications. Seeing the cost-effectiveness and success of the Community Health Center in enrolling these patients, the Association for Utah Community Health sought a Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) grant to expand the program to seven more health centers and train enrollment specialists.

The integration of these enrollment specialists into the Community Health Center environment and workflow allowed for relationship building, increased enrollment, and increased use of preventative care for children. The evaluation of the program found that 74 percent of children in families who were provided assistance were successfully enrolled and 80 percent of assisted applications resulted in successful enrollment.

The evaluation also found this model was financially sustainable.  Once people were enrolled into Medicaid program the health centers were able to generate more Medicaid payments for their centers and the revenue mostly outpaced the cost of enrollment assistance.   An evaluation found that using the AmeriCorps workers was cost-effective in assisting patients with enrollment. The AmeriCorps workers are part of a grant that operates similar to NACHC’s Community HealthCorps program and has been a longtime partner of the program.

Please visit this link to read the brief and learn more about the evaluation’s findings.