Posted By Hope Alfaro On January 10, 2017

Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment and Community Health (FQHC)

Affordable Care Act

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, the uninsured rate among non-elderly adults dropped from 20.4% in 2013 to 12.8% in 20151. The groups most targeted by the ACA include poor and low-income individuals, those groups who frequently visit Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Public Health Departments for care. This has been both a blessing and a curse for health centers who frequently treat uninsured and under-insured individuals, as well as those on Medicaid and Medicare. Seeing more patients with private insurance means more income for your health center and improves your ability to expand care for a wider population with more staff and services. It also means, however, that many patients who previously had nowhere else to go have a wider variety of options for their healthcare in highly populated areas.


As 2017 Open Enrollment winds-down, are you ready to expand your outreach so community members know all the available services at your center? Are you ensuring the best experience for your patients in your health center by making sure they feel they are getting the best care available? Is your Electronic Health Record (EHR) capable of handling many different insurance providers and helping you manage an increase in patient load? If you haven’t thought about improving the technology, efficiency, and customer service in your health center, the beginning of the year is a great time to start thinking about your options. Patients will have questions about their coverage and the nebulous future of healthcare in the US can be an opportunity to let your commitment to the community shine.


You also don’t have to go it alone. Your EHR vendor should have a robust billing system, capable of connecting to multiple insurance carriers in real time. They should also have billing and coding experts available to ensure you are getting the best return for services rendered. 2017 Open Enrollment ends on January 31st, 2017, but there are still opportunities to enroll beyond the deadline for patients who qualify. Making sure your qualified patients know their options will help you provide the best service as well as instill much needed loyalty in their primary care.


More Information on Open Enrollment


1The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation – Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

About Hope Alfaro

Hope Alfaro (Ahl-FAH-roh) is originally from Orlando, Florida but grew up in rural NC, She is addicted to knowledge and research and integrates these passions as a Marketing Executive for Patagonia Health. She created engaging content and news and keeps up to date with the latest health news to share with readers.