Friday, January 20, 2017

The Past, Present, and Future

By Beth Sullivan, CIN, CAC, SHIP Counselor

I have been reflecting on my past 5 years as a Patient Eligibility Navigator.  In the first several years, we spent a lot of time getting the word out to the public that we were open for business.  Our role was to help increase public awareness of Federally Qualified Health Centers and, specifically, Windrose Health Network.  As we welcomed new patients to the clinics, we took the opportunity to explain what the role health centers play in the healthcare world.  We talked with pride about the services offered at a health center.

In October of 2013, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), prompted the opening of the Health Insurance Martketplace and the start of tax subsidies to help offset the cost of the premiums. This was a time of great hope! People that had been without health insurance saw an opportunity to get insurance and to make their health a priority. 

I personally worked with one young man in his early thirties who had been denied health insurance his whole life because he had leukemia as a 3 year old.  His denial was based on his “pre-existing condition”.  He was so excited because his employer, a small business, did not offer a benefits package.

For every success story, there were more stories that were not successful.  The family of five who came in for help.  Their kids had Hoosier Healthwise and they thought they could finally have health insurance for the parents.  Unfortunately, they did not make enough money for the Marketplace.  There was no help for this family and the hope turned to despair again.

The job of Navigator was depressing.  People wanted to share their stories and they wanted someone to, not only listen, but to help them problem solve.  It was tough to tell people that the Affordable Care Act did not include them.

When HIP 2.0 was approved, the job took another turn.  Now we could help people get health insurance that they could afford.  Clients left our offices smiling and some in tears of joy!  We heard stories of people who had made choices to feed their families instead of using their hard earned dollars for healthcare.  Now they could feed their families and improve their health. 

We saw the patient numbers increase as people began to use their new insurance and to get the care they had put off for so long.  The job of Navigator was awesome!  People stated telling their neighbors and friends about HIP and about Windrose Health Network.  Our patients began to see the benefits of seeing their providers for preventative checkups and patient compliance improved.  
Patients could keep their follow-up appointments without having to save up for them.

Now, as we look to the future we don’t want to move backward.  We do not want to go back to the dark days of despair.  The Medicaid Expansion helped 400,000 Hoosiers get healthcare.  Many of these people need help because of circumstances beyond their control. We all need a leg up at certain times in our lives.

Please let your Congressmen and women, as well as your Senators know that the health of ALL Hoosiers is important to you as a voter Let them know that we are headed in the right direction and want to keep this progress moving forward. 




Indiana's U.S. Senators & House Reps



Senator Joe Donnelly (D)                                                                                   Senator Todd Young (R)
720 Hart Senate Office Building                                                                        B33 Russell Senate Office 
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                                                    Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-4814                                                                                                   (202) 224-5623

District 1:                                                                                                             District 2:
Rep. Peter Visclosky (D)                                                                                     Rep. Jackie Walorski  (R)
2328 Rayburn House Office Building                                                                 419 Cannon House Office Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                     Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2461                                                                                                    (202) 225-3915

District 3:                                                                                                              District 4:
Rep. Jim Banks  (R)                                                                                             Rep. Todd Rokita (R)
509 Cannon House Office Building                                                                     2439 Rayburn House Office 
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                      Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4436                                                                                                     (202) 225-5037

District 5:                                                                                                              District 6:
Rep. Susan Brooks (R)                                                                                         Rep. Luke Messer (R)
1030 Longworth House Office Bldg                                                                   1230 Longworth House Office 
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                      Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2276                                                                                                     (202) 225-3021

District 7:                                                                                                              District 8:
Rep. Andre Carson (D)                                                                                         Rep. Larry Bucshon (R)
2135 Rayburn House Office Building                                                                  1005 Longworth House Office 
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                       Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4011                                                                                                      (202) 225-4636

District 9:
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R)
1641 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5315

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Call To Action!

By Scott Rollett, MBA, CMPE

Shortly after the elections in November, I wrote a piece called “Steady As She Goes”.  In that piece, I suggested that Americans should take a “wait and see” approach to the President-Elect and the 115th Congress as far as their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  I also said that those of us who are advocates of the poor, the working poor, and the medically-underserved would stand ready to fight for them.  Two months later, I am sad to say that the time has come to pick up your pens and telephones and start writing letters & emails and making telephone calls. 

While is it is still unclear exactly what final direction the Republicans will take (Repeal & Replace vs. Repeal & Delay), it is clear that they intend to quickly pass legislation that will damage the ACA and risk coverage for over 30 Million people who have received health coverage through either Medicaid Expansion or an ACA Marketplace plan. 

President-elect Trump has stated that his preference is “Repeal & Replace” and is promising new legislation to be enacted “…most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably, the same day, could be the same hour.”  On Sunday, January 15, Senator Rand Paul revealed the highlights of his plan that he believes has the endorsement of President-elect Trump.  While Senator Paul’s plan does contain some interesting ideas that could work, he also made it crystal clear that Medicaid Expansion will not be part of any G.O.P. replacement plan to be funded by the Federal Government. 

This plan is very shortsighted and risks leaving nearly 9 million people (7 million already covered & 1.5 million waiting to be approved) uninsured.  Further, the economic damage that repealing Medicaid Expansion would do to Health Centers, Critical Access Hospitals, and other agencies that serve the poor and uninsured would be significant.

Friends, time is short.  Congress already voted on some preliminary repeal measures late last week and important votes are expected to happen by the end of this week.  If you are so inclined, please pick up the phone and call your Senators and House Reps and tell them:

      1. Please do not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a solid, effective plan in
          place to replace it; and
2           2. Whatever replacement plan is enacted, please make sure it safeguards Medicaid Expansion


For your convenience, Indiana’s U.S. Senators and House Reps are listed below with their addresses & telephone numbers.  Let’s let Washington know that we will not let partisan politics take away life-saving health coverage from American citizens who need it the most.  Good luck! 



Indiana's U.S. Senators & House Reps




Senator Joe Donnelly (D)                                                                                    Senator Todd Young (R)
720 Hart Senate Office Building                                                                        B33 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                                                      Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-4814                                                                                                      (202) 224-5623

District 1:                                                                                                               District 2:
Rep. Peter Visclosky (D)                                                                                      Rep. Jackie Walorski  (R)
2328 Rayburn House Office Building                                                                419 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                     Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2461                                                                                                     (202) 225-3915

District 3:                                                                                                                District 4:
Rep. Jim Banks  (R)                                                                                                Rep. Todd Rokita (R)
509 Cannon House Office Building                                                                     2439 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                       Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4436                                                                                                       (202) 225-5037

District 5:                                                                                                                 District 6:
Rep. Susan Brooks (R)                                                                                           Rep. Luke Messer (R)
1030 Longworth House Office Building                                                             1230 Longworth House Office Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                       Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2276                                                                                                       (202) 225-3021

District 7:                                                                                                                  District 8:
Rep. Andre Carson (D)                                                                                            Rep. Larry Bucshon (R)
2135 Rayburn House Office Building                                                                   1005 Longworth House Office Bldg
Washington, D.C. 20515                                                                                        Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4011                                                                                                        (202) 225-4636

District 9:
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R)
1641 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

(202) 225-5315