July 2014 Issue
Transformation Ahead: A Conversation with Susan Sherry
With more than 30 years of experience working in health policy and consumer advocacy, Community Catalyst Deputy Director Susan Sherry possesses a very broad long-range view of the ongoing efforts to expand health access, improve quality and build community participation in health policy and health care systems. We asked her to share with us some thoughts on the challenges ahead as Community Catalyst seeks to play a major role in health system transformation.
New Initiative Aims to Stop Substance Use Disorders Before They Start
To help fight the overdose epidemic and prevent substance use disorders in the next generation, Community Catalyst recently launched a new initiative focused on youth, ages 15 to 22, promoting a public health approach called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). This three-year project will support issue campaigns in five states to expand use of SBIRT.
Community Catalyst Hosts Panel on Health System Transformation
On May 9, Community Catalyst hosted our annual breakfast panel. This year, we had a lively discussion on health system transformation led by our panelists, David Blumenthal, MD, president, The Commonwealth Fund; John O’Brien, senior advisor to Community Catalyst, former CEO of UMassMemorial Health Care, Inc., and Mosakowski Distinguished Professor, Clark University; and Michael Miller, director of Strategic Policy, Community Catalyst. Jacquie Anderson, chief operating officer, Community Catalyst, moderated the discussion.
Making Progress on Closing the Coverage Gap
Much has been said, written, blogged and tweeted about the millions who have gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act during the first open enrollment period. While those gains in coverage (and the corresponding drop in the rate of uninsured nationwide) are to be celebrated, they would have been much greater if governors and legislators in 24 states had not refused to accept federal funding to provide health care coverage to additional low-income people in their states, creating a serious coverage gap.
Midway through the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, a survey by Enroll America unearthed a key finding: lack of awareness about financial assistance available under the law was the biggest impediment to enrollment among the uninsured. These survey findings led to a major change in strategy as groups enrolling consumers shifted their emphasis to promoting financial assistance in their outreach, education and communications efforts.