PICO took up the fight for national health reform because of the profound health care disparities that exist in the communities we organize. Many families don’t have access to a doctor, are worried about the cost of care, and are suffering from health conditions that lower their quality of life and even cause early death.
We believe that everyone should be able to see a doctor when they need, at a cost they can afford.
Health reform is an opportunity to work together and use the resources of the law to create health equity and make life better for our families, friends and communities. And we’re starting now.
BRING HEALTH REFORM HOME
The new law brings historic changes to our nation’s health care system in 3 major categories:
(1) The law provides near universal coverage through Medicaid expansion and Exchange subsidies
(2) The law regulates insurance companies to protect families from rising premiums and denial of coverage
(3) The law improves community health and the quality of care by incentivizing healthcare providers to focus on preventative care and coordination.
Together, these changes increase families’ access to and quality of care, improve health outcomes and begin to control rising costs.
WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN
Bring Health Reform Home is a multi-faceted campaign in Camden, Trenton, Newark, Allentown, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Kansas City, Denver, Sacramento and San Diego to use the benefits and resources of the law to transform local healthcare systems and create equity for underserved communities. Clergy and community are taking the lead to educate families about the benefits of the law, and to organize engagement in local, state and federal efforts both to influence implementation and to protect the law from political threat.
FOCUS 1: LOCAL
Creating a new standard of good care in communities
Many PICO families live in neighborhood health “hotspots,” where families depend on Medicare and Medicaid, have limited access to primary care, suffer from chronic conditions, and often use emergency rooms as the only source of care. PICO federations are applying the model pioneered by PICO Camden Churches Organized for People and Dr. Jeff Brenner from the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers to shift Medicaid dollars from high-cost Emergency Room spending to lower-cost primary and preventive care for the families that need it most.
Community driven healthcare transformation centers on 4 main principles:
(1) Regional collaboration between providers and community
(2) Data sharing on patient needs, diagnoses and hospital visits
(3) Changing clinical practice to include home visits and other high-touch levels of care
(4) Payment reform to reward primary care and care management
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, funded with $10 billion under the new health care law, is prioritizing demonstration projects across the country to incentivize healthcare providers to collectively care for a set of high need patients, under the premise that good care will not only produce better outcomes for communities but will lower healthcare costs. PICO’s Bring Health Reform Home campaign aims to engage impacted communities in partnering with providers to create patient-centered medical homes and define community health priorities, in order to make local healthcare systems truly accountable to the families they serve.
FOCUS 2: PROTECTING THE LAW
Medicaid Matters Across Generations
Congressional plans to balance the budget with massive Medicaid cuts or privatized Medicare are a huge threat to families already enrolled in these programs or counting on the 2014 expansion. PICO is working in three ways to protect families:
- Mobilize families to urge Members of Congress to focus on job creation and new revenue from corporations and billionaires who are not paying their fair share
- Engage federal and state legislators in strengthening Medicare and Medicaid by investing in primary care and care management to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations
- Press the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to invest in community-driven strategies for primary and preventative safety-net care for better health outcomes while lowering costs.