OCHC is a non-partisan voice uniting diverse consumer interests. We may not be a household name, but we’re well known around the Statehouse. Ask the Kasich administration’s health team. Ask the Statehouse press corps. Ask the lawmakers (and their aides) working on health related issues.
When lawmakers hoped the Affordable Care Act would go away, OCHC kept up the drumbeat for a consumer-friendly insurance Exchange or “marketplace.”
When the Ohio Department of Insurance issued a report claiming to prove that the ACA’s Health Insurance Exchange would drive up health care costs, OCHC issued a detailed analysis that disproved their claims and pointed out that the tax subsidies would make insurance far more affordable to uninsured, working Ohioans.
In the days leading up to the US Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, OCHC used the suspense to educate the public about the benefits of the law to diverse consumers.
OCHC expanded its consumer voice to include African American, Latino and Asian and Pacific Islander communities, where individuals and small businesses will benefit from new affordable coverage options.
Every member of Ohio’s General Assembly received a total of 14 OCHC “Lawmaker Letters” on health care reform issues critical to Ohioans in the last year.
Almost 340,000 Ohio children have never been to the dentist. Not surprisingly, 45% of adults in Ohio have had one or more permanent teeth removed due to tooth decay or gum disease. Nearly 37% of Ohio’s poorest seniors have had all their teeth removed. To address Ohio’s deplorable oral health situation, UHCAN Ohio has built a statewide advocacy coalition led by consumer organizations and mobilized consumers. We are exposing the need for new workforce approaches in dental care. To serve Ohio’s 73 dental shortage areas, we are proposing to increase the places where dental hygienists can work and to add new mid-level providers to the dental team.
On our “Shine a Light on Dental Access” listening tour, we heard from Ohioans suffering from the lack of dental access. We made stops in Cleveland, Kent, Fayette , Marietta, Cincinnati, and Columbus collecting nearly 50 stories from both rural and urban Ohioans.
Our outreach has increased the public understanding of the link between overall health and oral health and made it part of the overall health care discussion.
UHCAN Ohio has long believed that health care reform can and must reduce racial and ethnic health disparities and that the consumer voice in health care decision-making must include communities of color. The reality, however, is that communities of color are too often excluded or ignored, even in consumer advocacy. We created our health equity initiative to ensure that health reform implementation becomes a vehicle for reducing disparities and that communities of color have a powerful voice. In the last year,
Over half of our presentations on the ACA were in African American and Latino communities.
We presented at town hall meetings and conferences, on urban radio and television.
We engaged community organizations and leaders in preparing to be navigators and otherwise assisting their communities in enrolling in the new health care marketplace.
Members of our Health Equity Committee testified on navigator legislation, leading to language inserted on serving diverse racial and ethnic communities.
Ohioans who are dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid often suffer from fragmented care from two systems working at odds with each other, leading to hospitalizations and nursing home confinements, or survival without personal services needed to live independently and with dignity. We can do better. That’s why UHCAN Ohio has joined hands with advocates for seniors and people with disabilities to ensure a robust consumer voice in Ohio’s new managed care demonstration which will enroll 115,000 dually eligible Ohioans in managed care plans in seven regions. Already, we’ve given specific recommendations to state and federal regulators (some of which have been adopted) and have started conversations with the managed care plans and providers on how to engage consumers and advocates to improve care -- and avoid the considerable risks to enrollees. If we can fix health care for frail older adults and people with disabilities, we can fix it for everyone. Most consumers don’t know how to navigate our fragmented and complex health care system or how the Affordable Care Act can help them now or in the future. We are providing one-on-one information, assistance, and referrals to consumers to help them get the care they need at a price they can afford. In addition to answering questions, we encourage callers to find a regular source of preventive and primary care - and provide referrals to help them. Our helpline also helps us know what’s working and what problems exist, as provisions of the ACA go into effect. We assisted 564 callers, 77% of whom were uninsured. Of those, we helped:
160 Ohioans find low cost primary care
119 Ohioans to apply for Medicaid
178 health care resource guides sent to consumers with information about prescription assistance, the ACA, low cost primary care, hospital billing information, and other health care
$496,936 saved by consumers in prescription drug costs and other health costs
Visit bit.ly/helplinestories to see how we’ve helped Ohioans through our helpline.
ACA Implementation Fund Atlantic Philanthropies CareSource Foundation Families USA George Gund Foundation Nathan Cummings Foundation FY 2011-2012
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation St. Luke’s Foundation The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati The Mt. Sinai Healthcare Foundation W. K. Kellogg Foundation
Executive Director’s Corner
Board of Directors
2012 was another historic year for consumer advocates. We overcame the two hurdles to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): First, the US Supreme Court upheld the law; then, the November elections assured that the ACA would continue as the law of the land.
South Central Ohio Minority
Last year, UHCAN Ohio, Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage, and our many partners crossed the state informing Ohioans about what the health care reform law really does, rebutting myths with solid information. We touched thousands of Ohioans, many of whom thanked us for giving us unvarnished, reliable information. We issued reports, held news conferences, produced radio spots, blogged, tweeted, posted on Facebook – to spread the facts about the health care law.
Health Equity Director
Kathleen Gmeiner, OCHC Director Nita Carter,
David Maywhoor, DAN Director
Supplier Development Council Kenneth B. Frisof Family Practice MetroHealth Eugene King, JD Ohio Poverty Law Center Karen Krause, RN, MPH
Retired Lucas County Health
SW-OH Advocacy Coordinator
Katherine Kuck, MA
NE-OH Advocacy Coordinator
Health Care Advocate
At the same time, we continued to work on many fronts to implement health care reform and to ensure that consumers have a robust voice in decisionmaking. Some of our accomplishments are highlighted inside.
Statewide Advocacy Coordinator
Central Community House
Kathleen C. McGarvey, JD
The Legal Aid Society of
The quality of our work shows up in the recognition of our staff… Kathleen was appointed as a funded Consumer Advocate to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the national body that develops recommended rules and regulations concerning the Health Exchange, insurance rate regulation, and other weedy but critical matters. If you know Kathleen, you know she is looking out for consumers.
Alyssa Chenault, Communications Manager Rebecca Dillow, Administrative Assistant Olabisi Eddy, DAN Outreach Coordinator, Vista Henry Moller
I was elected to the Ohio Patient-Centered Health Care Helpline, Vista Primary Care Collaborative, the steering committee for the state’s efforts to provide every Ohioan with team-based, patient-centered care, and appointed to the Governor’s Council on Payment Reform Innovation
And in our impacts…
Columbus Ariel Miller Episcopal Community Services Foundation Col Owens, JD Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio Lorin Ranbom Office of Health Sciences - Ohio State University Johnathon Ross, MD, MPH St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Brian Rothenberg Progress Ohio
Nita has deftly organized a leadership group committed to ending health disparities in Ohio and assuring that the Affordable Care Act will be implemented in an inclusive and accessible manner.
Pierrette Talley Ohio AFLCIO
Under the direction of David, we have expanded the base of support for our campaign and developed of a multi-tiered, cost-effective proposal to put quality dental care in every Ohio county.
Thanks to our partners, supporters, and funders for making our work possible. Regards,
Visit bit.ly/TYdonors to see a list of our donors. 370 South 5th Street Suite G3. Columbus, Ohio 43215 P: 614-456-0060 F: 614-456-0059 email@example.com
Our Work in Review: July 1, 2011-December 31, 2012. Executive Director: Cathy J. Levine.