Archive for the ‘Affordable Care Act’ Category
In March of 2010, federal legislation known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, but it wasn’t until June of 2013 that public libraries fell into the spotlight and became the go-to community place for information related to health care reform. During the 2013 American Library Association annual conference, President Obama issued a call to librarians to assist the community and the nation at large with ACA-related health insurance questions. The only problem was that there was no playbook, no reference text with ready answers. What ensued was a time of mass confusion, misinformation in the media, and bumpy roll-outs of the federal and state health care exchanges. Librarians and staff stepped up to the challenge, learning and doing as they went along. Libraries opened their doors to the public, partnered with community organizations, hosted enrollment events, and assisted as best they could with the information they had at the time.
Luckily, librarians now have a resource with much-needed information at their fingertips in the new book, The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act, published by Rowman & Littlefield in October, 2015. The Affordable Care Act has stood up to legal challenges and attempts to overturn it, and information is still needed as new provisions to the law take effect. Thus, ACA-related library services remain in high demand. The book is a practical guide for reference librarians and front-line staff who continue to receive questions about the ACA.
The book was edited by Emily Vardell, teaching fellow at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapter authors were chosen for their experience and expertise with the topics, and all together the authors have woven together a guidebook that will be very useful for anyone tasked with responding to health insurance and ACA reference questions. I co-authored two chapters of the book, “The Health Insurance Reference Question: A Step-by-Step Approach,” and “Recommended ACA Resources for Patients and the General Public.”
The ACA is a complicated law with many facets. Librarians may be faced with questions about the law itself, tax implications, or health insurance options. Questions may come from individuals and small business owners, health practitioners, or those who are interested for other reasons. With all this in mind, the book sets the stage with an overview of the ACA, and then segues into topics related to the role of the librarian, health insurance literacy, and the reference interview. Current and best practices are covered in detail, and the book concludes with chapters covering recommended resources for consumers and practitioners.
In summary, this Guide simplifies the complex topic of the ACA into manageable pieces. It provides the necessary information for readers to provide relevant services, improve their own health insurance literacy, and acquire skills for helping library users find and utilize quality health insurance information.
The annual Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) Health Literacy Conference in Irvine always provides a great opportunity to hear from experts in the field about health literacy topics and solutions, but this year was even better than usual. The Affordable Care Act brought about unprecedented challenges for individuals and providers alike. Health insurance is a complicated, multifaceted topic; a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that many average Americans have difficulty understanding common insurance terms such as premium and deductible. (more…)
NN/LM PSR Consumer Health & Technology Coordinator Kelli Ham is the recipient of the 2015 UCLA Librarian of the Year Award presented by LAUC-LA, the UCLA division of the Librarians of the University of California. This award is given in recognition of excellence in librarianship over the last twelve to eighteen months, particularly as such excellence in achievement furthers the teaching and research mission of UCLA, and meets the intellectual, informational, and cultural needs of the university community.
The award was conferred during the LAUC-LA Spring Membership meeting on March 30, in recognition of Kelli’s exemplary outreach and educational work concerning the Affordable Care Act. Her efforts made relevant information available to a wide variety of audiences. Her award certificate notes that she is being honored “in recognition of her exceptional leadership, dedication, and creativity in working to prepare both library staff members of the Pacific Southwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) and the UCLA community for the implementation and ongoing operation of the Affordable Care Act, and her tireless fulfillment of her mission to facilitate access to critical health information for health professionals and the communities they serve.”
To view the success of Kelli’s endeavors, visit the beautifully designed NN/LM PSR LibGuide, Libraries and the Affordable Care Act, or watch the recorded webinar presentation, Get covered at the Library: Affordable Care Act Resources for Libraries. Kelli was also the principal author and editor of the highly-used and respected resource Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff, 2nd edition, published in 2013. Recently, Kelli was invited to contribute as a co-author for two chapters of the Medical Library Association monograph The Affordable Care Act: A Librarian’s Practical Guide, due for publication later this year.
Kudos to Kelli!
We recently received a copy of the new book by Francisca Goldsmith titled Libraries and the Affordable Care Act: Helping the Community Understand Health-Care Options. Just published by ALA Editions, and available for purchase through the ALA Store, the book is a concise handbook that helps library staff make sense of the complicated new reality of health care reform. The book consists of about 100 pages, organized into nine chapters and three appendices. Each chapter includes a short “Questions and Tasks” section, which provides a short list of questions or statements intended to point out things the library can do or should consider doing to provide better services to users. (more…)
by Sunny Sritongsook, MLIS, AHIP
Scripps Mercy Hospital
San Diego, CA
I received a professional development award from NN/LM PSR to support my travel to Denver, CO, to attend the QuintEssential: Convergence & Collaboration Conference of five MLA chapters October 13-16, 2014. Aside from reuniting with some colleagues I hadn’t seen in years, the main reason that I wanted to attend this conference was to take the MLA CE course, Innovation and Lean Process Improvement Demystified, taught by health science librarians Jean Shipman and Erica Lake, and Dr. John Langell, all from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. (more…)
By Yamila El-Khayat, Outreach Services Librarian
Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
This year, on August 7-8, Arizona hosted its 41st annual Rural Health Conference and 9th Annual Performance Improvement Summit. The focus of this conference was access to healthcare and support for rural areas with attempts to build partnerships to strengthen projects and programs all across the state, along with other topics of interest such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Participants included Critical Access Hospital CEOs, CFOs, CNOs, Quality Managers, and IT personnel.
The conference was hosted by the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, attracting 146 registrants. It was held in Litchfield Park, a suburb of the Phoenix area, making it a central location for attendees. The conference consisted of both sessions and informational exhibits. The keynote speaker was Mr. David Saÿen from the Regional Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in San Francisco, who noted the ACA benefits and what it meant for Arizona.
The event also included exhibitors, one of which was the Arizona Health Sciences Library, offering information about both MedlinePlus and PubMed. This opportunity to talk to administrators of rural area hospitals and clinics was unique, and it offered a chance to provide them with information about the possibility of providing training at their institution for both consumer health communities and providers wanting to learn more about navigating resources from the National Library of Medicine.
By Yamila El-Khayat, Outreach Services Librarian and
Jeanette L. Ryan, Deputy Director
Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
Our outreach goals for Arizona are to provide programs to a variety of audiences and to respond to needs in a timely manner, and to improve health literacy and access to accurate health information statewide. We aim to facilitate access to high quality, current, and reliable health information through training, consultation, and collaboration. Specifically we specialize in presenting training and workshops around the state that assist librarians, health professionals, K-12 students, and members of the public become more effective users of the Internet and electronic resources. We had several highlights this year. (more…)
by Darlene Parker-Kelly, Library Director
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Health Sciences Library
Los Angeles, CA
Since 2010, the Charles R. Drew University (CDU) Health Sciences Library has been involved in NN/LM PSR Health Information Literary Outreach activities. The outreach project outlined below took place at Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles and we welcomed partnership from many neighboring churches, including Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, and Southern Missionary Baptist Church. The churches are all located in South Los Angeles and many of the churches have begun health initiatives to help parishioners understand health conditions that plague African American communities. (more…)
The Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (IHA) 13th Annual Health Literacy Conference was held May 7-9 in Irvine, CA. The conference attracts people from all over the country, including health educators, clinicians, public health workers, health insurance and systems personnel, librarians, and many others who have a need to understand best practices for improving health literacy among the population. The conference theme was ‘Health Literacy and the Affordable Care Act,’ an especially important and timely topic this year after the implementation of the new healthcare reform law. (more…)
by Naomi C. Broering, MLIS, MA, FMLA
Dean of Libraries
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
San Diego, CA
The title, Big Bang Health Information Literacy: Outreach to Diverse Populations for Future Success, stems from the cosmological model that the universe began at a single point and is expanding. As we contemplated the evolutionary process of health information literacy, an obvious observation is that the role of the medical library is continually expanding, evolving, and has become increasingly more universally diverse. It is actually fun to contemplate how what we know and do today will grow and change as new resources, technologies, and communities evolve. Even knowledge and demand for information grows and expands! However, high tech and advanced medical research achievements are not yet universally accessible to minority communities and special populations, especially in the remote neighborhoods within San Diego County. The need to know how to access free health information and stay healthy has become more critical, as the economic downturn, increased health care costs, diminished income, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impact the health and well-being of nearly everyone. (more…)