242353 Responses to the data challenges of the Affordable Care Act: Surveys of providers to assess access to care for people with disabilities and the presence of accessible exam equipment

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:30 AM

Nancy R. Mudrick, MSW, PhD , School of Social Work, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Mary Lou Breslin, MA , Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Berkeley, CA
June Isaacson Kailes, MSW , Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy, Western University of Health Sciences, Playa del Rey, CA
Recognizing that barriers to care for people with disabilities include lack of facility and equipment access, Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act, requires that Information be collected on locations where individuals with disabilities access primary care, the number of providers whose facilities and medical diagnostic equipment are accessible, and the number of provider employees who have been trained in disability awareness. Moreover, Section 4203 of the ACA requires development of accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment while the US Justice Department plans to issue regulations governing the availability of such equipment in healthcare settings. Against this new policy backdrop, and recognizing that access data are not currently collected on a national scale, this paper reviews data currently available, drawing strongly on the California experience where, starting in June 2011, all Medicaid health plans will be required to audit primary and specialty care providers to obtain information on facility and equipment access. Five California health plans have conducted such audits for 2,389 provider facilities since 2006, and their data show that only 8.4% of providers have height adjustable exam tables, 3.6% have accessible scales, and restroom access is problematic. The findings from these audits and other sources are presented, along with an evaluation of the process issues involved in data collection. Drawing from the current efforts, we summarize the challenges for fully meeting the data collection mandates of the ACA, link the accessible equipment standards mandate and regulatory process to the data requirements, and identify potential policy and methodological strategies.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the data required to address the ACA data collection mandates for health care access for people with disabilities 2. Describe the existing data collection efforts, findings, and methods used to assess provider access, accessible medical equipment availability, and provider training in disability awareness 3. Describe the policy and methodological challenges to implementing the ACA requirements for data collection on health care access for people with disabilities

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a policy researcher and have analyzed some of the data that will be presented. I have studied these issues for the past five years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.