246638 Health reform and persons with disabilities: Ensuring the "Bridge to Reform" is not a "Bridge to Nowhere"

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:30 PM

Heather A. McCabe, JD, MSW , Indiana University School of Social Work, Indianapolis, IN
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides much hope that persons with disabilities and chronic health needs will be able to access health coverage in a more meaningful way. In recent months, however, California has created a “Bridge to Reform” waiver plan which will require those with disabilities and those who are elderly on California's public coverage systems to enroll in a mandatory managed care plan. This presentation will examine the California program and analyze what protections have been enacted (or may be needed) in order to ensure that the cost savings envisioned from the coordination of care in the managed care program will not cause vulnerable populations to shoulder the burden at the expense of their potentially complex health needs. If only certain classes of the population are required to enroll, the program must ensure that the involved providers can meet access and treatment needs. In addition, community based provision of service rather than facility based will also be a concern. Care should be taken to ensure that the mandatory program is a part of the solution, rather than exacerbating the problem of health disparities. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for avenues of policy advocacy for identified needs.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Analyze waiver programs for unintended consequences for persons with disabilities Identify policy solutions to minimize these unintended consequences

Keywords: Health Reform, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach and research in the areas of health policy, health reform, and disability.
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.