Online Program

Perceived Impact of the Affordable Care Act in Rural Florida Communities

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Felix Lorenzo, MPH, CPH, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
William Parker Hinson, MPH, CPH, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Jessica King, MS, CHES, Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Jennifer Nguyen, MPH, CPH, PHD, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, University of Florida, Orlando, FL
Mark Hart, Ed.D., College of Public Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010, has comprehensively altered health care policy across the United States. As of 2014, the ACA transformed non-group insurance markets, required all residents to have health insurance, reorganized spending in Medicaid and Medicare, and expanded public insurance coverage while subsidizing private insurance. This study explored the perceived changes brought upon by the implementation of ACA provisions in rural counties in North Florida; a mostly underserved medical area – a growing emphasis of the ACA.

Methods: As part of an ongoing study, key informant interviews and community focus groups conducted through the Rural South Public Health Training Center will be analyzed in order to identify the perceived impact in health care access and services within multiple Florida counties. Grounded theory will inform the interplay between the health care reform changes and the perceived changes that will engender themes through open coding.

Results: The data collected thus far suggests that many of the ACA changes have been unrecognized. Discrepancies in knowledge and information regarding the effects of the ACA were identified by individuals within the counties. Additionally, there are both positive and negative perceptions with regards to implementation of these provisions.  

Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate a potential need among both community members and health care professionals for more training and education with regards to the ACA. Reducing possible incongruities among community members and health professionals has the potential to alter community perceptions.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify perceived needs among health care professionals. List community concerns over the Affordable Care Act.

Keyword(s): Affordable Care Act, Rural Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research assistant for the Rural South Public Health Training Center with considerable qualitative training and experience. I also have employment and educational training in health policy, and have been on various projects involving rural populations.
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.