Policy Agenda

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Alameda Health Consortium Policy Platform, 2021

Click image to view our 2021 Policy Platform

Community health centers provide affordable and high-quality care for vulnerable communities and now, they are on the frontlines responding to COVID-19. More than ever, we must support and advance policies that sustain the comprehensive and responsive care health centers provide for all in Alameda County, regardless of ability to pay, insurance coverage, or immigration status.

We Advocate For:

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  • Access to affordable primary care, behavioral health care and dental care for all low-income communities in Alameda County and neighboring counties
  • Access to affordable specialty care services, particularly for the uninsured
  • Increased integration and coordination of services (medical, dental, behavioral) to ensure quality of care
  • Policies and initiatives that promote health equity and work to eliminate health disparities, particularity among our racial and ethnic minority communities
  • Simplified and streamlined Medi-Cal and other health coverage enrollment systems
  • Supporting the operational and financial viability of community health centers
  • Expanding access to quality care for low-income communities during the transition to the Affordable Care Act in 2014 and beyond, regardless of socio-economic and immigration status

Advocacy Activities 2020 & 2021

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  • Mask On To Move On Campaign: In the summer and fall of 2020 a campaign with warm images of diverse ages and races/ethnicities wearing masks in six languages to promote mask-wearing was initiated in collaboration with HCSA, the City of Berkeley, and faith- and community-based organizations. We distributed 30,000 re-usable cloth face coverings to patients, families and community members at health centers, community testing sites, high traffic areas, and community COVID events. We produced 3,000 posters in six languages distributed to health centers and high traffic areas of targeted communities. AHC produced 50,000 postcards to promote wearing masks, often paired with one side on masks and the other side on census and voter registration, that were placed at testing events and in food bank packages. Finally, We produced 10,000 rack cards with instructions on wearing masks in English and Spanish. We are working on a campaign with our health centers and with CPCA through the Immigration Peer Network Group to encourage vaccination acceptance through social media posts, and FAQs and other informational updates.
  • COVID Response & Information Dissemination: By working with our health centers and other stakeholders created shared drives and webpage to help disseminate COVID-related materials, resources and links. Currently working with health centers to help rollout vaccination information to help combat misinformation and address hesitancy our patient populations were expressing.
  • Voter Registration 2020: Through virtual methods, we organized meetings with our stakeholders and partners to help disseminate information through our webpage, printed and digital collateral as well as an informational YouTube video that was shared with all of our health centers.
  • As part of the Census 2020 Alameda County Complete Count Committee regional stakeholder groups, we work collaboratively to maximize participation in Census 2020. This committee utilizes local knowledge, coordinate connections and convey timely messages to our networks, service populations and hard-to-count communities.
  • Public Charge: Help organize and implement pre-comment period Town Hall on Public Charge with Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan as well as a post-comment period Roundtable on Public Charge with Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17). Participated in a multi-organizational rally, all of these activities were to inform our service partners, community members and underserved populations about the economic, health and emotional toll of the proposed rule change to Public Charge as well as to mobilize and take action. As of March 9, 2021, Public Charge has been blocked nationwide. 

Successes

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  • Secured funding commitment from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors for the current year to subsidize health center services for 21,000 low-income uninsured patients and to improve access and behavioral health integration
  • Worked in concert with other regional consortia and our National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to advocate successfully that Congress extend federal Community Health Center funding through 2019
  • Built collaborations with the County and provided training and technical assistance to health centers on integrated behavioral health, resulting in a 240% increase in the number of patients who got a visit with a behavioral health professional
  • Secured Mental Health Services Act funding for each of the eight Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the Alameda Health Consortium to create a new care coordinator position to support referrals and care transitions of patients moving between the FQHCs and specialty mental health organizations
  • Led FQHC payment reform efforts as part of the California Primary Care Access (CPCA) and CAPH team negotiating with the California Department of Health Care Services; FQHC payment reform pilots were included in California’s 1115 Medicaid Waiver proposal, approved by CMS December 30, 2015