Georgia Health FoundationCCSNPC has identified the need for a central eligibility screening process. Currently, each provider must engage staff to screen patients and the processes for doing so are not uniform across the system. The staff at each location rarely has the time or opportunity to educate the patients screened as to individual or family opportunities for health insurance coverage and how to apply. As a result, opportunities are missed for families to obtain coverage which may positively impact access to healthcare and the quantity and quality of care received, especially for children who are eligible for coverage under Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids™. Chatham County's enrollment of eligible children in Georgia's PeachCare for Kids™ has declined from 4269 in July 2008 to 3732 in July of 2009 and 3717 in January of 2010.
CCSNPC seeks to develop a centralized community system which will not only screen patients in a uniform manner, but educate entire families about eligibility for health insurance, the advantages of being insured and how to apply for and maintain coverage. Funded by the Georgia Health Foundation, CCSNPC will begin with a pilot project on January 1, 2011, to identify a specific population without insurance and without a medical home to test this process. The goal is to use lessons learned to develop an expanded system for all providers in year two.
Uninsured adults and children frequently utilize the Emergency Departments in Chatham County for primary care for basic non-emergent health conditions. CCSNPC has a Health Information Exchange Pilot Project in place between Memorial University Medical Center's Emergency Department (ED) and J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare Center (JCLPHC), a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center serving adults and children. Each day, JCLPHC receives automatic notification of the patients who have visited the ED and a copy of the discharge summary. The centralized eligibility pilot project will begin with this subset of our patient population. A social worker will contact each of the parent(s) of children or individuals in the notification list to interview them by phone and ask them to come in to JCLPHC for an appointment. The patients will be informed as to the documentation they will need to bring for themselves and their children who are not insured.