for all ages and a wide variety of state medical insurance programs, including AHCCCS and KidsCare (Arizona’s SCHIP program).
Second, Health-e-App in Arizona is the tool for a “one door system” of means testing for all uninsured persons to obtain medical coverage and establish a medical home. Even those uninsured persons who do not qualify for public assistance are screened and directed to a source of primary medical care of their choosing which offers discounted rates (Federally Qualified Health Centers and Community Health Centers). This use of the application goes far beyond the limited California use.
Third, there are the multiple types of end users of the system. While in California, the application is only used by “certified application assistants” who receive remuneration from the State for completed applications submitted using the system, in Arizona the end users of the application will be distributed among a variety of users who have regular contact with the target medically underserved population, ranging from eligibility workers in hospitals and clinics to human resource personnel in small businesses.
Additionally, although other public/private partnerships have been formed to address the uninsured, this project is unique in that it enhances efficiency and effectiveness of not only the end users who assist people to apply for benefits, but it also enhances the efficiency of the government workers on the back end of the application process at AHCCCS and DES. The automated application process enables savings at both the private and the public sector, for all the partners involved in the project.
Health-e-Arizona replaces the cumbersome tasks associated with applying for public health insurance coverage - hand writing answers to questions on paper application forms, using calculators to summarize income information, writing information multiple times with a computerized system which performs calculations, automatically populates fields and uses built-in error checking to ensure accurate and complete application information. Supporting documentation is faxed and stored as images together with the data entered at the time of the application, ensuring that when the application reaches the designated State agency for processing, there is no information missing due to misplaced pieces of paper. Furthermore, the application reaches the State agency in real time and the evaluation and disposition process can begin immediately.
The first six months of pilot use of Health-e-Arizona by El Rio Health Center and other Federally Qualifiied Health Centers in Pima County, Arizona, have demonstrated the following benefits of the Health-e-Arizona system over the prior paper application process:
66% of applications approved by the State, as compared to 33% per the former paper process
19.65 average days from submission of the application to the State to disposition, as compared to 45-60 days
Disposition of the application entered directly into Health-e-Arizona by the State agency, while the old system had the responses and requests for additional information directed back to the applicant, who in many cases did not understand how to respond and therefore did not complete the requirements.
Average of 7% of applications awaiting disposition by the State agency at any one time, compared to 45% using the old paper process.
The problem of the uninsured and lack of health care coverage for the poor and near poor is one which affects all areas of the country, not just Arizona. When the project attains its projected outcomes, it is expected that there will be much interest in replicating the project in other states. Application requirements for public insurance coverage vary only
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