The American Rescue Plan Act For Health Centers

The American Rescue Plan Act For Health Centers

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) reduces health care costs, expands access to insurance coverage and addresses health care disparities. Nearly everyone who buys their own individual or family health insurance through a Marketplace can receive a tax credit to reduce their premiums. The plan not only provides the resources for America to beat this pandemic, but it also expands access to health insurance coverage, lowers costs, and ensures that health care truly is a right for all Americans.

PURPOSE

The American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2) (PDF – 681 KB) provides one-time funding (H8F) to support health centers funded under the Health Center Program to:

  1. Plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, and track COVID–19 vaccines, and to carry out other vaccine-related activities.
  2. Detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID–19 infections and related activities necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID–19, including activities related to, and equipment or supplies purchased for, testing, contact tracing, surveillance, mitigation, and treatment of COVID-19.
  3. Purchase equipment and supplies to conduct mobile testing or vaccinations for COVID-19, purchase and maintain mobile vehicles and equipment to conduct such testing or vaccinations, and hire and train laboratory personnel and other staff to conduct such mobile testing or vaccinations, particularly in medically underserved areas.
  4. Establish, expand, and sustain the health care workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID–19, and to carry out other health workforce-related activities.
  5. Modify, enhance, and expand health care services and infrastructure.
  6. Conduct community outreach and education activities related to COVID–19.

HOW TO CAPTURE THE MOMENT!

Now is the time to develop a comprehensive patient education & outreach program. An FQHC is founded in education and outreach, the building blocks of establishing trust in the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. The most common questions we hear from our clients’ patients are: Where do I get the vaccine? Who should get the vaccine? When is it my turn? How much does it cost? Is the vaccine safe? At PANO, we develop content-based marketing strategies to address these questions.

EXAMPLE: HEALTHCORE CLINIC

HealthCore Clinic is an FQHC located in Wichita, KS. They saw how disproportionately the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting communities of color and asked us, “How can we get as many shots in our community’s arms as fast as possible (and safely as possible)?” PANO developed a campaign called “Got The Shot” dedicated to educating populations about COVID-19 vaccines through a series of Public Service Announcement (PSA) strategies.

We established relationships with Wichita’s Mayor, Vice Mayor, and County Commissioner to be influencers in the campaign, directly speaking to communities most heavily affected by the pandemic. Campaign services included…

  • Vaccine Appointment Booking Software
  • Television Commercials
  • Radio Commercials
  • Outdoor Billboards
  • Streaming Video
  • Streaming Audio
  • OTT
  • Online Display Ads
  • Ad Words
  • Google Ad Grant
  • SEO, SEM, & PPC
  • Social Media Management
  • GTM Integrations
  • HIPPA Compliant Web Content
  • Newsprint Ads
  • Newsprint Op Eds
  • Press Releases
  • Mailers
  • Drip Email
  • Text Message Blasts
  • Community Pamphlets
  • Sponsorships

Our media buying partners were able to secure PSA match-funds to reduce the cost and increase the reach. Since launching on March 21, the campaign has driven a 185% increase in web traffic to HealthCore Clinic resulting in thousands of new leads and hundreds of new vaccine appointments each week. Full numbers and insight will be released at the end of the campaign, both on HealthCore Clinic’s website and on PANO’s.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

One of the biggest mistakes we see at PANO is organizations rushing out to create things in moments like this. It creates a flurry of work…but to what end? What is the goal? Are you asking yourself, “How do I increase patient encounters?” How do I get new patients?” “How do I attract a specific population to balance your payor mix?” If not, we can help make sure you are asking the right questions and then, develop strategies to answer them. Strategies come first, then tactics.

Here are some things every FQHC can do during COVID-19:

  1. Make sure your website is up-to-date, functioning properly, and is HIPAA compliant. This is the digital address of your clinic and the first online impression new patients may have. You wouldn’t have a dirty lobby — have a clean website.
  2. Set up a dedicated COVID-19 resource page on your website. Make the page factual and approachable, your readers want to hear answers in your clinic’s voice. Ensure there is a clear way to contact you if a patient has more questions or wants to schedule a vaccine appointment.
  3. Create a dedicated COVID-19 team within your staff. This staff should be in charge of scheduling vaccination events, arranging for patient transportation, entering data as required by state and federal government.
  4. Use social media to promote facts that talk honestly about the vaccines, the safety surrounding them, and the fact that no one will be denied a vaccine based on financial or insurance status.
  5. Create flyers to give to your current customers talking about vaccine facts. Place posters, signs, etc. in your clinic. There are hundreds of free resources available such as the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit.
  6. Work with community organizations such as places of worship, outreach centers, and safety net care systems. Develop collateral for them to refer to when talking about COVID-19 to their congregations and peers.
  7. Make sure the resources, tools, and content you make are in the languages appropriate to your patient populations. Your quality control officer should be able to pull a report on what languages are spoken the most by your current patients.
  8. If you need help, contact an organization that provides support specifically designed for an FQHC.

OUTSOURCE YOUR MARKETING

PANO understands nonprofit healthcare, FQHCs, high-quality marketing, and the need to keep costs low. You serve the most vulnerable populations, let us serve you so you can serve more.

An outsourced marketing department from PANO is a subscription to an experienced marketing team, led by an industry professional, for a fraction of the cost of one full-time employee. We don’t believe in long-term contracts. We believe our results speak for themselves and are the driving force why our clients stay with us for the long haul. We operate on monthly contracts so we can adjust as needed based on changes in the industry, budget fluctuations, and your unique needs.

We also don’t believe in selling our services to you, but we believe you’ll be sold once you talk to us and hear from our clients.

The American Rescue Plan FAQs

Is The American Rescue Plan Working?
Yes! After the Biden-Harris Administration made available a Special Enrollment Period through the Federal Marketplace from February 15 to May 15 for people who needed health care coverage during the pandemic, more than 200,000 people signed up for Marketplace coverage through HealthCare.gov in the first two weeks – a three-fold year over year increase. Now following the passage of the ARP more than 14.9 million Americans who currently lack health insurance and many current enrollees will receive additional financial support to find the coverage that best meets their needs at a price they can afford.

Will Premiums Decrease?
Yes! Many people who enroll in health coverage through HealthCare.gov will qualify to save money on their premiums. Premiums after advance payment of these increased tax credits will decrease, on average, by $50 per person per month and $85 per policy per month.

Will There Be Increased Tax Credits?
As of April 1, consumers are able to take advantage of increased premium tax credits on high quality health care plans when they enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov.

Will More People Get Insured?
About 14.9 million Americans who currently lack health insurance will be able to save money on their premiums to find the coverage they need at a price they can afford.

How Does ARP Address Racial Health Inequities?
Increased affordability and health insurance coverage expansion will allow historically uninsured communities – especially those who have faced significant health disparities – to access coverage, thereby improving opportunities for health care during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden-Harris administration is further expanding access to health insurance coverage and improving access to mental health services and community-based programs that address social determinants of health.

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