As the latest Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period winds down, officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the nonprofit Enroll America, and the American Osteopathic Medicine (AOA), visited PCOM on Jan. 19, as part of the HHS’ “Provider Week of Action,” which highlights the work of community health centers and providers.
John W. Becher, DO ’70, chair of emergency medicine and president of the AOA, along with Ester Krofah, deputy director of the HHS Office of Health Reform, and Joanne Grossi, regional director of the HHS, addressed an audience of students, administrators and faculty on the critical role of physicians in educating patients about coverage. “Our goal is to make sure no Pennsylvanians are uninsured," said Ms. Grossi.
Charmaine Chan, DO ’05, instructor, family medicine, and Steven Mosey, a second-year DO student, gave both the physician and student perspectives on the importance of healthcare enrollment. “It’s a continuous dialogue, educating patients on why they need healthcare coverage,” said Dr. Chan. “It’s a tough job, but an important one.”
Several PCOM students, with guidance from representatives from Enroll America, then staffed a phone bank to connect with hard-to-reach patients who would most benefit from coverage, providing information and answering their enrollment questions.
According to figures from Enroll America, since the ACA’s requirement for coverage took effect, Pennsylvania saw its uninsured rate drop from 13.8 percent in 2013 to 7.6 percent in 2015. In Philadelphia County, those rates fell from 19 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2015. HHS reports that during this year’s open enrollment, 411,675 Individual plan selections have been made in Pennsylvania from November 30 to January 9. Open Enrollment ends Jan. 31.
From left: Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO, PCOM; Ester Krofah, deputy director, HHS Office of Health Reform; John W. Becher, DO ’70, chair of surgery, PCOM, and president of the AOA; Joanne Grossi, regional director of the HHS; and Kenneth Veit, DO ’76, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean, PCOM.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained more than 15,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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