As part of our recognition of National Minority Health Month, Community Science hosted a webinar How to Assess the Effectiveness of Affordable Care Act Outreach and Education Efforts on April 29, 2015. Kien Lee (Vice President and Principal Associate) and Oscar Espinosa (Senior Associate) discussed strategies and lessons learned from an evaluation project their team completed for the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). The purpose of the webinar was to provide insights to others who are conducting, funding, or planning Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach or education to racially and ethnically diverse populations.
Key findings from the NPA’s ACA outreach evaluation included various enrollment barriers (e.g., difficulty answering questions required for enrollment, low tech literacy and lack of trust in technology, need for improved health insurance literacy to make informed decisions) and designing appropriate outreach strategies attuned to the community organizational structure. Key lessons learned in terms of evaluating the impact of ACA outreach included developing a measurement framework that operationalizes what effectiveness means and developing a relationship with event/community coordinators as a core component of successful data collection.
One hundred eighty-eight individuals attended the webinar. Seventy-seven attendees shared their thoughts about the webinar in our evaluation (41 percent response rate). Eighty-nine percent of respondents reported improved understanding of methods to assess the effectiveness of ACA outreach and education efforts. For example, one participant stated, “The webinar helped me to develop more effective strategies for working with community partners.” Eighty-five percent of respondents indicated that they would be able to apply the information provided in the webinar to their work. Ninety percent of the webinar participants were either satisfied or very satisfied. “We are very pleased with the response to the webinar and the impact it had in such a short time. It reflects a great need in the field, and we are looking forward to doing more to help address that need,” stated David Chavis, President of Community Science.