Illinois Health Matters will be an exhibitor at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Illinois Statewide Conference today, Thursday November 10. We are excited to meet the hundreds of social workers who will be in attendance and to talk about what else? Health reform! As a short primer, we thought we'd list, the top five facts that all Illinois social workers should know about the Affordable Care Act - i.e., the national health care reform law.
1. Demand for Your Services Will Grow
In 2014, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, over 1.1 million people in Illinois will become eligible for insurance through Medicaid or the new subsidized insurance product on the exchange; thus, social workers will have more insured paying patients.
2. REALLY, Demand for Your Services Will Grow
Essential Health Benefits are still being defined now but include behavioral health and habilitative and rehabilitative care - services provided by and important to social workers.
3. Your Role Will Be More Important Than Ever
The Affordable Care Act emphasizes coordinated care arrangements through new initiatives such as Accountable Care Organizations and Health Homes both of which rely primarily on the care coordination provided by professionals such as social workers.
4. You Will Be Instrumental in Improved Health Outcomes
In 2014, hospitals will no longer be reimbursed for certain re-admissions so presumably they will invest in discharge planning and social workers to provide transition care to the home and community and avoid re-admissions.
5. More Jobs for Social Workers
Community Health Centers are receiving large increases of funding to provide primary care and coordinated care to the newly insured population and will need to hire social workers to provide care coordination and linkage and referral to low income populations who have not had experience getting into care.
If you have health reform questions, you can find us on twitter at @ilhealthmatters. We will be live tweeting from the NASW conference using the hashtag #NASWIL. Hope to see you there! Or you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer your questions directly and possibly feature them on our website.
Lastly, we are having a one-day raffle for a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card for people who sign up for our e-newsletter today, November 10, 2011. So, be informed and enter to win! Entrants will be notified by email.