Health Care Legislation Implementation

Why is this a public health priority?

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA), the realities of implementing health care legislation present both opportunities and challenges. In South Carolina, we must assess our readiness to address the numerous elements of this legislation as well as our capacity to maximize the available resources. We must also develop a plan for implementation that will allow the citizens of South Carolina to reap the full benefits of the legislation.

PPACA provisions expand public and private health insurance but also include plans to create a new essential health benefits package and private long-term care insurance, make available funding for prevention services and the expansion of the health care safety net, increase emphasis on quality and data collection, fund the testing of new models of care, and authorize new programs to train additional health professionals. In short, the legislation touches all aspects of our country’s health care system. In most instances, new funds will be distributed on a competitive basis. Thus, South Carolina needs to be prepared to take full advantage of the federal funding opportunities.

PPACA creates a structure for healthcare changes. However, each state is given some latitude in how the provisions will be implemented and much of the success in enrolling people into public or private coverage will depend on how well the state conducts outreach and education campaigns and prepares patient navigators.

For an overview of changes to coverage, prevention services, and cost please click here.

What is the role of SCPHI in addressing this priority?

To facilitate an effective state-level implementation, the South Carolina Public Health Institute (SCPHI), in collaboration with South Carolina Healthcare Voices, is convening stakeholders from the non-profit sector on August 11, 2010 to explore the various state-specific elements of the legislation and examine possible approaches to implementation. This effort will focus on building linkages with key state agencies to support collaborative decision-making and expand the collective capacity to address the implementation of this legislation. A list of invitees may be found here.

In short, the goal of this initiative is to create a public-private collaborative so that South Carolina can most successfully implement health care reform and take advantage of the funding opportunities that are relevant to our state. We need to think strategically about what is best for our state, building on our existing strengths, but also identifying areas where further work is needed. This initiative will include the creation of public-private workgroups to help the state prepare for and implement health reform. By bringing diverse stakeholders around the table we will develop a plan that is best for the state.

The following workgroups are proposed to focus on different areas of impact*:

Health Insurance Exchange
Health Professional Workforce
Information Dissemination & Communication
Long-Term Care
Prevention & Disparities
Quality, Outcomes, & Health Information Technology
Safety Net

Each workgroup will be asked to review different sections of the health care legislation, as well as new federal guidelines as they are issued, to aid in clarifying federal implementation rules and highlighting potential funding opportunities. The goal of each workgroup will be to develop a concise plan for how South Carolina can best implement the new requirements and take advantage of new funding opportunities. Each workgroup will identify the specific tasks that need to be accomplished, highlight the strategic decisions to be made, indicate a lead organization or organizations to take responsibility for implementing the provision (or apply for federal funds), identify other potential partners, and develop a timetable for when the tasks will be accomplished.

* Workgroups updated August 18, 2010

Who are SCPHI’s key partners in this effort?

South Carolina Healthcare Voices

UPDATE: Please visit our information and resource page on Health Care Legislation Implementation in South Carolina.

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