Thursday, November 18, 2010

Resources: Accessibility and Health Reform

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) has posted an outpatient accessibility form and guidebook, the Outpatient Health Care Usability Profile V4, for health care facilities. The form is a self-assessment that quickly generates a picture of accessibility for any type of building and could be used beyond the health care field. It covers accessibility to bathrooms, elevators, hallways, ramps to the building entrance, among others. However, the guidebook only discusses federal requirements; state and local regulations may be more stringent. Transportation to the facility - an assessment of whether transit, taxi service or other services are available - is not mentioned, but could be added.

For information about ADA paratransit eligibility, the National Transit Institute has a course on this topic and Easter Seals Project ACTION has an upcoming series of distance learning classes about ADA paratransit.

Health Care Reform

The Children’s Health Fund has posted a link to the video of the Kaiser Family Foundation's event last week, What Does the Election Mean for Health Reform and Other Health Issues?

For information on what states must accomplish and are doing to fulfill the mandates of the new health care law, the National Governors' Association (NGA) has created a website, the Health Reform Implementation Resource Center, a product of the State Consortium on Health Care Reform Implementation (State Consortium), which provides information and technical assistance to states about requirements, offers options and best practices and synthesizes feedback to federal agencies on issues that affect state implementation. The website has resources on aspects of the health reform law that are likely to have the biggest effect on states – the Medicaid expansion, the establishment of health insurance exchanges, insurance regulations, and delivery system initiatives, along with important governance, coordination and timing issues for states are available from NGA and on each of the Consortium members' websites.

The four consortium organizations are: National Governors Association (NGA), including the NGA Center for Best Practices, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NASMD), and National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).

Health care guidance for individuals is available from AARP. It's health reform fact sheets offer information about a wide range of changes and implications for consumers, particularly older adults.

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