Promoting Health & Safety
Appleseed Centers help deliver reforms and resources that will help more families and children have access to quality, affordable health care. Appleseed projects involve large-scale change, tackling complex issues, where health intersects with democracy and public processes, and with large-scale institutions such as hospitals, insurers, public health delivery systems and courts. Most of the projects are aimed at particularly vulnerable people, especially low-income persons.
- South Carolina Appleseed launched signup SC, a website that provides valuable, credible, and up-to-date information on the federal healthcare marketplace. This site serves as a resource for individuals, families and advocates in South Carolina to better understand how the state’s health insurance exchange works.
- Nebraska Appleseed is working with state and federal leaders to create an insurance exchange that best serves consumers; the Center also provides a wealth of healthcare resources on its website.
- Alabama Appleseed’s work on health insurance coverage and healthcare reform – currently focused on ACA implementation and Medicaid expansion – is a direct continuation of work that the center started several years ago as part of a collaborative project to expand health insurance coverage options for small businesses and their employees.
- New Jersey Appleseed secured the passage of the Community Health Care Assets Act that governs non-profit hospital mergers and acquisitions and similar legislation governing potential conversion of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. The Center also assisted in the design and securing of State’s Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations bill and launched the Sentinel Project, a two-year effort to determine whether individual and small business health insurance plans in New Jersey are providing the essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act. The project website provides a feedback loop among consumers, health insurers, and government regulators.
- Connecticut Appleseed is a key partner on legal issues related to the Connecticut Telehealth and Workforce Development Partnership (CTWP). The CTWP is a skill/career development program meeting changes wrought by the Affordable Care Act, namely, the surge of new patients that puts pressure on a physician-centered health system. The CTWP’s combination of work-based and academic training to upgrade the frontline workforce in community health centers will pioneer a revolution in health care delivery by more cost-effectively motivating and supporting patient self-management.
- South Carolina Appleseedis working to expand Medicaid, and worked with the administering agency to adopt express lane eligibility to keep 90,000 kids from churning off Medicaid and to enable an additional 70,000 to receive benefits.
Much other progressive change is taking place at the state or local level, propelled by Appleseed Centers, and some of these state and community-level changes are either taking advantage of federal laws, or showing the way toward reforms at the federal level. As examples:
- Appleseed Centers have led reforms on behalf of persons with mental health and addiction issues in court, prison and immigration detention centers; Appleseed Centers are also training attorneys on representing persons with mental health issues. Appleseed Centers are finding ways to reduce overcrowded jails by diverting persons in need of care to treatment.
- Since 2005, DC Appleseed has issued an annual report and report card on the delivery of HIV/AIDS services and education in the District; the Center’s work has translated into improved data and more effective responses.
- Connecticut Appleseed is a pioneer in advancing dental care coverage for the indigent, though a multi-disciplinary approach involving expansion of Medicaid, mobilizing dentists to serve the poor, and community organizing and education.
- National Appleseed and Centers in Georgia and DC are beginning to address the multi-faceted problems of elder abuse, incapacitated elders and end-of-life decision making.
- Appleseed Centers have ensured that the public voice is heard in hospital sales, closures and consolidations, to help protect community health assets.
- DC Appleseed has waged a multi-year initiative to require the largest non-profit health care insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region to abide by its charter and put hundreds of millions of dollars in excess profits back into community care.
- Appleseed Centers, led by Nebraska and Alabama, are researching, organizing, and advocating, locally and federally, on behalf of workers in meat and poultry processing plants who are often crippled by the speed of the line.
- Hawai’i Appleseed stopped the proposed immediate cessation of health care benefits for Micronesian migrants, which would have hastened the death of patients dependent on dialysis and other expensive, life-saving treatments.
- Consistent with our interdisciplinary approach, Appleseed Centers in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington State have been leaders in developing medical-legal partnerships.
- DC Appleseed has commanded the attention of policymakers on two critical health issues that bear especially hard on indigent populations: asthma and lead in the water.