Independent Clinics Seek Alliances With Private Insurers Ahead of ACA
Certain independent health clinics in California are seeking alliances with health plans in anticipation of Affordable Care Act provisions that will expand private health insurance to more patients, HealthyCal reports.
Independent clinics in the state traditionally have served uninsured individuals.
However, the ACA in 2014 will offer private health insurance to more residents, providing the clinics with an opportunity to access an influx of paying patients.
Goals of Women's Health Specialists
For 40 years, Women's Health Specialists -- a network of independent clinics -- has offered mostly uninsured patients or Medi-Cal beneficiaries services such as sexually transmitted infection treatment, mammograms and abortions. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Shauna Heckert -- executive director of the network of clinics -- said that the organization now is seeking to become a subcontractor in existing managed care networks in anticipation of more patients being eligible for private insurance next year.
She said, "We realize that for us to be able to maintain services to women, we're going to have to play ball with whoever we need to play ball with."
Heckert acknowledged that it might seem strange for an organization founded on feminist ideals to seek an alliance with private insurers. She said, "I guess in some worlds they call that strange bedfellows, but it can work."
Julie Rabinovitz -- president and CEO of the California Family Health Council, an organization seeking to promote access to sexual and reproductive health care -- said that certain independent clinics will have to collaborate with private insurers.She said that many clinic patients could seek care elsewhere once they obtain health insurance, adding, "For health centers to remain viable and succeed in the future, they're going to have to" work with private health plans (Bartos, HealthyCal, 3/26). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.