Foundation's Covered California educational program moves into high gear

December 02, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy Patient Care Patient Education 

The California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation has hired four educators who will work closely with the county medical societies to educate physicians about Covered California and how the exchange will operate beginning in January 2014. The educators began working throughout the state in mid-November.

In August, CMA was awarded a $1.5 million grant from Covered California, the state’s new health benefit exchange. The grant application was submitted in partnership with the CMA Foundation, Latino Physicians of California, the American Academy of Pediatrics and a number of component medical societies.

According to Kena C. Burke, who manages the Covered California education project, the program anticipates creating more than one thousand outreach and educational opportunities for health care providers and their teams throughout the state over the next 13 months.

The Foundation has engaged 14 medical society partners that will allow work with the regional physician educators to make sure local physicians and their staff have access to everything there is to know about Covered California eligibility and enrollment. These medical societies include, North Valley, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Riverside, San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Bernardino, Humboldt-Del Norte, San Mateo, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Ventura.

Particular focus will be made on educational outreach in the areas with the highest number of patients eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. These areas include: San Diego County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Covered California began open enrollment for its online insurance marketplace, which will serve as the cornerstone of the reform efforts called for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Exchange plans will start providing coverage effective January 1, 2014.

Meet the Physician Educators

Victor Bloomberg, L.C.S.W., is the physician educator for the San Diego/Riverside/San Bernardino regions. He is currently the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation’s expert in meaningful use and the electronic heatlh records incentive program. He has also worked for 30 years as a social worker in health and human services.

Gena Welch will cover the San Joaquin/Santa Clara/Alameda-Contra Costa regions. She is a past membership coordinator for the San Joaquin Medical Society and has over 15 years experience in medical marketing and public relations.

Michelle Garcia will cover the Fresno/Tulare/Kings/Kern regions. She has served as the air quality director for the Fresno-Madera Medical Society for the past three years. She also manages a grant funded by the Hewlett Foundation, which is focused on air quality education for the community and physicians as well as engaging physicians in important air quality policy work on a local, regional and state wide level.

Karli Nevarez will cover Los Angeles and Orange counties. Karili, who is bilingual in Spanish and English, brings to the position a strong background in teaching, curriculum development and public speaking. She has educated groups and individuals on a variety of subjects using various teaching methodologies.


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