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Product ID: 392733EAU
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The Affordable Care Act: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Workers

OnDemand Webinar (88 minutes)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an extraordinary achievement because of its potential for far-reaching changes to the financing, organization and delivery of health care. The new law extends health insurance coverage to nearly 30 million people, expands the safety net, and encourages a focus on improving quality and reducing costs via a host of measures including new models to develop patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations.

States are currently deciding whether to implement the Medicaid expansion and are working to establish the new insurance apparatus - known as the health insurance exchange - that supports the centerpiece of the new law, the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. These groundbreaking provisions go into effect on January 1, 2014. Meanwhile, changes to Medicare under the ACA call for increased care coordination. The new health reform provisions will have profound implications for social workers and the clients they serve. This on-demand webinar helps social workers understand the challenges and the opportunities presented by the ACA by explaining the key provisions of the law and suggesting steps that social workers can take to advance the role of the profession to fulfill of the aims of the ACA. This on-demand webinar is critical for social workers so they can advance the goals of the ACA through their clients and the communities in which they work.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to discuss strengths of social work that align with the goals of the ACA.
  • You will be able to identify social workers' roles in assuring access to health insurance coverage.
  • You will be able to review the heightened focus on integration and care coordination.


Christina M. Andrews, Ph.D., MSW, University of South Carolina
Teri Browne, Ph.D., MSW, NSW-C, University of South Carolina
Julie Darnell, Ph.D., MHSA, University of Illinois at Chicago
Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D., Washington University
Robyn Golden, LCSW, Rush University Medical Center


Strengths of Social Work That Align With the Goals of the ACA

• Three Pillars of Health Reform - Access, Quality and Cost

• Individuals Are Situated Within Their Social Context

• Systems Perspective Connects Health, Education, Employment, etc.

• Mental and Physical Health Are Integrated

• Guided by an Evidence Base That Is Informed by Research Within Communities

• Historically Have Targeted Services to Disenfranchised Groups

Social Workers' Roles in Assuring Access to Health Insurance Coverage

• Patient Navigator Programs

• Consumer Assistance Programs

• Challenges and Opportunities

Heightened Focus on Integration and Care Coordination: Implications for Social Workers

• Penalties for Hospital Readmissions

• Value-Based Purchasing

• Bundled Payments

• Patient-Centered Medical Homes

• Accountable Care Organizations

• Challenges and Opportunities

Expanded Coverage for Behavioral Health Services: Implications for Social Workers

• Changes in Coverage for Behavioral Health Services

• Incentives for Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health Services

• Projections for Increased Demand for Behavioral Health Services

• Challenges and Opportunities

Social Work's Role in the Ethical Implementation of the ACA for Vulnerable Populations

• How Social Workers Can Help Advance the Goals of the ACA

• Social Work Practice, Administration and Research Implications of the ACA

• How Social Work Ethics Informs the Implementation of the ACA

• Challenges and Opportunities