Shortened Affordable Care Act health insurance enrollment period begins Nov. 1 through Dec. 15

Oct. 31, 2017

By: Betty Lin-Fisher – Kaye Rootring says she and her college-age daughter won’t go without insurance.

But Rootring of Perry Township is unsure how much more her current $462.80 monthly premium costs will be when she starts shopping this week for plans available through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. The plans were created through the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or Obama­care.

Rootring and other consumers are facing higher costs this year and other challenges as cuts to programming by the Trump administration and changes upheld as recently as last week will increase health-care costs for consumers.

About 12 million Americans, including 238,843 Ohioans, are enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans, which are available for those without health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid or other source.

Under the ACA, most Americans are required to carry health insurance or face a potential financial penalty when they file their taxes.

The program has become a hot political issue while advocates say health-care needs for consumers are being lost in the shuffle.

In a study released last week by consulting firm Avalere Health, premiums for the most popular plans are going up an average of 34 percent, based on a review of plans for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

Rootring, 62, said her insurance costs for her family of three used to be $550 per month when she was still working.

Her husband now is covered by Medicare.

For Rootring, going without insurance is not an option.

“Whatever those people in Washington do, I have no control over it,” Rootring said. Without insurance, “you’re just tempting fate and something awful to happen.”

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act plans begins Wednesday, Nov. 1, and lasts through Dec. 15.

Changes in D.C.

The time frame for this year’s open-enrollment period has been cut in half, compared to the time allotted under President Barack Obama’s administration.

Sign-up season comes after President Donald Trump canceled federal payments that reimburse insurers for reduced copays and deductibles they’re required to provide to people of modest means.

The canceled payments, or subsidies, were upheld Wednesday by a federal judge, who denied a request by state attorneys general to order the payments immediately restored.

Some critics of the Affordable Care Act are glad about the changes.

Show of support

Tom Nunley, a self-employed sales broker from Springfield Township, blames the ACA for steady increases to his private insurance.

“I have watched my premiums go from the $400/month range to nearly $1200/month range for $5000/$10000 coverage from 2012 to 2017,” Nunley commented in a recent Beacon Journal Facebook post. “The ACA was the driver behind this increase. I am happy that the Trump administration has ended subsidies and opened up competition across state lines. Also allowing us to join or (form) groups will be a big help.”

Earlier in September, the Trump administration also announced sharp cuts, including cutting $90 million from the $100 million budget for advertising for open enrollment.

The website (http://www.healthcare.gov) to shop and enroll for plans will be shut down for maintenance for 12 hours nearly every Sunday — from midnight to noon — during the open-enrollment period.

The computerized system allows consumers to compare plans and determine whether they qualify for financial help to get insurance.

Ohio residents can also use the marketplace or a state-run website — https://benefits.ohio.gov — to apply for Medicaid coverage during open enrollment or year-round.

Adding to the uncertainty this open-enrollment period, about 40 percent of federal funding for “navigators” who helped consumers research and sign up for the plans, was cut.

As a result, many local organizations that had offered consumer assistance this year had to pull out or scrounge for other funds to offer limited unofficial helpers.

Politics criticized

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks, in a tersely worded news release, said it believed the nonprofit organizations that make up its Navigator program, including several in the Akron area, “have been held hostage by what we believe is a political maneuver to damage the viability and stability of the Affordable Care Act.”

Lori Jensen and Heather Gunnoe, certified application counselors at AxessPointe Community Health Centers, are bracing for an increase in consumers seeking help researching the ACA plans.

Jensen and Gunnoe believe AxessPointe is the only agency in Summit and Portage counties still receiving federal funds to continue their ACA programming.

AxessPointe has set up several free public fairs in coming weeks. Anyone can use their ACA counseling services, not just patients.

They also fear that many consumers will find that the premiums and costs for ACA plans will be too high, and they will have to opt out of insurance coverage.

Gunnoe said it is important for consumers to look at what’s available on the marketplace and not to assume the coverage they already have will be the same.

“If they roll over their same plan, they may not get the same advantage for their premium tax credit,” Gunnoe said. “Go in and see if there’s something better this year. I’m not sure there will be.”

The Affordable Care Act has been good, said Renee Lung, a certified application counselor at Lifecare Family Health & Dental Center in Canton, which like AxessPointe, is also a federally funded community health center.

“I just hate to see the road it’s taking now, especially since we’re a health center,” she said. “This has become political and not about people’s health.”

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at http://www.ohio.com/betty

Looking for enrollment aid for Affordable Care Act plans? See a list of places, times and events in the Akron area. A4

AxessPointe Community Health Centers Receives 2016 Beacon’s Best Award

Sept. 26, 2017 – AxessPointe Community Health Centers was voted as having one of the top dental services in the area by the Akron Beacon Journal’s 2016 Beacon’s Best. The poll ran from Feb. 12 through Feb. 26, 2017 and both online and paper voting options were available. Top Akron businesses are selected by popular vote.

Beacon’s Best is a way for community members to vote for their favorite local businesses. Categories include: Arts and Entertainment, Beauty, Food and Dining, Health and Fitness, Nightlife, Pets, Professional Services and Shopping. AxessPointe’s dental services were listed as one of the top ten in the Professional Services category.

This recognition comes at an exciting time for AxessPointe. The organization recently completed a new facility in Kent at 143 Gougler Ave. This site is much larger than the previous location and allows for more patients to be seen. Along with the new building in Kent, AxessPointe’s Arlington location is currently undergoing an extensive remodeling process that will expand the site’s footprint. All of this gives AxessPointe the opportunity to continue to serve its mission to provide a quality, affordable and compassionate health home for – every patient, every time- in all communities.

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron, and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations. Visit axesspointe.org to learn more.

AxessPointe Receives AIMS Grant Award to Focus on Mental Health and Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Sept. 20, 2017 – AxessPointe Community Health Centers was one of 43 health centers in Ohio that received an award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) last week. HRSA announced that over $200 million will be distributed throughout the U.S. for health centers to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services. These funds will be used to help with mental health services and fight the opioid overdose crisis. AxessPointe received an award of $156,200 and the State of Ohio received a total of $7,438,746.

“As a health center, AxessPointe believes that the communities of Portage and Summit counties rely on us to provide them with the best health care possible,” said Christopher Richardson, CEO of AxessPointe. “This funding will further that effort by allowing us to join our community partners in the fight against the opioid epidemic. We will also be providing the necessary training to further integrate mental health and substance abuse into primary care.”

The Department of Health and Human Services increased funding as part of their new plan to help fight the opioid epidemic. The plan includes five points:

• Improving access to treatment and recovery services
• Targeting use of overdose-reversing drugs
• Strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance
• Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction
• Advancing better practices for pain management

The funds are being distributed to health centers to focus on the treatment, prevention and awareness of opioid abuse in the primary care setting by increasing personnel, leveraging health information technology and providing training. Per the grant stipulations, award recipients are required to: (1) expand staff who will directly support mental health services, substance abuse services and opioid abuse awareness (2) provide access to expanded mental health services and (3) increase the number of mental health and/or substance abuse patients.

Health centers have been delivering affordable, quality and cost-effective primary health care services for over 50 years. Today, there are close to 1,400 health centers operating more than 10,400 service delivery sites throughout the United States. The most recent UDS report showed that almost 26 million people used a HRSA-funded health center for primary health care in 2016.

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron, and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations. Visit axesspointe.org to learn more.

For a full list of awards, visit: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/aims/fy2017awards/index.html

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. Names New Chief Operating Officer

Aug. 29, 2017 – LaTrice D. Snodgrass has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. Snodgrass joined the AxessPointe team in November 2014 as a consumer board member.

She spent the last eight years of her career with Summa Health Medical Group where she served as a Practice Manager and later the Director of Operations.

Additionally, she is an Adjunct Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. She has over 20 years of leadership experience in healthcare settings including management of hospital-owned and privately owned physician practices, ambulatory care networks, hospital and assisted living operations.

Snodgrass received her Doctorate of Healthcare Administration in 2015 from the University of Phoenix and her Masters of Science in Management with a concentration in Healthcare Management in 2005 from Troy State University.

Snodgrass has a published body of work that concentrates on employee engagement, servant leadership and emotional intelligence. Snodgrass continually focuses on personal and professional development in the workplace and beyond. She is an active member and serves on the 2017 Ohio Northern Board for the American College of Healthcare Executives as well as holding membership with the National Association of Health Service Executives.

Additionally, Snodgrass was previously a member of the Professional Association of Health Care Office Managers.

Snodgrass is an advocate of community development. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Choices and is the VP of the Support Levy Board, which is a subsidiary of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board.

She continues to volunteer regularly at the Akron-Canton Food Bank, the Haven of Rest and Habitat for Humanity.

AxessPointe Community Health Center is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron, and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations.

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. Receives HHS Grant Award

Aug. 29, 2017 – AxessPointe Community Health Centers was one of over 1,300 community health centers in the U.S. that received an award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS announced that almost $105 million will be distributed throughout the U.S. for health centers to invest in quality improvement. These funds will be used to continue to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the health care services in the communities they serve. AxessPointe received $21,911 for Clinical Quality Improvers, $5,250 to enhance access to care and $40,000 for achieving PCMH Recognition.

“Our community relies on us to provide them with the best health care possible,” said Chris Richardson, CEO of AxessPointe. “The funding from the HHS award will allow us to better our services to our patients and continue to bridge the gap to access of quality care.”

The funds are being distributed to health centers based on high levels of performance in one or more of the following areas: Improving Quality of Care, Increasing Access to Care, Enhancing Delivery of High Value Health Care, Addressing Health Disparities and Achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition. The measures offer an overarching look at the services to manage conditions of the populations served by health centers.

Health centers have been delivering affordable, quality and cost-effective primary health care services for over 50 years. Today, there are close to 1,400 health centers operating more than 10,400 service delivery sites throughout the United States. The most recent UDS report showed that almost 26 million people used a HRSA-funded health center for primary health care in 2016.

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron, and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations. Visit axesspointe.org to learn more.

For a full list of awards, visit: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/qualityimprovement/index.html

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. Names New Chief Medical Officer

Aug. 17, 2017 – Edward Demond Scott, MD, was appointed as the new Chief Medical Officer of AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. Dr. Scott joined the AxessPointe team in November 2014 as a provider at the Kent location.

Dr. Scott previously served as the Executive Director for the Center for Health Equity at Summa Health System. The center focused on recognizing and addressing obstacles to health and providing high-quality care for those who live in underserved communities.

Dr. Scott has also held positions at Robinson Memorial Hospital Affiliates (now University Hospitals Portage Medical Center), Austintown Ambulatory Emergency Room, Ohio North East Health Systems, Inc. and is an assistant professor at Northeast Ohio Medical University.

He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, received his MD from Wright State University School of Medicine and completed his residency through the Summa Health System/Akron City Hospital Family Practice Residency Program. A few years following his residency, Dr. Scott earned a Master of Public Health, with a concentration in Minority Health/Health Disparities from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Dr. Scott is actively involved in the community and has served on numerous committees, including: the Akron Minority Health Roundtable, the Summit County Public Health Office of Minority Health Advisory Board, United Healthcare Physician Advisory Council and multiple Summa Health System committees. He specializes in Family Medicine and is respected and well-liked by professional colleagues and his patients.

Dr. Scott succeeds Dr. Charles Dhyanchand, who served as CMO of AxessPointe since June 2012.

AxessPointe Community Health Center is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron, and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations.

AxessPointe Featured in American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

July 11, 2017 – The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) recognized AxessPointe’s built-in 340B pharmacy in their national April 2017 publication, “Opportunities for Sustainable Pharmacy Services in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).”

The pharmacy is located within the Arlington Street clinic in Akron, Ohio. 340B clinics provide low-income patients with more affordable prescriptions. The savings are used to support and expand the clinic’s other services.

The Pharmacy Department provides monthly, hour-long in-services for providers. These in-services have made significant changes to the prescribing patterns of the clinic, including increased savings and improved patient outcomes.

The department relies on pharmacy residents and students to expand its clinical services and allow more pharmacists to experience our interdisciplinary care model.

AxessPointe plans to expand the pharmacy to their clinic in Kent, Ohio on Gougler Avenue. The implementation of the Kent pharmacy is planned for September 2017.

ASHP is a national professional organization that represents the interests of pharmacists practicing in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities and other elements of health care.

AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron, and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations. Visit axesspointe.org to learn more.

AxessPointe Offers Healthcare Clinic for North Hill Refugees

The Exchange House, created by the Better Block Foundation, serves as a community center for the large refugee population, predominantly Bhutanese, which travels mostly on foot and has a large number of children and senior citizens.

North Hill’s Exchange House opened its doors to the Akron community on Tuesday. With a community center for refugees downstairs and an international hostel upstairs, the once-deteriorating three-bedroom house is already generating bookings on Airbnb, which lists it as “Little Bhutan in Akron.”

“We are trying our hardest to get a facility open in their area,” said AxessPointe spokeswoman Stephanie Berry in an email. “For the meantime, our best option was the partnership with the Exchange House.”

Under the federal refugee resettlement program, refugees get short-term health insurance for up to eight months. Some refugees are also eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program for several years.

Beginning June 6, AxessPointe’s clinic will be open every Tuesday from 1-5 p.m. at the Exchange House at 760 Elma St. offering:

  • • immunizations, blood testing and basic health screenings
  • • access to primary care providers at AxessPointe’s full-service centers
  • • services for those with no health insurance
  • • Nepali-speaking community health workers to interpret and provide case management and home health services

The clinic also plans to host workshops at the Exchange House to educate refugee patients on nutrition and preventive care for diabetes, hypertension, oral health, heart disease and other health issues.

“We have been doing our best to learn what the refugees’ barriers to healthcare are and how we can address those barriers, along with listening to what their needs are and what services they would like to see provided,” Berry said.

AxessPointe also offers behavioral health, case management, dental care, insurance enrollment, pharmacy, prenatal education and support, and specialty medical care.

A North Hill Community Meeting to discuss the new clinic is scheduled for May 31 from 10-11 a.m. at the Exchange House. Residents are encouraged to attend.

By: Jennifer Conn, Akron Reporter, Cleveland.com

http://www.cleveland.com/akron/index.ssf/2017/05/axesspointe_offers_healthcare.html

AxessPointe Receives Funding from the Akron Community Foundation

AxessPointe Community Health Centers Receives Funding from the Akron Community Foundation
AKRON, OH (Feb. 7, 2017) – AxessPointe Community Health Centers has received a $10,000 grant from Sanatorium Contingent Fund of Akron Community Foundation to help continue to serve those in the area. Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. announced the grant after it was approved by the community foundation’s board on Jan. 26, 2017.
The funds are distributed to organizations in the area that combat the most important community needs. AxessPointe Community Health Centers have been serving patients in Akron since 1995 and have continued to grow and expand their services. The grant allows AxessPointe to use the funding for general operating support.

Christopher Richardson, CEO of AxessPointe Community Health Centers, said “AxessPointe is very appreciative to the Akron Community Foundation for the funds. The funds will be used to continue operations that allow our patients to have the best medical home experience.”

AxessPointe Community Health Centers are federally qualified health centers (FQHC) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a nonprofit organization that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health, women’s health and pharmacy services. For more information on AxessPointe, contact Christopher Richardson at 330.785.2055 or crichardson@axesspointe.org. Visit our website to learn more at axesspointe.org.

Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. Beginning in 1955, the organization has grown into a philanthropic endowment of over $190 million and more than 550 funds. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets. To learn more about Akron Community Foundation call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.

AxessPointe Community Health Centers names new CEO

AxessPointe Community Health Centers names new CEO

August 18, 2016 (Akron, Ohio):   Christopher J. Richardson, M.Ed., LICDC-CS, LPC has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer of AxessPointe Community Health Center. Prior to his new position Mr. Richardson served as COO at AxessPointe beginning in August of 2015. Before joining the AxessPointe staff, he served on the Board of Directors for three years.  Mr. Richardson succeeds Dr. Kristine Drummond, who retired last month, after having served at AxessPointe for the past eight years.

 

Dr. Jay Williamson, president of the board of directors for AxessPointe, looks forward to Mr. Richardson’s leadership, noting that he “has been transitioning to his new role for the past several months, and was a fabulous COO.” For Mr. Richardson, this is an opportunity to apply his management and leadership skills, as well as his relevant clinical background at a new level.  He also notes that “working alongside a great network of community partners, and continuing in a leadership position that allows me to never lose focus of the mission” are of the utmost importance.

As a strong advocate for care of the underserved population, Mr. Richardson’s vision is to ensure that every resident of both Summit County and Portage County has access to affordable, quality healthcare. “AxessPointe has grown exponentially over the last several years and that momentum will definitely continue,” states Richardson. “We are in the planning stages of developing a health center in the North Hill neighborhood of Akron that will offer a variety of services identified as high need in that zip code. Momentum is also picking up in anticipation of the expansion of our Arlington Plaza site. This expansion is expected to be completed later next year, and includes the addition of services, as well as facility improvements.” And he notes that’s “just the short list!  All of our efforts are directed towards striving for and achieving excellence in service delivery at all AxessPointe sites.”

Mr. Richardson previously served as Director of the Oriana House, Inc. ADM Crisis Center for eight years, where he facilitated large-scale collaborations for programs addressing barriers to substance abuse treatment and recovery. Additional career experience includes leadership roles in the behavioral health, vocational rehabilitation, managed care and addiction services fields.  He attended Kent State University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Education with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling. Mr. Richardson is a licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor with Clinical Supervisory designation, and a licensed professional counselor, and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Kent State University, where he teaches master’s level coursework.

Mr. Richardson is also an active and passionate volunteer and community leader. He has served on numerous boards in both Summit and Portage Counties. Mr. Richardson currently serves on Kent State’s Rehabilitation Counseling Board and its Learning Development & Educational Sciences Department Advisory Board. He has participated in numerous leadership programs including United Way’s Project Blueprint (now Diversity on Board), the Summit County Mental Health Leadership Academy and Akron Torchbearers. In June, 2013 Mr. Richardson was a recipient of the 30 for the Future Award by the Greater Akron Chamber.

AxessPointe Community Health Center is a federally qualified health center (or FQHC, commonly called a community health center) with five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. A FQHC is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides behavioral health and OB-GYN services. Originally named Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., the first center was located in Akron,  and received funding in 1994 from the Bureau of Primary Health Care to establish the first federally qualified health center in Summit County. AxessPointe now employs more than 100 care providers at its five locations.

For more information, contact Christopher Richardson at 330-785-2055 or crichardson@axesspointe.org.

Visit our website to learn more at axesspointe.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Stephanie Berry
Title: Marketing Director
Phone:  330.564.8650 ext. 1481
Email:  sberry@axesspointe.org