Addressing the potential impacts of the ACA

In early 2011, more than three-dozen individuals from 20 community organizations gathered to talk about how they could better serve Washtenaw County’s uninsured and low-income Medicaid population. Group members included representatives from the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, University of Michigan, United Way, the Washtenaw County Health Department, the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and the Washtenaw Health Plan. Together, they decided that the region needed to assess primary care capacity in Washtenaw County safety-net clinics to ensure local providers could serve all of the residents who would be newly insured under the ACA. They also discussed gaps in care, such as inadequate dental care, for the county’s low-income and uninsured populations. At the time, they anticipated that the project would be a six-month effort to prepare for the successful implementation of the ACA in 2014.