HCRL research can help implement the Affordable Care Act

Health communication research can help extend the reach of the Affordable Care Act and encourage insurance enrollment by low-income and uninsured populations, according to a recently published article from the HCRL. Drawing on 17 years of original studies with more than 30,000 participants, the lab’s findings offer several strategies to help the public understand and use the ACA.  “We believe this research offers new insights and concrete solutions that could aid in ACA implementation,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Matthew W. Kreuter, Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health at the Brown School. “Providing strong empirical support … may encourage a wider application of promising strategies,” added Kreuter, who founded the HCRL. Those strategies include:  – Partnering with groups that already reach targeted populations, like Food Stamps offices.  – Meeting and engaging people where they live and work, not just in health care settings  – Using personal stories to explain health insurance information and convey the importance of enrollment.  – Putting health in the context of higher-priority basic needs of vulnerable populations.  – Understanding how people get their information.  The article was published in the March issue of The Milbank Quarterly.

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