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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2018

New enrollment under the affordable care act: leading the way for community health centers in Southern California

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2018
Omar Viramontes, Michael Hochman, Martin Lee Serota, Elvia Delgado, Gerardo Moreno



The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has improved healthcare access in the community health centers that have played a critical role in enrolling low income and minority patients. This study examined the ACA enrollment for one of the largest federally qualified community health centers in the country.


An exploratory sequential mixed method study was used as the main qualitative and quantitative approach for this study. Key stakeholders (n = 6) were interviewed as part of the qualitative component, and information about barriers and best practices were acquired. As part of the quantitative analysis, we examined cross-sectional data among 59,272 AltaMed enrollees in 2013–2015. We analyzed data on age, gender, language, ethnicity, and enrollment periods. The interviews were conducted first and followed by the data analysis.


AltaMed was the top enroller of patients in ACA insurance plans in California (2013–14 and 2014–15) through the state exchange and Medicaid expansion. Using key stakeholder interviews, 5 main barriers were identified and 5 innovative solutions that allowed AltaMed to enroll people into the state exchange and Medicaid expansion. Barriers to enrollment included training, new workflows, and enrollment of Young Invincibles, and these enrollment barriers were overcome with community health workers.


Enrollment barriers were overcome through AltaMed’s community-based approach and long term community partnerships.
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