A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

CMS Honors HCFA Staffer and Massachusetts Children's Outreach

CMS Honors HCFA Staffer and Massachusetts Children's Outreach

November 23, 2011

This week the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized HCFA's Children's Health Policy and Outreach Manager, Dayanne Leal, for her outstanding efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in MassHealth and other children's health program. Dayanne was one of 10 honored by CMS for their efforts on behalf of enrollment.

CMS's award citation noted the collaborative efforts of many organizations in Massachusetts who work together to find and enroll children in health coverage:

Dayanne's efforts across Massachusetts include work with community and faith-based organizations, as well as the ethnic media. She is always looking for new ways to reach families with eligible children and get them enrolled in health coverage. One example is the successful phone-a-thon she organized during which the Health Care For All helpline enrolled over 300 children in one day -- triple the number that the helpline usually handles over a three-month period. To build a sustainable campaign to keep kids insured, Dayanne is committed to engaging community leaders and agencies across the State. To that end, she organized a one-month long “Statewide Enrollment Challenge” where a group of 66 organizations ranging from community-based organizations, community-health centers and hospitals were equipped with outreach materials in eight different languages and redoubled their outreach efforts during the month. This successful collaborative approach and the hard work of these organizations resulted after one month in 1,479 newly enrolled children who previously were uninsured.

HCFA continues to work aggressively on reaching families to promote health coverage. Our campaign has expanded its focus to include coverage retention, a critical challenge. Too many families on MassHealth and other programs are unaware of the need to reverify eligibility each year. A study of churn among Massachusetts children found that some 16,000 kids cycle on and off coverage every year, costing the state millions in administrative costs. We are building plans to make sure all eligible kids that are enrolled, stay enrolled.

Congratulations Dayanne on your honor!