Robin Barclay, Executive Director of Business Development and Outreach for Trusted Health Plan (THP), the only Black-owned Medicaid Managed Care Provider in the nation, has been invited to speak at the National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale on July 30.
Barclay, a native Detroiter, has been a senior executive in Medicaid managed care for 30 years. She has led a community hospital, a health plan, and served as a health care consultant. In her remarks to be given at the Soul Sister: African American Women’s Health and Wellness forum, she will discuss challenges black women face in childbirth, heart disease, high blood pressure. She will also discuss THP’s goal of closing health care disparities among urban populations.
Trusted Health Plan, a two-year-old organization, was awarded a five-year Medicaid contract for Washington D.C. in 2013 and began enrolling members in July of that year. THP now serves 30,000 Medicaid recipients, and the THP Health and Wellness Outreach Center was the first of its kind in the United States targeting Medicaid beneficiaries. The Center provides on-site health education, physical fitness activities, and nutritional health cooking demonstrations.
“In the first 12 months of operation, Trusted enrolled 20 percent of its members. We have significantly improved care delivery for our members, including reducing ER visits by 25%, contrary to Obamacare naysayers,” said Barclay.
The National Urban League has been a strong voice for health care reform for minorities in urban cities across the country. In 2012, the organization released a report entitled, “The State of Urban Health: Eliminating Health Disparities to Save Lives and Cut Costs.” The report examined the economic impact of health disparities in the United States.
According to the Executive Summary of the report:
“For over 100 years, the National Urban League (NUL) has been committed to the mission of economic empowerment in underserved communities – a mission that is inextricably linked to the reduction of racial health disparities in America. Health disparities inflict a significant level of illness, disability, and death on the nation’s racial and ethnic minorities. However, in addition to excess morbidity and mortality, health disparities impose a significant economic burden on society. In 2009, health disparities cost the U.S. economy $82.2 billion in direct health care spending and lost productivity. African Americans bore the majority of that cost with $54.9 billion, followed by Hispanics with $22 billion. The Southern region of the country had the highest economic burden associated with health disparities with $35 billion, and the West had the next highest with $26 billion. Over 90 percent of the medical care and lost productivity costs were in urban areas.”
An early supporter of Obamacare, the Urban League has endorsed healthcare provisions designed to promote community-based prevention and the expansion of Medicaid as crucial means of reducing disparities and promoting healthy behaviors throughout the country.