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Lessons Learned

The following are the most important lessons learned during the planning and implementation of CHI:

  • Set a firm implementation date and commit to it;
  • Identify key stakeholders who will directly impact the success of the program;
  • Provide the administrative continuity required to eliminate barriers to continuous coverage for each child;
  • Develop a clear and continuous communication system to ensure coordinated follow-through;
  • Establish a dedicated 1-888 toll free phone line to provide easy access to the public and a consistent ‘call to action’ in marketing materials;
  • Provide the commitment and resources to deploy a highly trained and effective application assistance team;
  • Hire bi-lingual/bi-cultural staff to promote effective communication between the Certified Application Assistor (CAA) and the family.
  • Locate CAAs at sites where families access healthcare results in a greater number of completed applications;
  • Select committed sites for placement of the CAAs (some criteria that indicate this investment include; onsite leadership who will champion CHI goals, the provision of confidential space, and the use of office equipment as necessary to complete application assistance – such as fax, copier, etc.);
  • Mechanisms for identifying uninsured patients should be firmly in place and all on-site staff members should participate in actively referring those patients to the CAA during the same visit;
  • The application assistance process should include educating applicants on the utilization of the healthcare system;
  • Create a dedicated training and events unit to promote consistent and coordinated education to CHI staff, health providers, and community members; and
  • Successful application events occur when the focus of the event is health related. Participation at all other events is restricted to increasing public awareness and marketing the toll free line.
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