Medial AIDS Outreach of Alabama serves more than 1,300 people in 26 counties and more than 53 percent of them are uninsured. Because MAO relies on grants and contracts to find about 60 percent of its budget, it's restricted to offering programs and services that comply with those grants.
MAO is also handicapped when it comes to recruiting healthcare providers who may choose to work in environments with more resources. MAO CEO, Michael Murphree, says the Affordable Care Act will provide options for his patients and his clinic that have never been available before.
A higher percentage of insured patients would mean MAO could rely less on federal dollars, would be able to offer a broader range of programs and services, would have more provider options to refer patients, and could be more competitive in recruiting healthcare providers to work in the clinic.
MAO is working with patients to educate them about ACA, how they can register for insurance, and figure out what kind of coverage they will need. But, Murphree admits, because of complications with the government's web site, none of his patients has signed up yet.
Murphree says there are pieces of the legislation he would like to see changed, and it's hard to understand exactly how beneficial it will be before it officially takes effect, but he sees it as a source of hope for his mission and his clinic.
Although the swine flu vaccine is widely available, the state health department says the highest number of confirmed cases are among young adults. However, it appears that those between 18 and 24 are the least likely to be vaccinated.More >>