IA Health Link: Success Stories

Double Up Food Bucks Program Supports IA Health Link Members, Local Farmers

Amerigroup Iowa is helping IA Health Link members put healthier food on their table through its "Double Up Food Bucks" program.
Organized by the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, and with support from Amerigroup, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), non-profit organizations, and other partners, the program helps low-income families purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods from local farmers.
The program makes it easier for low-income Iowans to purchase home grown, healthy foods by matching their purchases dollar-for-dollar at participating locations, all while supporting Iowa's family farmers and growing the local economy.
Double Up Food Bucks partners with farmers markets, farm stands and mobile markets at 13 sites across eight different counties in Iowa. Medicaid members who bring their SNAP EBT card to participating locations earn $1 in Double Up Food Bucks for every SNAP dollar they spend up to $10 per market day. Participating individuals and families can spend their earned dollars immediately or save them for use at a later date or different location.
Double Up Food Bucks is projected to aid nearly 5,000 Iowa families in 2018, providing them with more than $100,000 worth of fresh produce from Iowa farmers markets and grocery stores. The program is also directly benefitting more than 300 local farmers in the state who offer these fresh foods in the markets.
This year alone, 11,000 tear sheets were distributed at participating markets and stores, community centers, WIC clinics, and with other community partners to educate English and Spanish speaking Iowans about the program. Iowa Healthiest State Initiative provided social media toolkits to participating sites to promote the program, and a one-page summary was shared with community leaders. Information about Double Up Food Bucks was also advertised on the Fresh EBT phone app that allows SNAP customers to check their SNAP EBT balance in real-time.
Amerigroup is a proud supporter of Double Up Food Bucks and has contributed to the program over the past three years.
Double Up Food Bucks expanded in 2018 to allow low-income families to get rewards at three New-Pioneer Food co-op retail grocery locations throughout the state. The program also received a three-year grant from the USDA and will further expand in 2019 to include retail grocery at Fareway Stores and Hy-Vee, Inc. These expansions help to break down barriers that can inhibit a low-income family's ability to access healthy food, including location, hours, and seasonality.

Clinic Days Program Encourages IA Health Link Members to See Their Doctor

Being proactive in managing your wellness is important to live a healthier life. Amerigroup is helping its members remain closely involved in their care through its Clinic Days program.
The Clinic Days program is a series of days held throughout the year across Iowa where Amerigroup encourages its members to visit their doctor and have their annual wellness check or receive important preventive care, such as back-to-school immunizations.
Too often, health concerns that could have been comparatively minor - or avoided altogether - become worse as a result of missed opportunities to get healthcare because a patient doesn't "feel" sick. This can be particularly important among certain groups, such as young adult men, who tend to seek out wellness visits on a less-frequent basis than other populations.
Using data analysis tools, Amerigroup staff identifies members who may be due for a checkup or other appointment, reach out to remind them, and offer to help get it done by assisting them in addressing any obstacles, such as helping find an available appointment time or arranging transportation to and from the doctor's office.
On Clinic Days, Amerigroup Iowa Registered Nurses are onsite at doctor offices, greeting members and providing education on various health topics, such as exercise, smoking cessation and alcohol use. They also answer questions about Amerigroup benefits such as our 24-hour nurse helpline
Though typically conducted at doctor's offices, in order to reach more people, Amerigroup will deploy its Clinic Days program in new and inventive ways, such as a partnering with the Iowa Wild AHL hockey team in Des Moines. Amerigroup members who show up at the arena on certain days during the season will be able to receive a wellness checkup and get tickets to a Wild game.

Amerigroup's Practice Consultants Program

Amerigroup works daily with its care providers to help improve the health and wellness of the members they serve.
One way Amerigroup is helping its care providers stay up-to-date on all of their patients' healthcare needs, is through its Practice Consultants program.
Practice Consultants are Registered Nurses who work with Amerigroup. They go into Iowa communities and work directly with doctor's offices to promote best practices and identify care that patients may need but are not getting. By visiting each provider at least four times per year - and regularly staying in touch via phone and email - Practice Consultants provide a welcome extra set of eyes to doctor's offices across Iowa.
Using data analytics, Practice Consultants can notify a doctor's office of a patient overdue for a visit so that the care provider can remind them to come in. Practice Consultants can also help offices work to overcome any barriers patients may have to receiving care, such as no longer having transportation to get to a medical appointment.
Practice Consultants use medical and billing records to ensure providers are using the standards and best practices - as set by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - to provide the best quality care to their patients. This can include everything from which immunizations should be delivered, to how many visits children should have before they reach 18 months of age, to ensuring body mass index is measured at every annual physical.

Amerigroup Iowa Earns National Award for Health Care

A Managed Care Organization (MCO) that oversees Iowa’s Medicaid program recently earned a national award of distinction for its access to health care for minorities with language or cultural barriers.

On May 10, 2018, Amerigroup Iowa received Multicultural Health Care Distinction accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Amerigroup received a score of 95.5 percent out of 100 percent.

The Multicultural Health Care Distinction award recognizes providers that meet the NCQA’s standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

The program evaluates the effectiveness of an organization’s product, product line or program based on five sets of criteria:

  • Collection of ethnic and language data.
  • Availability of language services.
  • Cultural responsiveness of practitioner networks.
  • Consistent improvement of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
  • Reduction of health care disparities.


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