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Unexpected benefit from ACA

Six states and counties, including Cook County Jail located in Chicago, are getting new prisoners to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  and the Medicaid expansion program,  according to Bloomberg Washington News.   Proponents feel this will decrease recidivism because inmates getting medical treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and other conditions have a better chance of recovery and avoiding crime in the future.  There is also the practical reality for the localities of shifting  health care costs to the federal level.  According to Bloomberg more than $6.5 billion is spent by states for treating prisoners.   The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that about 480,000 people in U.S. prisons and jails suffer from a mental illness.   If the medical conditions, despite treatment, are  so severe that they preclude full time work, there will be more people with medical insurance, treatment and records to prove entitlement to SSDI and SSI benefits.

Going Paperless?

We have moved in this direction in our practice for some time. We have four smaller desktop scanners and one stand alone scanner/copier being used throughout the suite and have tried to cut back on the use of paper. We have succeeded to a great extent (although you couldn’t tell by looking at my desk) and keep refining our processes. I have found that listening to my staffs’ suggestions to be the best way to improve our system and smooth out workflow.

I was thinking of this after reading this interesting blog for those moving in this direction. Many of the issues raised are eliminated if you use a good database system — in our office we use Time Matters and, while not perfect, it makes file and document quite simple.

Let’s share best practices and ideas;  if you have any questions on this blog post them and we can all learn!  ! Here’s the article:

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/gp_solo/2014/january-february-2014/how_start_and_run_paperless_office.html

Here’s to a day of new clients and Favorable Decisions!

Jeff

Newsletter and Retargeting work

So like many others we found December to be a slower month for new business and hearings. However, thanks in large part to the Newsletter and our SEO work, January has been a great start for 2014.

Two of the community talks I did this month were directly due to the Newsletter – a local county health department had fired all of their case managers about three years ago due to Medicaid funding problems. They had all been great referral sources. Apparently, with the Affordable Care Act making Medicaid more available, they had refilled all of the positions — but I didn’t know it. One of the psychologists in the Health Department who was training these new staff saw our newsletter and called saying “We have these new case managers and could really use a training.” Bingo! 8 new friends and referral sources all carrying our cards, brochures, power point presentation, pens and bags.

I also received a call this month from a Township General Assistance Case Manager who had seen a newsletter. She has monthly meetings with other GA Case Managers in her region and asked if I would be willing to give a training to them. Would I? Yesterday I met with 17 township officials and employees working with the disabled and poor populations in their communities. A whole bunch of professionals carrying our cards, brochures, power point presentations, pens and bags!

And, as icing on the cake, they had invited a social worker from the local Salvation Army office and she will call me next month about meeting with their staff.

Retargeting is an SEO technique which causes a cookie to stay in the browser of people who come to your website. They will then find your display ads following them for about two weeks as they travel on the Internet. It is an inexpensive way to keep your name in front of prospects, and to give the impression that you are a major force on the Internet. Three different people commented this month on how often they were seeing my ads on their screens. I just smiled.

Hope January was a good month for each of you!

Jeff Rabin