Use of a Community Needs Assessment Evaluation for Increasing Medicaid Enrollment

Objective: To determine state insurance eligibility for Medicaid and enroll clients who cannot and will not obtain insurance from their employers.

Description: North American Indian Alliance (Butte) (NAIA) has used its patient services representative, front desk staff, health coordinator, and nursing staff to determine eligibility and enroll patients into health insurance, through the use of a community needs assessment evaluation. This assessment is done annually along with customer service satisfaction surveys that are conducted regularly. These evaluation methods allow for regular evaluation of the work that they are doing. Also, the evaluations help to make decisions about what outreach is appropriate and needed.

The clients are mainly coming from the reservations and don’t always understand the limitations of an urban clinic. NAIA does provide monthly transportation of clients to the local Indian Health Service Center in Blackfeet, which is 500 miles away, to provide some services. The barriers that are faced are that most of their clients are not eligible for state insurance (due to age or salary) and cannot or do not get insurance from their employer. NAIA is a limited facility, but without the clinic’s services, the Native population in the area would be hard pressed to find care. Assistance is provided in filling out application forms. The most challenging part of the process is waiting for a response, and the clinic has found that frequent follow-up is needed.

Population of Focus: American Indian or Alaska Native, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly, Transition aged, Women

Setting: Community health center, Mental health clinic, Primary care facility, Urban

Level of intervention: Individual, Family, Community

Resources/Qualifications Needed: The funding for this activity comes through IHS contract and grant funding. In order to implement this process, a thorough knowledge of community resources is needed.


Angela Longfox
Project Coordinator
North American Indian Alliance
55 East Galena, Butte, MT 59701