Conflict-Free Choice Counseling

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law, we explore an important issue to individuals with disabilities – the need for conflict-free choice counseling. Conflict-free choice counseling is very relevant not only when individuals are choosing health plans in Medicaid and in the Exchanges, but also for when they receive referrals to other health-related services. It is a vital step in helping, protecting, and empowering vulnerable populations.

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Implications of Obergefell on Healthcare Access

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right under the Fourteenth Amendment. Despite this seminal moment in civil rights, individuals within the LGBT community still face numerous barriers, including equal access to healthcare and other rights afforded to heterosexuals.


Photo from the official White House Facebook page.

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Social Justice Matters


Image from Adam Fagen.

This past week has been momentous for the world of social justice in the United States. On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of federal subsidies within the Affordable Care Act, which allows people across the United States to continue to better afford their health insurance purchased through the federal exchange. On Friday, the Court also ruled that same-sex marriage is a right granted by the U.S. Constitution.

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Feminine Norms and STEM: Working to Fill the Holes of a Leaky Pipeline


Health starts in our homes, workplaces, and communities – and for young girls, it also starts in schools.

Access to education and access to and achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects are key to higher-paying jobs and career advancement later in life, but many girls continue to miss these opportunities.

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Are We Making Alcohol Screening Too Complicated?


Editor’s note: Co-authored with Leigh Fischer, Director of SBIRT Colorado

April is alcohol awareness month and over the last year, HMACS has worked on a number of projects related to the implementation of universal alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary care and other general health settings. Our experience with our partners has left us asking big questions.

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Costs of Unintended Pregnancy



In 2013, the teen birth rate was the lowest it has been since 1991, with 27 births per 1,000 teenage women. While this decrease of 57% from 1991 is certainly a move in the right direction, this rate is still high. According to the World Bank, the United States’ teen fertility rate was 31 births per 1,000 women in 2012, while other countries, such as Germany, Denmark, and China, had births per 1,000 in the single digits (4; 5; and 9, respectively).

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Food Insecurity in our Communities



In a month when many Americans are resolving to adopt healthier eating habits to counteract the excess imbibed during the recent holidays, January should also be a time to remember that for many families in America, struggling to put food on the table is an everyday concern. Such concern also extends to providing meals containing recommended servings of fruit, vegetables, and nutrients. This issue of food insecurity, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to as the lack of access “by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life,” plagues almost 15 percent of Americans, according to Feeding America, a nonprofit network of food banks.

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Introduction to HMACS


Welcome to the Health Management Associates Community Strategies blog!

Our HMACS team works every day to support the efforts of a broad range of community stakeholders working to develop healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities around the country. Our partners include:

  • community-based organizations;
  • city, county, and local municipalities;
  • foundations;
  • groups of individuals with a shared goal of community health

By doing this work, we aspire to solve social, economic, and health problems through sustainable community-generated solutions. We believe that the vision of healthier people and communities will require new partnerships and dedication of resources to population health and social determinants of health, including education, housing, environment, food, economic security, and safety. Our organization, Health Management Associates, recognized the need to expand its reach to include these social determinants that so clearly influence individual and community health. In light of this recognition, they pulled together our team, which has both the expertise of HMA and the insight of health and human services leaders. We have the experience to offer effective strategies to foundations, social service organizations, public health, corporations, colleges and universities, among others.

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