The American Plasma Users Coalition (A-PLUS) is a coalition of national patient advocacy organizations, including the National Hemophilia Foundation, created to represent the unique needs of more than 170,000 patients with rare diseases who use life-saving plasma protein therapies. It recently announced the launch of the State Exchange Project, a new initiative that will educate state-based community advocates about the health reform implementation process and equip them to influence it. The program is targeted to chapter staff and other key community advocates.
The State Exchange Project recently released the first in a series of four informational webinars. The first, “Health Reform in Your Backyard— Essential Health Benefits: What State Advocates Need to Know,” took place on Thursday, March 15, 2012, with more than 70 advocates participating. It provided an overview of essential health benefits (EHB) as defined in the Affordable Care Act, the initial guidance provided by the federal government to the states, the state's role in establishing EHBs, and the role for community advocates. JoAnn Volk, research professor at Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute, is the presenter for the webinars.