It’s been nine months since the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) started the technical assistance project with Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) grantees, which was enabled by a grant from the Administration for Community Living. From the start of the project, NAPCA has been busy creating culturally- and linguistically-appropriate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) resources, training, and materials for SMP and SHIP grantees to help them better reach and serve limited English proficient (LEP) AAPI Medicare beneficiaries.
NAPCA recently developed an AAPI Cultural Competency Webinar Training Series, and conducted the first of three webinars for SMP, SHIP, and Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) grantees, “Identifying and Defining AAPI Populations.” To complement the training, NAPCA also composed three fact sheets:
- Four Strategies to Identify an Interpreter,
- Identifying Population Counts Within Your Community, and
- Identifying Languages Within Your Community
There were about 50 SMP, SHIP, and MIPPA staff in attendance at the first webinar, and registration for the two upcoming webinars are filling up fast. The next two trainings, “Understanding AAPI Older Adults’ Unique Needs and Vulnerabilities” and “Equipping Grantees with Ideas and Strategies about How to Better Reach and Engage these Populations,” will be held on July 13th and August 10th, 2016.
There are more exciting things to come from this project, too! NAPCA is developing a comprehensive AAPI Toolkit, to document best practices and to provide SMP and SHIP grantees with strategies on how to better reach and engage LEP AAPI older adults. Additionally, NAPCA, in partnership with the Pacific Gateway Center and Diverse Elders Coalition member organization Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC), are creating three outreach and education materials in 10 different AAPI languages: Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Ilocano, Korean, Laotian, Samoan, Tagalog, Tongan and Vietnamese. The overall objective is to increase the number of LEP AAPI Medicare beneficiaries who are aware of and utilize their Medicare benefits, and who can identify and prevent Medicare fraud, error and abuse. These resources will all be made available through the SHIP and SMP technical assistance resource centers, as well as through NAPCA’s National Resource Center on AAPI Aging.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.