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EQCA gets grant for Medicare fraud training

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Equality California Institute said today that it received a $50,000 grant from California Health Advocates to train CHA’s Senior Medicare Patrol volunteer workforce on culturally competent outreach strategies to the LGBT community, and to receive training from the CHA SMP on Medicare fraud and abuse, allowing both organizations to do better outreach within the LGBT senior community on how to identify, prevent and detect Medicare fraud and abuse.

“This is a fantastic partnership with California Health Advocates, where both sides win. We know how to talk with the LGBT community, they have vital strategies to avoid our seniors being defrauded or abused,” said John O’Connor, executive director. “And all of this will benefit our Californian LGBT elders, helping them become informed healthcare consumers.”

Founded in 1997, the CHA is the leading Medicare advocacy and education non-profit in California, working to educate and advocate for Medicare beneficiaries and their families, as well as educating Medicare professionals on California’s most pressing Medicare issues.

“We are thrilled with our partnership with Equality California Institute,” said Julie Schoen, Senior Medicare Patrol project director for California Health Advocates. “Successfully serving our diverse LGBT communities requires good relationship building, cultural understanding and respect. Receiving training for our staff and volunteers on such culturally competent outreach strategies will allow this to happen naturally…and we also gain a whole new team in spreading the message on Medicare fraud prevention.”

This grant broadens EQCAI’s healthcare outreach programs, dovetailing with work done under the Health Happens with Equality campaign, funded by the California Endowment. Under the HHwE campaign, EQCAI has already contacted thousands of Californians about their new options under the Affordable Care Act, and the CHA grant will build upon strengths in communicating health information to the LGBT community.