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Outreach and Enrollment Agent Model

The outreach and enrollment agent model is similar to the health educator model with additional outreach and enrollment responsibilities. In this model, community health workers (CHWs) conduct intensive home visits to:

  • Deliver psychosocial support
  • Promote maternal and child health
  • Conduct environmental health and home assessments
  • Offer one-on-one advice
  • Make referrals

Another important aspect of this model is the role of the CHW in helping to reduce social isolation among clients. Through outreach efforts, such as home visits, CHWs work with patients to identify issues such as social isolation. Other CHW models also contribute to reducing social isolation among patients.

As outreach and enrollment agents, CHWs also help individuals to enroll in government programs that provide social and health services. CHWs that serve in an outreach capacity typically receive specialized training.

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) finds sufficient evidence of effectiveness for interventions that:

engage community health workers… as outreach, enrollment, and information agents to increase self-reported health behaviors (physical activity, healthful eating habits, and smoking cessation) in clients at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Examples of Outreach and Enrollment Agent Models

  • The ASPIN Network: Community Health Worker Program provided training to CHWs and certified health insurance enrollment navigators to increase access to health insurance enrollment in rural Indiana.
  • The Prevention through Care Navigation Outreach Program, implemented by the Tri-County Health Network, utilized CHWs to reduce diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevalence. The CHWs conduct outreach by meeting community members where they are: homes, libraries, churches, human services offices, etc. They also provide screenings, referrals, education, and peer support.

Implementation Considerations

As an outreach and enrollment agent, CHWs may visit hard-to-reach populations in their homes. CHW programs implementing components of this model should consider the following:

  • Acquiring liability insurance prior to employing CHWs
  • Encouraging CHWs to be aware of their surroundings during their travels, for example, instruct CHWs to discontinue a home visit if they feel uneasy
  • Educating CHWs on eligibility requirements for relevant state and federal programs
  • Hiring bilingual CHWs to facilitate communication between non-English speaking patients and agencies or providers

Resources to Learn More

Making Insurance Exchanges Successful: The Role of Community Health Workers
Describes the role of CHWs in providing enrollment assistance for insurance exchanges.
Organization(s): The Century Foundation

Making the Connection: The Role of Community Health Workers in Health Homes
Provides an overview of the role of CHWs in supporting Health Homes, including care coordination, health promotion, and care management.
Organization(s): NYS Health Foundation
Date: 9/2012