Dialing for Health Care

Consumer helplines: Development and technical assistance

From 1994 to 1998, staff at Health Care For All evaluated, upgraded and expanded Helpline, its consumer information and referral service that provides information and assistance to consumers who face financial, cultural or other systemic barriers to accessing needed health care services.

Key Results

  • In the planning phase, project staff:

    • Evaluated the Helpline service and recommended upgrades.
    • Evaluated the programmatic and technical capacity of state consumer organizations to establish their own help lines.
    • Documented an unmet need for health care information.
  • In the implementation phase, project staff:

    • Handled approximately 12,379 calls over a two-year period, over twice the number handled before the grants.
    • Upgraded and systematized its data collection.
    • Collected up-to-date information on 25 public and private health care access programs.
    • Provided technical assistance to organizations in other states that wanted to establish similar help lines.