Reducing Health Disparities with a Web Based Learning Management System: GURULZ

Period of Performance: 05/13/2016 - 03/31/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

MY Coverage Plan, Inc.
Madison, WI 53703
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): My Coverage Plan, Inc., (MCP) proposes: Reducing Health Disparities with a Web Based Learning Management System: GURULZ. Reducing uncompensated care helps disparity patients and providers. Lack of knowledge about health coverage resources helped create $84.6 billion of uncompensated care in 2013 in the U.S. according to the Kaiser Foundation. The GURULZ technology solution is a Learning Management System (LMS) that will facilitate development and enhancement of community based health benefits counseling services through individualized, competency-based stakeholder training. Primary stakeholders (learners) are community advocates and health care provider staff. Secondary stakeholders are patients who will benefit from health benefits counseling services and may also use GURULZ to strengthen knowledge and use of health benefits programs. GURULZ will link stakeholders to a measurable, interactive, culturally competent training about access to health care benefits for reducing health disparities and uncompensated care. GURULZ provides the training and LMS to complement MCP's TurboTax(r)-like Benefits Screener and coverage record tool (currently in final development) for community based health benefits counseling services. GURULZ will measure and strengthen the core competence of advocates and others to provide skilled benefits counseling services and reduce uncompensated care. The evaluation will measure changes in stakeholder core competencies after training, stakeholder interviews about training experience and impact, and review charity care and uncompensated care data. Partners: ABC for Health, Inc. (ABC); St. Mary's Hospital; HealthWatch Wisconsin; a Community Coalition, Adult Education, Health Literacy and software Consultants. Outpost partner, St. Mary's Hospital, serves 1,000 low-income individuals: 30% Spanish-speaking, 25% African American, and 25% special needs. Overarching Specific Aim: Reduce health disparities by mitigating knowledge barriers to health coverage through testing and developing a GURULZ LMS for three categories of stakeholders: 1) Advocacy Staff (advanced advocacy training), 2) Health Service Provider Staff (intermediate training on referral and service coordination), 3) Patients (basic training on insurance concepts and choices). Specific Aim 1: Establish a competency-based assessment tool for each stakeholder group that identifies knowledge/ competency gaps and cultural and economic barriers to health coverage. Specific Aim 2: Develop a proof of concept, GURULZ LMS with interactive training modules for each stakeholder group and each learner's individual initial assessment. Specific Aim 3: Use stakeholder and advisory committee input for continuous assessment/improvement of GURULZ including evaluation of usability and educational impact on stakeholder groups. Specific Aim 4: Identify integration strategies for GURULZ to operate within emerging benefits screening and record technology.