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The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act

Edited by Emily Vardell

Following the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), librarians are more frequently called upon to provide assistance with navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace and understanding health insurance terminology and forms. Libraries offer an ideal context for health insurance information seeking, as librarians have traditionally assisted with completing public assistance forms and are well-trained in ascertaining and meeting information needs.
This book is designed to serve as a practical guide for librarians seeking to learn more about the ACA; locate authoritative, nonbiased information regarding the ACA; and serve patrons searching for ACA information for personal or research purposes. While the book focuses specifically on the unique role that health sciences librarians play in serving the general public, health care providers, biomedical researchers, and health sciences students, the book contains guidance relevant to any information professional working with ACA information.
Tailored to a librarian audience, this authoritative guide from the Medical Library Association begins with a general introduction to the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the aspects of the ACA legislation most pertinent to librarians. The following chapter focuses on the role of the librarian in relation to ACA implementation. Next, a chapter on health insurance literacy provides a foundation for those seeking to familiarize themselves with research on individuals understanding of health insurance concepts. The following chapter builds on this foundation, discussing how a librarian can breakdown an ACA question, including a step-by-step guide.
The last part of the book focuses on trends in ACA and health insurance information provision. It begins with a general overview of the types of ACA information services librarians are providing. Next, ten librarians are highlighted as case studies of the types on information services provided by health sciences librarians responding to ACA information needs. These chapters are designed to serve as springboards for those librarians interested in learning best practices and recommendations.
The last chapter contains an authoritative list of recommended, unbiased ACA resources. This annotated bibliography is an excellent place for librarians to familiarize themselves with ACA logistical information as well as locate authoritative resources on insurance terminology. As librarians are increasingly being called upon to address health insurance information needs from the general public as well as researchers, this text provides concrete, helpful advice in providing unbiased, evidence-based answers.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 110Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-5536-4 • Hardback • October 2015 • $60.00 • (£39.95)
978-1-4422-5537-1 • Paperback • October 2015 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
978-1-4422-5538-8 • eBook • October 2015 • $30.00 • (£19.95)
Emily Vardellis a Doctoral Student and Teaching Fellow at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests focus on health information behavior, particularly health insurance literacy and decision-making. As a Teaching Fellow, she has served as the instructor of record for graduate-level courses including Health Sciences Information and Information Resources and Services. Prior to returning for her doctoral studies, Emily was the Director for Reference and Education at the Louis Calder Medical Library at the University of Miami. Emily earned her Masters of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University in 2007 as a distance education student while working as a Fulbright Scholar in Austria. She began her medical librarian career as a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow. Emily is an active member of the Medical Library Association (MLA), and has served as Chair of the MLA Public Health/Health Administration Section and Chair-Designate of the MLA Professional Recruitment and Retention Committee. Emily is a recipient of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) New Leaders Award and is active in the ASIS&T Health Informatics Special Interest Group. She is the Online Updates Column Editor for Medical Reference Services Quarterly, where she reviews a health-related database each quarter.
Chapter 1: Introduction by Emily Vardell
Chapter 2: Overview of the Affordable Care Act: Historical Context and Knowledge
Management Concerns by Francisca Goldsmith
Chapter 3: Role of the Librarian by Margot Malachowski
Chapter 4: Health Insurance Literacy: Implications for Librarian Involvement by Emily
Chapter 5: The Health Insurance Reference Question: A Step-by-Step Approach by Deborah
H. Charbonneau and Kelli Ham
Chapter 6: Current Practices in Health Insurance Information Provision by Emily Vardell
Chapter 7: Profiles in Health Insurance Information Provision Best Practices by Emily
Chapter 8: Recommended Affordable Care Act Information Resources for Consumers by
Kelli Ham, Michele Malloy, and Brenda Linares
Chapter 9: Recommended Affordable Care Act Information Resources for Practitioners by
Michele Malloy and Brenda Linares

About the Author
[T]his guide simplifies the complex topic of the ACA into manageable pieces. It provides the necessary information for readers to provide relevant services, improve their own health insurance literacy, and acquire skills for helping library users find and utilize quality health insurance information.
Latitudes: Newsletter of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific/Southwest Region

Most any librarian will find it a helpful beginning guide to providing reference and finding information on the ACA.
Journal of the Medical Library Association

The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions About the Affordable Care Act is an impressively accessible, quick reference handbook that answers a plethora of questions surrounding library patrons’ health insurance information needs. . . .[T]he authors have successfully compiled information relevant to all types of libraries serving all types of patrons on this complex topic. This guide is especially recommended for professionals in leadership roles, and those directly assisting patrons with ACA and health insurance questions.
Medical Reference Services Quarterly

The Medical Library Association Guide to Answering Questions about the Affordable Care Act is a highly readable overview of the ACA and is an important book for librarians in all types of settings. Not only will it serve as a general guide to understanding the ACA, it will also aid librarians in supplying patrons with high quality information and service on this timely topic.
Mary Grace Flaherty, Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina

Comprehensive coverage of the basics that librarians in diverse settings will need to understand and cope with information needs about the ACA.
Catherine Arnott-Smith, Discovery Fellow and Associate Professor, Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison