Shah, Megha K., Michele Heisler, and Matthew M. Davis. 2014. "Community health workers and the patient protection and affordable care act: An opportunity for a research, advocacy, and policy agenda." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 25(1): 17-24.
Community health workers (CHWs), who have been shown to be effective in multiple roles in the provision of culturally appropriate health care in a variety of settings, have the potential to be important members of an interdisciplinary health care team. Recent efforts have started to explore how best to integrate CHWs into the health system. However, to date, there has been limited policy guidance, support, or evidence on how best to achieve this on a larger scale. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), through several provisions, provides a unique opportunity to create a unified framework for workforce integration and wider utilization of CHWs. This review identifies four major opportunities to further the research, advocacy, and policy agenda for CHWs.