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Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a public interest law firm whose mission is to provide pro bono legal representation to low-income residents experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services. HLA is committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts, particularly for those who are most at risk due to such factors as race, gender, disability, age, or geographic location. With its partner organization, Health Care For All, HLA combines legal expertise with grassroots organizing and policy reform to advance the statewide movement for universal health care access.

Mission Statement

Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a public interest law firm whose mission is to provide pro bono legal representation to low-income residents experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services. HLA is committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts, particularly for those who are most at risk due to such factors as race, gender, disability, age, or geographic location. With its partner organization, Health Care For All, HLA combines legal expertise with grassroots organizing and policy reform to advance the statewide movement for universal health care access.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,458,435.00
Projected Expense $1,458,435.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1. Health Care Reform Initiative
  • 2. Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative
  • 3. Mental Health Parity Initiative
  • 4. Childrens Mental Health Access Project
  • 5. Medical Debt Initiative
  • 6. Pro Bono Legal Network
  • 7. Helping Veterans Access Health Care

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a public interest law firm whose mission is to provide pro bono legal representation to low-income residents experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services. HLA is committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts, particularly for those who are most at risk due to such factors as race, gender, disability, age, or geographic location. With its partner organization, Health Care For All, HLA combines legal expertise with grassroots organizing and policy reform to advance the statewide movement for universal health care access.


Background Statement

Founded in 1996, Health Law Advocates (HLA) is the only non-profit law firm in Massachusetts dedicated exclusively to helping vulnerable residents overcome barriers to health care. HLA's clients are low-income residents from all parts of the Commonwealth. Many are children, the elderly, people coping with chronic diseases and disabilities and recent immigrants. All of our services are free of charge for our clients who have few resources and little or no income. In 2015, HLA's staff of full-time attorneys, along with more than 120 volunteer lawyers in our Pro Bono Legal Network, represented more nearly 700 Massachusetts families and individuals facing obstacles to health care.
 
Day in and day out, HLA makes a difference in the lives of ordinary people who simply are unable to cut through legal, administrative or financial barriers to obtaining needed health care. HLA's activities also include advocacy for system-wide change to improve health care access for low-income consumers, including litigating class-action matters, pursuing public policy reforms, and conducting community outreach and education programs.
 
HLA was founded with a single staff person and has grown consistently over the past 21 years. Our organization now has 15 staff members including 11 attorneys. As a result of our growth and record of successful advocacy, HLA has served as a model for the creation of similar organizations throughout the country. HLA has provided legal representation in more than 11,500 cases throughout our history involving individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth who need help accessing critically needed health care.
 
HLA also establishes strategic initiatives that combine multiple, complementary types of advocacy to address specific systemic health care access barriers impacting entire segments of the population. We identify these challenges by listening to the concerns of low-income consumers themselves. Oftentimes, we tackle the most invidious obstacles to health care where other forms of advocacy alone, such as political activism, have failed but the unique power of legal advocacy makes all the difference. 

Impact Statement

Our top accomplishments from the past year include the following:
  • Provided pro bono legal representation to help nearly 600 low-income Massachusetts residents overcome barriers to health care.
  • Advocated successfully for public policies to improve access to health for vulnerable low-income populations, particularly: children, immigrants, persons with physical disabilities, those with mental illness and substance use disorders, and transgender individuals. 
  • Conducted extensive community outreach and education activities to promote health care access for the poor among grassroots advocates and consumers.
 Our top goals for this year include:
  • Protecting low-income health care consumers from disastrous policy changes by the new Presidential administration.
  • Continue to advance policy reforms, particularly on the state level, to improve health care access for the most vulnerable populations.
  • Engage low-income consumers and their advocates in the community to help them use the law to remove barriers to health care.




Needs Statement

1. HLA needs $147,000 to run our Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative annually. A individual gift of $7,500 will help an HLA attorney identify and assist 10 immigrants with unmet health care needs.
 
2. HLA needs $200,000 to operate our Mental Health and Addiction Parity Initiative annually. An individual gift of $2,500 will allow HLA to represent 5 low-income consumers unable to access treatment for mental illness or addiction.
 
3. HLA needs $150,000 to support our Medical Debt Initiative each year. A gift of $2,500 will enable HLA attorneys to assist 5 Massachusetts families burdened by overwhelming medical debt.

 
 

CEO Statement

It goes without saying that health care is a basic human need. Yet, we all know that making quality care available and affordable for everyone is an ongoing struggle in our society. Imagine the hardship faced by those with few or no financial resources who are even more disadvantaged due to health status, age or language barriers when their health insurer denies coverage for a needed service or they receive a medical bill for tens of thousands of dollars for an uncovered service.

As the only non-profit law firm in Massachusetts dedicated exclusively to health care access issues, HLA provides free legal services to low- and middle-income families and individuals who otherwise could not afford an attorney. We are committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts, particularly for those who are most at risk due to such factors as race, gender, disability, age, immigration status or geographic location.
 
In a perfect world, there would be no need for our services but the unfortunate reality is that our services are needed now more than ever. New state and federal laws create valuable new consumer rights for health care access, but those who are vulnerable need an attorney when these rights are violated. Also, persistent economic challenges that especially impact low-income individuals and families place enormous pressures on public resources as well as the private and non-profit health care sectors on which consumer rely.
 
We owe our success to our nonprofit collaborators, generous supporters, volunteer attorneys, board members and many friends. We are very grateful for their commitment and support.
 
Matt Selig

 


Board Chair Statement

HLA's mission is the same whether we represent a single woman with cancer who lost her health insurance or litigate on behalf of tens of thousands of low-income, taxpaying legal immigrants abruptly dropped from their health plans. HLA helps the most vulnerable Massachusetts citizens obtain the health care they need. 
 
I began volunteering to take pro bono cases from HLA in 1998, just over one year after I passed the Bar. I had never considered health law a personal passion, likely because I had never faced any personal health problems or ever had difficulty accessing care. With my first case I realized the importance of access to quality health care services and how it is, perhaps, the most significant human rights issue facing our society at this time.
 
My first HLA client was a woman not much older than me, who suffered from a debilitating medical condition for which the best treatment at the time – and the only one that would leave open the door to having a child – was considered experimental. The treatment cost approximately $7,000 which was more than one-third of her annual income. She was in extraordinary pain, and without this treatment, would likely be totally disabled in the year to come. I had never considered the economic aspects of health care access before her case; that $7,000 treatment meant the difference between my client living in poverty, dependent upon Social Security, or becoming a contributing member of society pursuing her dreams. I also never understood how blessed we are as lawyers to have the tools to educate individuals about their health care rights, to work to enforce those rights, and to advocate for change in the system, which all too often fails to protect those individuals most in need.
 
We settled that case by working collaboratively with my client’s insurer to resolve the claim without resorting to litigation. For a long time, I kept in touch with my client, and I still do with the lawyer for the insurer. Every time we saw each other, we discussed our shared experience and the profound affect it had on our lives and for me, on my career path. I continue to advocate for health care access both through HLA and my private practice, work I consider myself privileged to perform. I believe it is incumbent upon each one of us to use the tools we have been given to fight for health care justice, for without it, we can never claim the economic and social justice we so desperately need. I am proud every day to Chair HLA’s board knowing that I am working with an organization whose mission is to achieve that goal.
 
HLA’s work is not limited to the legal system. Consistent with our mission to expand health care access on a broad scale, HLA continued its tradition of advocating outside the halls of justice, to policymakers and health care system institutions for action to eliminate the obstructions to health care that so many in Massachusetts face. Buoyed by our supporters, committed to our clients and inspired by our cause, we are eager to continue our work to make health care accessible to all.
 
Respectfully,
 
Mala M. Rafik
HLA Board President

 

 


Geographic Area Served

Massachusetts-All Regions

HLA serves residents throughout Massachusetts who are in or near poverty.

Organization Categories

  1. Health Care - Patient & Family Support
  2. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Children's Rights
  3. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention - Alliances & Advocacy

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

1. Health Care Reform Initiative

More than 1 million low-income and disabled Massachusetts residents rely on the Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act to access health care. The new President's administration and Congress have promised to drastically cut these programs. State officials are already implementing significant new changes in our state's Medicaid program that pose serious risks to poor families. HLA's Health Care Reform Initiative protects low-income Massachusetts residents from the harm caused by these federal and state policy changes.
Budget  $360,000.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care Reform
Population Served Families Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
We will help low-income consumers overcome barriers to health care caused by federal and state health policy changes throughout 2017.
Program Long-Term Success 
HLA seeks to protect low-income consumers from cuts to the Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act.
Program Success Monitored By 
HLA distributes feedback forms to individual clients and tracks metrics including the number of clients we help enroll in health insurance and the health care services we make accessible for our clients.
Examples of Program Success 
An HLA attorney recently represented a one-year-old Massachusetts girl with Down syndrome, heart defects and other serious health conditions. She has difficulty breathing while she sleeps so she needs in-home care to keep her safe and at home. When Medicaid drastically cut her in-home care, HLA helped her restore coverage for these critically needed services.

2. Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative

HLA’s Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative addresses pervasive and steep health care barriers facing low-income immigrants. Our attorneys do so through legal assistance, outreach and education and policy advocacy. In 2017, low-immigrants who rely on Medicaid and other state programs to access health care face grave danger because of anti-immigrant policies espoused by the new President's administration.
Budget  $150,000.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care Reform
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Families Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
This year, HLA plans to continue to represent low-income legal immigrants having difficulty obtaining access to health care. We will also continue to lead the Immigrant Health Care Access Coalition's efforts to advocate for policies that will protect immigrants from barriers to health care.
Program Long-Term Success  The ultimate objective of this program is to eliminate the disproportionately high rate of uninsurance and barriers to health care faced by low-income immigrants in Massachusetts.
Program Success Monitored By 
HLA tracks the success of our legal representation of immigrant clients through our electronic case file database in which we track the results of each matter. We also distribute surveys to our clients at the close of our representation.
Examples of Program Success 

Due to HLA's advocacy with state policymakers, our state's Medicaid agency conducted extensive retraining of staff to substantially reduce the number of erroneous health insurance denials.


3. Mental Health Parity Initiative

Mental illness and substance use disorders should be treated like any other medical condition when it comes to insurance coverage for care. That is the principal behind the Massachusetts and federal Mental Health Parity laws.
 
HLA, through our Mental Health Parity Initiative, fights to make sure that consumers' rights to non-discriminatory health insurance coverage under the Mental Health Parity laws are protected. As in HLA's other initiatives, we employ a mix of strategies that has proven effective, including legal action on behalf of individual clients and classes, public policy advocacy, consumer education and advocacy with health plans.
 
HLA has been active in pressing policymakers to strengthen the Mental Health Parity laws. For example, we helped author vital legislation that confirmed the state's primary role in enforcing the Parity laws and required the state's Division of Insurance and Office of Medicaid to issue regulations enforcing the Parity laws.
Budget  200,000
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Mental Health Treatment
Population Served Adults Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  HLA will provide pro bono legal representation to low-income clients who have been unjustly denied coverage for mental health or substance use services. We will also advocate for stronger state and federal enforcement of the Mental Health Parity laws through continued regulatory advocacy and advance dialogues with health plans to encourage practices that facilitate coverage for mental health and addiction treatment.
Program Long-Term Success 
HLA will secure improved access to mental health and substance use care for low-income consumers by eliminating discriminatory health plan practices and ensuring health plan compliance with the federal and state Mental Health Parity laws.
 
Program Success Monitored By 
HLA tracks the monetary value of health care services that are covered by health insurance as a result of our advocacy. We will also monitor the practices of health insurers through our interactions with our clients and track the activities of state agencies to enforce the Parity laws.
Examples of Program Success 
HLA successfully advocated for a state law that requires the Massachusetts Division of Insurance and Office of Medicaid to issue regulations enforcing the federal and state Mental Health Parity laws. These regulations were finalized in 2013 and included several provisions sought by HLA and members of our Mental Health and Addiction Parity Coalition. The regulations provide a process through which consumers can file complaints with the state alleging insurer's non-compliance with the Parity laws and they require health plans to confirm their compliance with the Parity laws through extensive filings with the state.

4. Childrens Mental Health Access Project

Many children in Massachusetts confront steep barriers to timely access to mental health care. That is why HLA launched its Children's Mental Health Access Project in 2006. This collaborative project is a ten-year commitment that has helped many children get the care they need.
 
Families trying to access mental health services often face long waits for evaluations or residential placements. Insurance companies often deny coverage for doctor-recommended services. HLA attorneys represent low and middle-income families whose children have been denied access to mental health services. The Project also works with parents, school officials, and mental health clinicians to increase awareness of ways to improve access to mental health services for children.
 
In 2012, HLA launched its Juvenile Court Mental Health Advocacy Project (JMHAP) a component our Children's Mental Health Advocacy Project, to address pervasive barriers to mental health care access faced by juvenile court-involved youth. Our JMHAP builds on our work over the past 10 years in which we have advocated for juvenile court-involved children with unmet mental health care needs across Massachusetts. In addition to continuing our advocacy on behalf of individual court-involved children, JMHAP includes an effort to develop a new mental health advocacy program that will improve mental health care access for youth and reduce involvement with the court system.
Budget  $450,000.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care Issues
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 
In 2017, HLA's Juvenile Court Mental Health Advocacy Project will launch a new phase in which we advocate for children with unmet mental health needs in juvenile court as well as those at high risk of entering the court system.
Program Long-Term Success 
HLA's Children's Mental Health Access Project will improve access to mental health care for Massachusetts children and families by eliminating discriminatory health plan practices used in making coverage determinations for mental health services, integrating a mental health advocacy program into the juvenile court system and advancing public policies in collaboration with other child-serving agencies in Massachusetts to improve children's access to mental health services and care.
 
 
Program Success Monitored By 
The Boston University School of Public Health is conducting a program assessment for JMHAP set for completion in 2017 An interim report on the assessment concluded that JMHAP provides needed services for a highly vulnerable population and has a measurable positive impact on children's lives. 
Examples of Program Success 

The Boston University School of Public Health's assessment of J-MHAP found, as of July 2016:
 
81.4% of youth served by J-MHAP previously experienced a barrier to mental health treatment.
 
Families participating in J-MHAP for 6 months experienced a "clinically relevant": reduction in the impact of the youth's difficulty on the family and youth; reduction in family conflict; and, improvement in the youth's quality of life.
 
J-MHAP's Mental Health Advocates achieved 85% of participating families' goals by the time their case was closed.

5. Medical Debt Initiative

HLA has a long history of advocating for low-income Massachusetts residents with unaffordable medical bills. HLA has represented and advised hundreds of clients facing a financial catastrophe simply because they needed health care. We protect consumers with medical debt against unlawful health care provider collection and billing practices. 
 
Medical debt is a leading cause of financial hardship for people across the country and in Massachusetts. Medical debt has a major impact on personal finances and it is a significant barrier to health care. A 2012 study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation found that 26% of households with income less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) had problems paying medical bills in the last year. This study also found that 19% of those under 300% FPL did not get needed health care because of cost.
Budget  $150,000.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care Economics
Population Served Families Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
HLA will represent more than 200 low-income consumers with unaffordable medical debt this year.
Program Long-Term Success 
HLA looks to achieve long-term success in this area by reforming public policies and hospital practices to reduce the impact of unaffordable medical debt on low-income consumers.
Program Success Monitored By 
HLA distributes feedback forms to individual clients we represent within the initiative and we track the amount of medical debt we eliminate for our low-income clients.
Examples of Program Success 
Since March 2011, we have eliminated $2.2 million in medical debt for our low-income clients..

6. Pro Bono Legal Network

HLA established its Pro Bono Legal Network to leverage the resources of the private bar to help address the gap in availability of health law-focused legal services for low-income families. Through the Legal Network, HLA has encouraged the private bar in Massachusetts to play a crucial role in representing individuals who have been denied access to health care. Under the Legal Network program, HLA recruits attorneys from the private bar and trains them in the field of consumer health law, thus increasing professional expertise in the field. In turn, these attorneys accept pro bono client referrals from HLA and they represent an ever-growing number of clients coping with health care access .
 
HLA's Pro Bono Legal Network consists of more than 130 attorneys from all over the Commonwealth and from law firms and corporate legal departments of all sizes. HLA identifies referral cases for Legal Network members based on their particular interests and backgrounds.
Budget  $50,000
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care Issues
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success 
Our goal for 2014 is to refer 30 cases to members of our Legal Network.
Program Long-Term Success 
The long-term goal of HLA's Legal Network is to maintain a panel of attorneys in private practice who handle 5% of our client caseload every year and assist with systemic reform litigation when needed.
Program Success Monitored By 
At the close of each referral matter handled by a Legal Network member we ask that the volunteer attorney and the client they represented participate in a written survey to describe their level of satisfaction with the case.
Examples of Program Success 
Attorney Jamie Goodwin of the law firm of Sandulli Grace closed the case of KB in 2013. KB, a 17-year-old living in Worcester County, has substantial disabilities because of an anoxic brain injury. As a result, she relies on home nursing service for more than 100 hours per week. KB is enrolled in Medicaid which recently reduced coverage for KB's nursing services by 25% from 112 hours per week to 84 hours per week. Attorney Goodwin assisted KB with her appeal and successfully restored coverage for 112 hours of home nursing services per week. 

7. Helping Veterans Access Health Care

According to a report issued by Harvard University, there are more than one million American veterans without health insurance and this number continues to grow. More than 300,000 American soldiers and veterans suffer from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. And, tragically, our veterans are committing suicide at a rate higher than those losing their lives on the battlefield.
 
HLA hopes to develop an initiative to focus on health care access for low-income veterans but to do this we will need to expand our legal and support staff. Gaining access to affordable health care is often our veterans' biggest hurdle upon returning home from serving our country in the military. HLA is hoping to address that injustice in Massachusetts.
Budget  $200,000
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Care Issues
Population Served Adults Families Homeless
Program Short-Term Success 
HLA has yet to launch our Veterans Health Care Access Initiative. We anticipate that once we do, we will secure health insurance coverage for needed health care services and/or access to health care services from the Department of Veterans Affairs for a certain number of veterans.
Program Long-Term Success 
Our ultimate goal is that low-income veterans in Massachusetts will have prompt and affordable access to the health care they need.
Program Success Monitored By  Because we have yet to launch our Veterans Health Care Access Initiative we do not have an indication as to which strategies are effective.
Examples of Program Success 
We do not have any program success to report yet, because the program has not yet been launched.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Recent major health care reform laws on both the state and national levels provide HLA with extraordinary opportunities to use legal advocacy to ensure consumers enjoy the benefits intended by those laws. Our ability to use these opportunity to expand access to health care is only limited by our resources. A major challenge we face is raising those resources. 
 
There are also some barriers to health care we are fighting that are not impacted by recent health care reform laws. For example, many children in the juvenile court system cannot access the mental health care they need and recent reform laws will not change that. In instances such as this, HLA will use other forms of legal advocacy, not connected to reform laws, to advance health care access.  
 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Matt Selig
CEO Term Start May 2009
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Matt is HLA's executive director. He joined HLA as a staff attorney in 2005 and became executive director in 2009. While at HLA, he has represented hundreds of low-income clients and overseen all aspects of the organization including its legal advocacy and finances. During Matt's tenure as executive director the organization won a historic class action lawsuit on behalf of tens of thousands of low-income immigrants and launched several new initiatives, including efforts to protect the right to access health care for low-income transgender people, immigrants and children with unaddressed mental health care needs who are involved in the juvenile court system.

Matt has advocated for health care access for lower-income consumers since the early 1990’s. He began his professional career as the staff assistant for the Chief Counsel for Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s staff on the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources (now known as the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions). In Senator Kennedy’s office Matt participated in advancing national health care initiatives including proposals to expand health insurance coverage and strengthen public health programs. He left Senator Kennedy’s office to attend Suffolk University Law School where he graduated magna cum laude in 1997. Matt then worked in the Massachusetts State House as a legislative aide to State Representative Kay Khan who now co-chairs the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. In the State House, Matt drafted and helped enact various legislative and budgetary provisions including measures to improve mental health services and correctional health care. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Ms. Barbara Anthony June 2007 May 2009
Ms. Laurie Martinelli Sept 1996 Apr 2007

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Marisol Garcia Project Director Marisol is a senior staff attorney and Project Director of the Juvenile Court Mental Health Advocacy Project (J-MHAP). She joined HLA in February 2015 from private practice where she specialized in disability law and represented children and adults before the Social Security Administration to attain SSI and SSDI benefits. Previously, Marisol maintained her own law office in Lowell for 13 years where she specialized in juvenile law and represented children in juvenile court proceedings. She also served as a staff attorney at the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts for two years. She received her JD from Northeastern University School of Law and a BA from Providence College. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Robert MacPherson Chief Operating Officer Bob has served as HLA’s Chief Operating Officer since 2008.  He is responsible for overseeing the administrative operations including support, payroll, financial reporting and systems.  Prior to HLA, Bob worked in operations and accounting at BankBoston/Fleet Bank.  He attended the University of Massachusetts and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Bob recently obtained a certificate in non-profit management from Northeastern University.
Clare McGorrian Senior Staff Attorney Clare was the first staff attorney hired by HLA, and served on the legal staff from 1997 to 2005. During that time, Clare was lead counsel for Health Care For All v. Romney, a class action lawsuit to improve dental care access for children on MassHealth. In 2005, Clare established a private practice focused on health insurance disputes and disability benefits. As a private attorney, Clare frequently consulted to HLA on the remedial phase of HCFA v. Romney and other matters. Clare rejoined HLA in June 2013. Clare is on the Massachusetts Bar Association Health Law Section Council and has also been active in the Boston Bar Association. Clare speaks and writes frequently on health care law as it affects consumers. She teaches at New England Law Boston and Suffolk University Law School and has been a visiting lecturer at Tufts University. Clare is a graduate of Harvard College and Northeastern University School of Law.
Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong Litigation Director Lorianne has served as an attorney at HLA since 2007. She serves as lead in-house counsel and consulting counsel on complex litigation, including class actions and appeals related to health care access. Her substantive work focuses on protecting low- and moderate-income consumers from unaffordable medical debt and unfair collection practices. Additionally, Lorianne trains and mentors HLA staff. Before joining HLA, Lorianne represented consumers in tort claims, won political asylum for a pro bono client, and reviewed claims of policy owners in an alternative dispute resolution.  Lorianne is a graduate of Assumption College (BA),  New England School of Law (JD), and she studied under U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy at Salzburg University. Lorianne is proficient in Spanish and is admitted to practice in several state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Outstanding MIRA Member Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition 2011

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

  • Immigrant Health Care Access Coalition (More than 40 health care and immigrant advocacy organizations, chaired by HLA).
  • Children's Mental Health Campaign (Health Care For All, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), Boston Children's Hospital, Parent Professional Advocacy League (PPAL))
  • Transgender Health Access Coalition (Community Catalyst, Health Care For All, Mass. Transgender Political Coalition, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, PFLAG)
  • Affordable Care Today Coalition (50 health care advocacy organizations)
  • Oral Health Advocacy Task Force (38 dental health advocacy organizations)
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Parity Coalition (24 mental health and substance use care advocacy organizations, chaired by HLA)
  • Medical Debt Working Group (Community Health Advisors, Greater Boston Legal Services, National Consumer Law Center, Costs of Care, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Health Care For All, Community Catalyst)
  • Pro Bono Legal Network (More than 120 attorneys in private practice who accept pro bono case referrals from HLA)


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

HLA's major challenges are adapting our advocacy to our rapidly changing health care system and maintaining our resources.  
 
Dramatic changes in federal and state health care policies over the past several years have challenged HLA to adapt our advocacy strategies to keep up with current law. As a result of these significant developments in health care policy, HLA must work diligently to analyze these new provisions and determine how we can utilize legal advocacy to ensure that low-income consumers are receiving the maximum benefit.
 
To address the consistent challenge of maintaining financial resources, HLA has devoted additional staff time to the process of pursuing grant opportunities and increasing corporate and individual giving. We also established the position of Program and Development Associate in recent years to help coordinate these activities.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 13
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 120
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 83%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 11
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Mala M Rafik
Board Chair Company Affiliation Rosenfeld & Rafik P.C.
Board Chair Term July 2016 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Brian P. Carey Foley Hoag LLP Voting
Michael S. Dukakis Former Governor of Massachusetts; Northeastern University Voting
Ruth Ellen Fitch Former President, Dimock Community Health Center Voting
Lisa Fleming Commonwealth Care Alliance Voting
Paula Gold Plymouth Rock Assurance Voting
Joshua Greenberg Boston Children's Hospital Voting
Daniel J. Jackson Northeastern University School of Law Voting
Wendy E. Parmet Northeastern University School of Law Voting
Mala M. Rafik Rosenfeld & Rafik P.C. Voting
Steve Rosenfeld Health Care For All Voting
Lauren Smith M.D. FSG Voting
Eleanor H. Soeffing Soeffing Associates Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 9
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): Southeast Asian
Gender Female: 8
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 68%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 25%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our health care system is constantly changing, but the speed at which it is doing so has accelerated substantially in the past few years. With each incremental or large-scale change, there are powerful interests competing to shape reforms to fit their self-interest. HLA's role is to protect health care access for low-income people at all times, but this duty becomes more complex when the health care system is in flux. Our challenge is to keep up, and even ahead, of the changes in the health care system to ensure that poor people can receive health care when they need it.  

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,348,409 $1,426,675 $984,085
Total Expenses $1,200,738 $1,105,343 $1,097,001

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$845,427 $666,195 $250,173
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $28,342 $23,980 $13,135
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $88,341 $354,815 $310,956
Investment Income, Net of Losses $2,517 $2,877 $3,714
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $383,782 $378,808 $406,107
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $881,791 $823,747 $821,327
Administration Expense $229,649 $197,035 $191,267
Fundraising Expense $89,298 $84,561 $84,407
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.12 1.29 0.90
Program Expense/Total Expenses 73% 75% 75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 7% 8% 13%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $2,051,266 $1,860,945 $1,564,273
Current Assets $1,929,986 $1,853,238 $1,552,330
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $119,025 $76,375 $86,635
Total Net Assets $1,932,241 $1,784,570 $1,477,638

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
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Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 12.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 16.21 24.26 17.92

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

HLA has increased its annual revenue from $798,000 in fiscal year '09 to nearly $1.5 million in fiscal year '16. This increase is attributable to increases in grant and contract income, including participation in several major foundation and federal grants in the past few years. This substantial increase in revenue has created an opportunity for HLA to expand our level of services and raise our organizational profile. At the same time, we do face a challenge in maintaining an annual budget and level of services at our current level because some of our larger grants are time-limited by the funders' policy and not renewable.  
 
HLA is addressing the challenge of maintaining our current revenue levels by employing a full-time development staffmember and enhancing the involvement of our board of directors in fundraising activities. In addition, we seek to enhance existing and develop new fundraising streams such as residual awards from class action lawsuits and planned giving. 
 
 
 
 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS 990s. The breakout of contributions from Foundations & Corporations was provided by the nonprofit.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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