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BMC receives 2 awards to study delivery of patient care
Date:10/19/2013

(Boston) Boston Medical Center (BMC) has been approved to receive two research awards from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). One will study the delivery of cancer care to patients who face socio-legal barriers and the other will test the effectiveness of integrative medical group visits (IMGV) for treating chronic pain. BMC received two of nine awards, totaling more than $3.5 million in the health disparities category, which illustrates the hospital's commitment to deliver the most innovative health care to its patients.

Tracy Battaglia, MD, director of the Women's Health Unit at BMC, will lead the cancer research project. Previous research shows that delays in care persist for low-income patients with socio-legal barriers, such as unsafe/unstable housing, unlawful utility shutoffs or job termination. Partnering with patients, key community stakeholders and Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston (MLP) (a nationally replicated program founded at BMC that assists healthcare teams in detecting and addressing patients' socio-legal barriers to health), the researchers will compare standard navigation, using lay health workers to address patient barriers and coordinate cancer care services, with an MLP navigation model that offers legal support to low-income cancer patients.

"We believe addressing socio-legal barriers to care with MLP navigation will improve patient-reported outcomes and lead to more timely care delivery," said Battaglia. "Because of widespread national availability of patient navigation and MLP programs at hospitals serving vulnerable patients, this intervention can be quickly replicated to improve patient experience and survival."

Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, assistant director of Integrated Medicine at BMC as well as a family medicine physician at the hospital, will lead the research project on chronic pain. It will focus on reducing disparities to access effective non-pharmacological treatments for
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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