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Strategy for improving health care for uninsured, low-income, and minorities in the US
Date:10/6/2011

New York, NY, October 7, 2011A new set of strategies released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System could dramatically improve how the U.S. health care system serves vulnerable populationsthose in the U.S. who are uninsured, low-income, or members of racial and ethnic minority groups.

According to the new report, Ensuring Equity: A Post-Reform Framework to Achieve High Performance Health Care for Vulnerable Populations, closing the health care divide will require a three-pronged policy framework that ensures adequate access to health care and financial protection, strengthens the health care system's ability to serve vulnerable populations, and supports coordination between the traditional health care system and the resources outside of the health care system that vulnerable groups rely upon.

The report highlights the significant divide between vulnerable populations and their more secure counterparts in rates of receiving recommended screening and preventive care, control of chronic diseases, and hospital admissions for conditions that may be preventable with good primary care and community health outreach. For example:

  • Just four of 10 low-income adults receive all recommended screening and preventive care, compared with six of 10 higher-income adults.
  • Nearly three of 10 (29%) uninsured adults diagnosed with diabetes do not have it well controlled, twice the rate of the insured (15%).
  • Black adults are hospitalized for heart failure at rates (959 per 100,000) more than twice the rate for Hispanic adults (466 per 100,000), and nearly three times the rate for white adults (349 per 100,000).

"Our current economic situation has increased the number and proportion of people who are vulnerable, leaving even more families at risk of suffering from our health care system's inequities," said Commission Chair David Blumenthal, M.D., Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine a
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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