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

nd Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and Harvard Medical School. "The recommendations in this report can encourage policymakers to focus on the unique issues facing these populations, and work toward creating a high performance health system for all."

The authors note that Affordable Care Act provisions targeted at vulnerable populations will go a long way toward improving health care for these groups, primarily through expanded health insurance, increased financial support for community health centers, and reforms that should improve health care quality and allow for people in vulnerable groups to receive better coordinated health care. However, vulnerable groups will remain at risk for poor health outcomes unless crucial issues beyond health insurance coverage like access to health care, affordability, care coordination, and the financial stability of safety-net hospitals are addressed.

A Policy Framework for Vulnerable Populations

In the report, the 17-member Commission lays out a policy framework that builds on Affordable Care Act reforms to create a more equitable health care system. The Commission comprises experts and leaders representing every sector of health care, as well as the state and federal policy arena, the business sector, professional societies, and academia.

The framework's overarching strategies revolve around ensuring adequate access and financial protection, strengthening the care delivery systems serving vulnerable populations, and coordinating the traditional health care system with outside resources also affecting vulnerable groups. Highlights of the framework include:

  • Create enough willing providers for Medicaid beneficiaries. To alleviate the shortage of providers, and particularly specialty care providers, willing to serve Medicaid patients, the Commission recommends considering payment reforms to reward high-quality ne
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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