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

eport cites evidence that much of the disparity in care experienced by vulnerable populations can be eliminated if they receive patient- and family-centered primary care that emphasizes team-based care, care coordination, care management, and preventive care. In addition, coordination with mental health and substance abuse services are particularly important for vulnerable patients. Government and private payers could promote team-based care for vulnerable groups by giving incentives for providers and patients and offering technical assistance and supports.

  • Foster an infrastructure of community-based support services. All providers serving vulnerable populations should be able to link their practices with community-based services like transportation, translation, or nutritional support, which they may need to fully access and benefit from the health care system to help meet their patients' needs.

  • Align efforts between the health care delivery system and public health services. Providers serving vulnerable populations, as well as state and federal government agencies, should promote coordination of efforts between the health care delivery system and local public health resources and programs to develop effective approaches to addressing medical issues that affect vulnerable groups like obesity, diabetes, and asthma.

    "This policy framework builds on the great strides we expect to be made for vulnerable populations once the Affordable Care Act takes full effect in 2014," said Commonwealth Fund Executive Vice President for Programs Anthony Shih, M.D. "By addressing crucial issues like access to care, affordability, quality improvement, and better coordinated care, these recommendations seek to assure that the uninsured, those with low incomes, and racial and ethnic minorities see the full promise of health reform and experience a truly equitable health care system."

    "The Affordable Care Act is a big step forward in terms
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  • Contact: Mary Mahon
    mm@cmwf.org
    212-606-3853
    Commonwealth Fund
    Source:Eurekalert

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