Focus Groups Say Education and Coordination Must Precede New Health Insurance Programs

Development and analysis of program options to achieve universal coverage for children

In 1997, researchers at Medimetrix Group, a consulting firm based in Cleveland, gathered information from focus groups in six cities to help the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) assess the field and obtain a solid base of information on which to develop program options for the estimated 10 to 11 million children who have no health insurance coverage.

Key Findings

  • Uninsured children had not been a focus of the community groups, indicating that local stakeholders needed to undertake community-wide education efforts about the causes and impact of the problem before attempting to build coalitions to support programs.
  • "Ownership" of the problem could not be allocated to the health care community; instead, a successful solution at the community level must be a collaborative effort among the public, private and community sectors.
  • Locally, the problem is seen as lack of coordination for services to at-risk children, rather than lack of access to care.

Funding

RWJF supported this project through a grant of $86,303.

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