Community-Based Clinics and Hospitals Key to Expanding Access to Underserved

Research on the use of a national physician service program to address the needs of underserved populations

From 1998 to 2000, staff at Dartmouth Medical School examined ways to strengthen community health centers and other safety-net providers who provide much of the care for the country's uninsured.

In the study, the project team reviewed the medical literature of the topic and visited approximately 20 safety-net organizations.

Key Recommendations

In a monograph entitled A Proposal: To Provide Essential and Effective Health Care for Working, Uninsured, Low-Income Adults, and Their Children, the project team made the following recommendations:

  • Convene the major stakeholders to seek consensus on a shared vision of expanded access to essential and effective health care for the uninsured.
  • Stabilize and strengthen the effectiveness of safety-net providers by creating incentives for them to partner with others.
  • Design and implement a mechanism to finance the incremental cost of essential and effective health care for low-income, long-term uninsured, working adults and their children.
  • Reauthorize the National Health Service Corps, a student-loan forgiveness program that the authors described as the essential backbone for attracting young health care professionals to medically underserved areas.
  • Strengthen the governance and management of community-based health centers.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $19,995.

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