How Can Safety-Net Providers Care for Uninsured Patients While Controlling Costs?

Identifying opportunities for reducing disparities in health care access for uninsured populations

In 2000, researchers from the Lewin Group conducted a study of care management programs for uninsured and vulnerable populations.

Researchers examined care management programs that utilize a variety of techniques designed to control costs and ensure that patients with common, high-cost, chronic conditions receive appropriate, evidence-based services.

Key Findings

In a report entitled Care Management Programs for the Uninsured, the project team presented these findings:

  • Safety-net providers are using care management strategies, primarily due to the high number of uninsured patients seeking care for preventable health conditions.
  • Care management programs identify gaps in care and increase the demand for primary care visits.
  • Additional funding for primary care is necessary to support and sustain care management programs.

Key Recommendations

Among the team's recommendations for organizations considering adopting such programs:

  • Build long-term relationships between patients and providers.
  • Secure buy-in from executive, medical and support staff.
  • Use data to help highlight the program's status and what works.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $329,630.

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