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.
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.