Communities in Charge: Financing and Delivering Health Care to the Uninsured

In July 1997, the Board of Directors of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) authorized $16.8 million to support Communities in Charge: Financing and Delivering Health Care to the Uninsured.

Communities in Charge is a program to help broad-based community coalitions design and establish sustainable health care delivery systems that manage health care services for uninsured residents, promote prevention and early intervention and integrate health care services.

  • Twenty communities received funds to plan and design new health care finance and service delivery strategies, and 14 of these communities received additional funds to implement the strategies they designed.
  • Nine project sites enrolled more than 30,000 people in new or expanded coverage/access programs that ranged from new insurance programs to programs in which providers delivered care on a voluntary basis.
  • Eight project sites created new case management or disease management programs to better coordinate and meet the needs of low-income uninsured people.
  • Ten sites enrolled more than 50,000 individuals in public health insurance programs

Medimetrix, a for-profit health consulting firm located in Cleveland, was the national program office (NPO) and provided both group and site-specific technical assistance throughout the program. The evaluators reported that the enrollment programs offering coverage or access to care, while small, did improve access to health care services and preventive care for their enrollees.