Strategy for improving care for uninsured

Oct. 7, 2011 at 1:26 AM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A non-profit group says a set of strategies it has developed could improve the way the U.S. healthcare system serves vulnerable populations and the uninsured.

The Commonwealth Fund's report said four of 10 low-income adults receive all recommended screening and preventive care, compared with six of 10 higher-income adults.

Nearly 30 percent of uninsured adults diagnosed with diabetes do not have it well controlled -- twice the rate of the insured at 15 percent. Black adults are hospitalized for heart failure at rates (959 per 100,000) more than twice the rate for Hispanic adults (466 per 100,000) and nearly three times the rate for white adults (349 per 100,000), the report said.

"Our current economic situation has increased the number and proportion of people who are vulnerable, leaving even more families at risk of suffering from our healthcare system's inequities," Dr. David Blumenthal of Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare System and Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. "The recommendations in this report can encourage policymakers to focus on the unique issues facing these populations, and work toward creating a high performance health system for all."

For example, to alleviate the shortage of providers willing to serve Medicaid patients, the commission recommends considering payment reforms to reward high-quality networks of providers for providing optimal care for Medicaid beneficiaries, the report said.

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