Skip to content Skip to navigation

Safety Net Care Coordination Growing Trend for Uninsured

August 7, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a study from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), care providers for low-income uninsured people are increasingly looking towards care coordination to improve quality care and reduce costs. The study, “Safety-Net Providers in Some U.S. Communities Have Increasingly Embraced Coordinated Care Models,” examined trends in safety net coordination activities from 2000 to 2010 in 12 cities with low-income metropolitan communities.

“Delivery of health services through the safety net historically has been fragmented. Usually hospitals, community health centers, and private physicians providing charity care have operated independently of each other, with little or no coordination…. Such fragmentation can result in severe gaps in the availability of services, reduce quality, lead to redundant use, and increase the costs to providers who typically operate with limited resources and thin margins,” the report’s authors said in the article.

The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institute for Health Care Reform, found there were three main approaches to safety net coordination: centralized referral networks, managed care programs for the uninsured, and care coordination across multiple providers. According to the research, care coordination across multiple providers involves organizations, such as a hospital and community health center, working together. An example, cited was the establishment of a medical home for uninsured patients.

There were concerns cited in the research. According to the HSC, some community-based respondents were “concerned that safety-net coordination programs could face a loss of private funding and community interest.”

The study, which will appear in the August issue of Health Affairs, can be found here:<  



Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.

AHRQ Developing New Patient Safety Surveillance Tool

With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.

Gates Foundation Awards $210M to UW's Population Health Initiative

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.

AHA Offers Interoperability Standards Recommendations to ONC

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has offered feedback to the ONC on the agency’s draft Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) that it issued in August.

Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.