Genesee Health Plan: Improving Access to Care and the Health of Uninsured Residents Through a County Health Plan

July 22, 2010

Overview


Genesee Health Plan (GHP) is a community-based nonprofit that provides primary care and other basic health care services to 27,000 low-income, uninsured adults in Genesee County, Michigan—one of the most economically challenged areas of the United States. Its annual budget of $24 million is funded through a dedicated local property tax and charitable support, supplemented by some state and federal financing. By increasing access to physician services and supporting patients to adopt healthy behaviors and manage chronic disease, the plan reduced its enrollees' use of emergency department services by 51 percent between 2004 and 2007 and hospital admissions by 15 percent between 2006 and 2007. GHP relies on independent physicians, clinics, and hospitals to provide services to its members and on collaboration among its community stakeholders—including local government, hospitals, faith-based organizations, universities, and community groups—to identify gaps in regional coverage and allocate resources accordingly. 

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This study was based on publicly available information and self-reported data provided by the case study institution(s). The aim of Commonwealth Fund–sponsored case studies of this type is to identify institutions that have achieved results indicating high performance in a particular area of interest, have undertaken innovations designed to reach higher performance, or exemplify attributes that can foster high performance. The studies are intended to enable other institutions to draw lessons from the studied institutions' experience that will be helpful in their own efforts to become high performers. Even the best-performing organizations may fall short in some areas or make mistakes—emphasizing the need for systematic approaches to improve quality and prevent harm to patients and staff. The Commonwealth Fund is not an accreditor of health care organizations or systems, and the inclusion of an institution in the Fund's case study series is not an endorsement by the Fund for receipt of health care from the institution.