Publications: Vulnerable Populations

188 documents

Sort By: Date Alphabetical

Overburdened and Overwhelmed: The Struggles of Communities with High Medical Cost Burdens

November 28, 2007 - This Commonwealth Fund study finds that the pervasiveness of high medical cost burdens within a community is driven by the number of people who are either uninsured or have high insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health costs relative to their income.

Issue Brief

Access to Specialty Care and Medical Services in Community Health Centers

October 29, 2007 - Community health centers are a critical source of primary care services for more than 15 million Americans in underserved communities. But patients who are uninsured or covered by Medicaid experience difficulty obtaining specialty care services, a new study finds.

In the Literature

Separate and Unequal: Racial Segregation and Disparities in Quality Across U.S. Nursing Homes

September 11, 2007 - A new Commonwealth Fund-supported study shows that poorer quality of care in nursing homes is linked to racial segregation. Black residents are more likely than whites to live in poor-quality nursing homes marked by significant deficiencies on inspection reports, substantial staffing shortages, and financial vulnerability.

In the Literature

Lost Opportunities: Physicians' Reasons and Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment

August 30, 2007 - A Commonwealth Fund-supported study finds that many women do no receive adjuvant therapies shown to decrease mortality and morbidity from breast cancer because of "system failures"--breakdowns that occur despite surgeons' recommendation for treatment and patients' willingness to receive it.

In the Literature

Lessons from Local Access Initiatives: Contributions and Challenges

August 14, 2007 - Community health initiatives--locally crafted responses to health care access problems--have been steadfast in their efforts to connect uninsured and medically indigent people to health care services and health insurance. This report offers five case studies of community health initiatives that seek to improve access and coverage for those most likely to be uninsured: low-income, nonelderly adults.

Fund Report

Closing the Divide: How Medical Homes Promote Equity in Health
Care—Results from the Commonwealth Fund 2006 Health Care Quality Survey

June 27, 2007 - When adults have health insurance coverage and a medical home—defined as a health care setting that provides patients with timely, well-organized care, and enhanced access to providers—racial and ethnic disparities in access and quality are reduced or even eliminated, a new Commonwealth Fund report finds.

Fund Report

Disparities in Health Care Are Driven by Where Minority Patients Seek Care

June 25, 2007 - Where minority patients get health care can influence the quality of care they receive and may be a major underlying cause of health care disparities, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported article published today by the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) in the "Archives of Internal Medicine."

In the Literature

Resident Physicians' Preparedness to Provide Cross-Cultural Care: Implications for Clinical Care and Medical Education Policy

May 9, 2007 - A new Fund report examines data from a national survey of resident physicians. While few residents said they felt unprepared—in a general sense—to care for patients from racial and ethnic minorities and from diverse cultures, many felt unprepared to deal with specific situations, like treating patients with religious beliefs that affect care or limited English proficiency.

Fund Report

Language Proficiency and Adverse Events in U.S. Hospitals: A Pilot Study

April 6, 2007 - Commonwealth Fund-supported researchers have found that hospital patients with limited English proficiency are more likely than their English-speaking counterparts to experience adverse events that result in harm—and the severity of that harm is often greater.

In the Literature

Improving the Management of Chronic Disease at Community Health Centers

March 23, 2007 - A large federal initiative to improve chronic disease care for community health center patients has "significantly improved" processes of care for asthma and diabetes, say researchers at Harvard Medical School.

In the Literature

Language Barriers to Health Care Access Among Medicare Beneficiaries

February 27, 2007 - There has been relatively little research documenting the health-related language barriers facing older adults. This Fund-supported study finds that Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency are less likely than those who are proficient in English to have access to a consistent source of care and less likely to receive important preventive care.

In the Literature

Enhancing Public Hospitals' Reporting of Data on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care

January 30, 2007 - Emerging evidence indicates that targeted efforts to measure and improve the quality of health care may be able to reduce, or even eliminate, disparities, while improving care for all patients. A new Fund report assesses whether safety net hospitals treating large minority populations can use measures adopted by the Hospital Quality Alliance to collect quality data by patients' race and ethnicity.

Fund Report

Providing Language Services in State and Local Health-Related Benefits Offices: Examples From the Field

January 18, 2007 - Many benefits offices, which help people apply for Medicaid and other public programs, lack knowledge and resources about language services. The National Health Law Program evaluted these offices and offers strategies, such as written language access plans, recruiting bilingual staff for dual roles, and interpreter competency testing.

Fund Report

Why Are Latinos the Most Uninsured Racial/Ethnic Group of U.S. Children?

January 17, 2007 - Latino children are more likely to be uninsured than whites or African Americans. Fund-supported research in Pediatrics pinpoints the risk factors affecting Latino children: having parents who are not U.S. citizens, having two working parents, and having low family income.

In the Literature

The Quality of Chronic Disease Care in U.S. Community Health Centers

January 11, 2007 - Federally funded community health centers provide care to more than 15 million Americans, including many minority patients. A Health Affairs study by Fund-supported researchers finds that while these centers generally provide good care, gaps in quality exist, particularly for the uninsured.

In the Literature