Publications: Vulnerable Populations

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Access to Care and Use of Preventive Services by Hispanics: State-Based Variations from 1991 to 2004

November 13, 2009 - Access to doctors and use of mammography, cholesterol testing, and other preventive services improved for both white and Hispanic patients nationally from 1991 to 2004, Fund-supported researchers reported in the journal Medical Care. Gaps in access to care, however, widened between whites and Hispanics in individual states, including Texas and Florida.

In the Literature

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

Achieving Better Quality of Care for Low-Income Populations: The Roles of Health Insurance and the Medical Home in Reducing Health Inequities

May 16, 2012 - A new analysis of the Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey demonstrates that when low-income adults have both health insurance and a medical home, they are less likely to report cost-related access problems, more likely to be up-to-date with preventive screenings, and report greater satisfaction with the quality of their care.

Issue Brief

Addressing Unequal Treatment: Disparities in Health Care

November 5, 2004 - This Issue Brief was prepared for The Commonwealth Fund/John F. Kennedy School of Government Bipartisan Congressional Health Policy Conference, January 15–17, 2004.

Issue Brief

Addressing Women's Health Needs and Improving Birth Outcomes: Results from a Peer-to-Peer State Medicaid Learning Project

August 8, 2012 - This brief examines seven Medicaid agencies that have worked to develop the programs, policies, and infrastructures needed to identify and reduce women's health risks either prior to or between pregnancies in an effort to lower high rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and preterm births.

Issue Brief

The Affordable Care Act's New Tools and Resources to Improve Health and Care for Low-Income Families Across the Country

October 9, 2013 - This issue brief reviews Affordable Care Act provisions that have the potential to benefit low- and modest-income individuals, including those that expand health insurance coverage; strengthen primary care and improve care coordination; bolster the capacity of providers serving low-income communities; and more.

Issue Brief

American Journal of Public Health: Racial and Ethnic Disparities

October 1, 2003 - The root causes of disparities in the quality of care between minority Americans, including blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans, and whites are not well understood, but a new study finds that patient-physician interactions contribute to the problem.

In the Literature

Analysis Raises Questions on Whether Pay-for-Performance in Medicaid Can Efficiently Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities

June 20, 2011 - In 2006, Massachusetts established a pay-for-performance program to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in hospital care for Medicaid patients. Using data from the first year of the program, the authors of this
article found little evidence of disparities in care. This finding and others raise questions about the utility of addressing disparities in hospital care through pay-for-performance.

In the Literature

Asian Americans' Reports of Their Health Care Experiences

February 2, 2004 - The researchers found that Asian Americans were less likely than white patients to report that they were very satisfied with their care overall and less likely to have a great deal of trust in their doctor.

In the Literature

Assessing and Addressing Legal Barriers to the Clinical Integration of Community Health Centers and Other Community Providers

July 15, 2011 - Collaborations that integrate community health centers with hospitals, providers, and/or public health agencies have yielded substantial benefits for patients. This report outlines that laws and policies that govern clinical collaborations and profiles health centers that have worked within the law to develop partnerships.

Fund Report

Association Between Patient-Centered Medical Home Rating and Operating Cost at Federally Funded Health Centers

June 26, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund-supported study of federally funded health centers calls for evidence-based payment for medical homes.

In the Literature

Best Practices in Specialty Provider Recruitment and Retention: Challenges and Solutions

August 12, 2005 - Faced with obstacles to recruiting and retaining providers, particularly specialists, a number of Medicaid managed care plans are improving their communications and outreach, implementing technologies to ease administrative burdens and improve claims turnaround, and offering financial incentives for high-quality care.

Fund Report

Black/White Differences in Very Low Birth Weight Neonatal Mortality Rates Among New York City Hospitals

March 3, 2008 - In New York City, black babies with very low birth weights are more likely to be born in hospitals with high risk-adjusted neonatal death rates, according to a new study in Pediatrics.

In the Literature

Building Medical Homes: Lessons From Eight States with Emerging Programs

December 2, 2011 - This Commonwealth Fund report profiles eight states that are at different stages in the development and implementation of a medical home program and have relied on different strategies to encourage primary care providers to adopt the model, including developing state medical home qualification standards instead of adopting national standards.

Fund Report

Care for the Uninsured in General Internists' Private Offices

November 1, 2003 - General internists provide a valuable service to uninsured patients, but one that also has limitations, according to a new study.

In the Literature