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Providing Underserved Patients with Medical Homes

Are safety-net health care organizations ready to serve as medical homes? This issue brief reports on the findings of a survey of public hospitals, community health centers, rural health centers, and other safety-net providers that assessed their capacity to serve as medical homes. The survey found that safety-net health organizations have unique strengths, including a proven ability to reach out to and elicit the views of patients, and frequent provision of after-hours care. Yet it also found that safety-net providers face great challenges in delivering comprehensive, team-based care. The researchers propose several policies that would assist safety-net centers in transforming themselves into medical homes.

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