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The Value of Including Safety-Net Providers in Integrated Delivery Systems

As health care reform efforts look increasingly to integrated care systems in search of ways to provide better, more economical care, the importance of including safety-net providers in such delivery systems should not be overlooked.

So conclude the authors of “Including Safety-Net Providers in Integrated Delivery Systems:  Issues and Options for Policymakers,” a new issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund.

The brief notes that in many places, safety-net hospitals and other safety-net providers have far more experience caring for low-income patients than other providers and can play important roles in integrated delivery systems such as accountable care organizations (ACOs).

The inclusion of urban safety-net hospitals in such networks has long been a priority for the National Association of Urban Hospitals (NAUH) and its members.  Ever since the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, NAUH has been urging policy-makers to mandate the inclusion of urban safety-net hospitals in federal demonstration programs to ensure that those programs are adequately tested for their effectiveness in meeting the distinct needs of the communities that urban safety-net hospitals serve.

Read a summary of the report and download the full issue brief hereHealth Care Reform/Flag, on the Commonwealth Fund’s web site.

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