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Health Coverage in the Safety Net: How California's Coverage Initiative Is Providing A Medical Home to Low-Income Uninsured Adults in Ten Counties, Interim Findings

June 1, 2009

Policy Brief

Authors: Nadereh Pourat, PhD, Cori Reifman, Dylan H. Roby, PhD, Ying-Ying Meng, DrPH, Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS, Gerald F. Kominski, PhD

Only 27 percent of non-elderly adults in the United States have a "medical home" –- a place where they regularly receive medical care and advice. Shifting from more costly emergency care to the preventative and coordinated care provided by a medical home impacts costs, access, quality of care and the overall health status of low-income uninsured individuals. In this policy brief, the authors present interim findings on the efforts of ten California counties to explore the medical home model as part of the state's Health Care Coverage Initiative (HCCI), a three-year program to expand health care coverage for eligible low-income, uninsured individuals not otherwise covered by Medi-Cal. Among the innovations described are efforts to create electronic health and medical records, modify e-referrals to two-way communication between primary care physicians and other providers and standardize chronic disease registries.

Support for this policy brief was provided by a grant from The California Endowment.

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