While Washington debates the specifics of reforming our current system to provide affordable, comprehensive healthcare coverage for all, policymakers would do well to consider the proven return-on-investment a strong focus on primary and preventive care can provide. Our unique community-hospital partnership in Minneapolis-St. Paul bears this out with hard data. Funded mainly via grants and commitments from local hospitals and health plans, this partnership provides affordable primary and preventive health coverage to those who dont qualify for Medicaid programs, but dont make enough to access health coverage on their own (income limited to 275% of federal poverty guidelines). Emergency room utilization among the working poor covered under this partnership declines over 33% on average because of increased preventive care and earlier medical intervention. Beneficiaries live healthier lives, and the burden we all bear for uncompensated healthcare is substantially reduced.
Executive DirectorPortico HealthnetSt. Paul, Minn.
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