Safety Nets & the 99%

What is a Health Care Safety Net and why do we need it?

  • Health care safety nets deliver care in a variety of settings to a diverse patient population that would otherwise be unable to afford health care.  These populations include, but are not limited to:
    • Inner city and rural poor communities, the homeless, low income migrant workers
    • The un/under insured and Medicaid patients
    • Previously employed and insured middle-class families that rely on safety net providers as their only source of care.
  • Challenges faced by existing safety nets include:
    • An aging population that has costly chronic conditions that increase in frequency and complexity with age
    • Rising health care costs, Medicaid provider shortages, and facility closures in communities where they’re needed most
    • The need for coordinated care across a variety of care providers and a fragmented health care delivery teams
    • Increasing levels of uncompensated care
    • Less than adequate coverage in vulnerable communities

Did you know?

  • As the economy gets worse, ERs across the nation have seen a surge in visits for non-urgent care needs.
  • The number of patients in need of emergency services is increasing at the same time the budget crisis threatens health care safety nets very existence.
  • Hospitals that serve poor, urban communities and vulnerable populations are closing in communities where they’re needed most.
  • The Health Care Safety Net may not be here when we need it, which threatens health outcomes in communities that need hospitals most…
  • Unless Congress does something soon, more Emergency Departments will close, and America’s growing elderly and medically underserved populations will contribute to catastrophic overcrowding, longer wait times and worse outcomes in the years to come.

In sum, local variations in patient populations, financing and workforce availability have resulted in a poorly coordinated and fragmented system of safety nets across the nation. While health care safety nets provide essential health services to individuals who otherwise would lack access to care, the resulting patchwork system of care also results in common problems such as restricted access to specialty services, service disruption and long wait times for patients seeking access.

Despite these limitations, the same fragmented local forces that create a patchwork system also open up opportunities for innovations that are highly attuned to specific community needs. It is for this reason that Occupy Health Rooms was formed – to provide a clear and simple path to strengthening the public health safety net for the benefit of the 99% in a timely fashion.

Comments

  1. A lot. More today than a year ago.Because of Obamacare, no company in America ofrefs stand alone children’s health insurance.Why? Obamacare dictates that it is guaranteed issue, without rate ups, regardless of health. Therefore, there is no reason to purchase it until there is a claim needing to be paid.That’s not health insurance. That’s a confiscatory tax on health insurance companies. Fortunately, they aren’t slaves yet, so they exercised the F U clause in the contract with the purple bellies from Washington and just refused to do business where they are guaranteed to lose money.How do you fix the problem of un- and under-insured? By making health insurance affordable.How do you make it affordable? By removing ALL government mandates, loser pays tort reform, encouraging competition between providers (enforce existing anti-trust laws), eliminate the AMA monopoly on billing codes, and eliminate the connection between employment and health insurance.Do these things and we’ll see health insurance cost less than auto insurance. More people will be covered, more people will be healthy.

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