Medical Homes 'Viable Model' For Providing Primary Care

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FederalRecovery Coordinator Donald Powell on Thursday said community health clinicsare a "viable model" for delivering health care in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports (Monteverde, New OrleansTimes-Picayune,11/16).

HHS earlier this year allocated $195 million in aone-time round of grants to GulfCoast health services.About $100 million of the grant money went toward clinics that provide primarycare to low-income and uninsured residents in an effort to reduce dependency onemergency departments and ensure residents receive basic care (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 5/29).

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According to the Times-Picayune, "government officials havewrestled with how to rebuild public health care for the uninsured and workingpoor of the city" after the 2005 hurricanes. Before the hurricane,uninsured residents would receive care at the now-shuttered CharityHospital.As efforts to rebuild the hospital infrastructure continue, a network ofcharitable clinics, serving as "medical homes," has formed to provideuninsured residents with access to health care and to lessen reliance on EDs.

Powell said, "I think it's a model that deserves to be reviewed and lookedat. Anytime you can get better health care with less cost, (it's)powerful." According to Karen DeSalvo, executive director of the TulaneCommunity Health Center, with the grant from the federal government, the centeris able to treat about 1,000 residents every month, half of whom are uninsured(New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/16).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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