A proposed network to improve access to high-quality health care for medicaid-eligible families
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There is today both a need and an opportunity to develop and test a variety of models—organizational and financial—for improving the delivery of health care services. This article describes the structure and functioning of one such model and highlights the organizational problems expected to arise during its implemèntation. The proposed health plan is intended to facilitate the access of Medicaideligible, inner-city families to already available health services. The central hypothesis is that in low-income urban areas the elementary schools offer an organizational focus for the development of a health plan. As a prepaid, community-based model, this plan is designed to address the issues of accessibility, equity, accountability, continuity of care, and consumer participation, primarily through the development of a coordinating agency, the health plan office (HPO), which assures the linking of consumers and providers of health care. Adapted from the Kaiser-Permanente model, the HPO also assumes responsibility for marketing, enrollment, coordination of services, consumer advocacy, and quality surveillance.
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