The Affordable Care Act has offered unprecedented access to health care and disease prevention, but it has also added pressure on health care safety net providers. In fact, rather than eliminating it, the safety net will continue to be a crucial aspect of health care delivery, according to a 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Report. A team of RWJF scholars compiled The Health Care Safety Net in a Post-Reform World (Rutgers University Press, 2012).
According to the authors, community health centers and provider practices located among vulnerable populations will play a critical role in meeting the increased demands of the safety net population. The increased demand from this population will require full clinical integration of health centers into a new care delivery arrangement and financing structures established under the Affordable Care Act.
For physicians committed to not only providing medical care for underserved populations, but also helping improve the population health of the region, the Authority Health experience will offer a relatively unique training environment where safety net practice is presented as a distinct opportunity. Whether it’s in urban Detroit, or another medically underserved area, residents will be prepared to meet this growing need – and have an opportunity to make a real difference in the health of communities you serve.
What we do is strengthen the safety net by increasing awareness of community health centers, free clinics, and other health resources targeted to the underserved; expanding the capacity of providers, both institutions and health professionals; increasing enrollment in Medicaid and other health programs; expanding preventative health services; and promoting wellness through chronic care management and positive lifestyle options.
The Health Authority, together with its academic partners at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is committed to expanding the provider base in the safety net through this residency experience, as well as for nurses and other health professionals. It’s also committed to promoting development of new health centers and wellness centers that provide site-specific opportunities for community engagement.