Health Reform and Safety Net Transformation – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health Reform and Safety Net Transformation

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For more information about this program please contact:

Wesley Epplin
Policy Director

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Health Reform and Safety Net Transformation

Health & Medicine’s Health Reform and Safety Net Transformation initiative works to strengthen the safety net—such as the protection of charity care in area hospitals—in Cook County and across Illinois. As health reforms are enacted locally and national, our health systems reform leadership is central to developing thoughtful implementation strategies to expand care for all Illinois residents while also assuring that stakeholder voices are heard and integrated into new policies.

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In this age of austerity and political divide, ensuring health services for all is a critical task.  With traditional “safety net” populations becoming even more vulnerable,  it is more important than ever to consider health systems reforms that improve the social determinants of health (education, income inequality, employment, housing, transportation, etc.), increase prevention activities and early interventions, and improve access to quality healthcare services.  Health & Medicine’s safety net initiative seeks to ensure a more seamless health system that works for all, especially the uninsured, underinsured, and underserved.

In the last several years, Health & Medicine’s health policy and health systems reform leadership has been essential to carrying out Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation and state health reform initiatives in Illinois. Health & Medicine’s greatest strength is our reputation among government, private and non-profit partners as an “honest broker” and trusted authority on all aspects of health policy, with particular expertise in safety net issues. We build coalitions across all sectors to align efforts and maximize the potential of reform. We interpret federal and state policy for local systems by researching best practices, convening stakeholders and building consensus to facilitate successful policy implementation and achieve the essential goal of the ACA and state reforms: expanded health coverage.