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In 2016, Health & Medicine initiated a research project to explore the impacts, unintended consequences, and unfinished work of health reform—broadly defined—from the perspective of representatives of Cook County’s health care safety net through interviews and focus groups with people working in the sector. In late 2018, we began the process of re-interviewing participants in our original research project as well as adding the perspective of stakeholders from additional sectors. Initial findings from this qualitative research served as the basis for an October forum entitled The Chicago Forum for Justice in Health Policy: Health Reform Impacts, Challenges, and the Future. Forum participants responded to our research findings as well as adding their own feedback and experiences. This report summarizes our learnings based on both our research and the forum proceedings.
This study extends previous research examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act and state Medicaid expansion on the safety net. The paper analyzes how the current political context is impacting the safety net sector while also examining overall adaptations to health reform, understanding its consequences, and identifying safety net stakeholders’ policy and philanthropy recommendations for future reform. This research focused specifically on the safety net in western Cook County and eastern DuPage County, Illinois (the western suburbs of Chicago).
In 2010, 29.9% of African American Medicare beneficiaries in Chicago who were hospitalized were readmitted within 30 days of discharge, more than 50% higher than the national average readmission rate of 19.2%. The stark disparity in this statistic led our Health & Medicine Center for Long-Term Care Reform team to dig deeper on readmissions-related statistics and learn about any best practices to address the gaps that could lead to such a disparity. We are pleased to share our findings this report.
This paper was developed in response to a grant from the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute and focuses on one specific health workforce challenge: the absence of African American men in medicine. As a health workforce policy and practice leader in Illinois, Health & Medicine recognizes that the workforce challenges we face locally and nationally are multifaceted. There is a need for more healthcare workers and a more diverse workforce across all fields. Thanks to Sharon Post and Ahrianna Mitchell-Sodipe for their contributions to this report.
In 2013, the Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative successfully petitioned the Illinois Department of Public Health to include an ACE module in the State’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)—a CDC-developed survey that collects information on health risk behaviors, chronic diseases, use of preventive health practices, and health access. Our report presents findings from the 2013 BRFSS and examines the prevalence of ACEs among adults in Illinois and Chicago, including assessing racial/ethnic and gender differences, and the association of ACEs with negative health outcomes.
The Chicago AHEC Health Careers Handbook provides career profiles of over 60 different health professions as well as information about education, financial aid, job descriptions, and salary information.
In 2017, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s Illinois ACEs Response Collaborative (the Collaborative), the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Alliance for Health Equity (AHE) partnered to establish the Trauma-Informed Working Group (the Working Group) of the AHE, a group of 18 Chicago-area hospitals and health care systems working to become trauma-informed. This report aims to share the learnings of the Working Group. It is our hope that the insights presented here will provide direction for health care institutions and other organizations pursuing TIHC transformation.
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s Center for Long-Term Care Reform started the Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative in 2015 to guide local advocacy and facilitate practice-level change to improve the lives of people with mental illness and substance use disorder. This Playbook shares the lessons from building and operating a Learning Collaborative and from our three Workgroups. We hope that others can use these as tools to launch or enhance quality improvement and collaborative learning projects.
For people with mental health and/or substance use disorders, behavioral health equity enables recovery. This brief presents an approach for individuals and institutions working in healthcare and public health to engage people with behavioral health conditions around their health and social needs, preferences, and values.