State Health Reform; Disparities
Health care providers in Polk County are faced with increasing numbers of low-income, uninsured patients who do not have the resources to pay for their health care out of pocket. At the same time, state and local funding sources are limited, and are insufficient to ensure that these individuals have access to the health services that they require. Community leaders are extremely interested in developing information to understand the magnitude of the uninsured problem in Polk County and to identify health care delivery strategies to better serve this population. A Blue Ribbon Steering Committee was convened in October 2004 to examine how hospital-sponsored health care is currently delivered to the uninsured in Polk County. The Committee's goal was to create a participatory process to plan an effective and sustaining model to deliver core safety net services to the County's uninsured. To assist them with these tasks, researchers from The George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services, Department of Health Policy, were retained to conduct an assessment of hospital-sponsored health care services delivered to Polk County's uninsured. This assessment is designed to highlight key issues affecting access to care for uninsured and underinsured residents, and to present potential policy options for restructuring hospital-based services in the county.
Nolan, L., Regenstein, M., & Cox, M. (2005). An assessment of hospital-sponsored health care for the uninsured in Polk County/Des Moines, Iowa. Des Moines, IA: Blue Ribbon Steering Committee.