Beyond Survival to Transformation: Investing in Safety-Net Innovation to Address the Impacts of COVID-19

October 7, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified October 8, 2020

Safety-net health systems, hospitals, and clinics act as a point of contact for those who are most vulnerable: the uninsured, underinsured, and those on public insurance plans such as Medicaid and Medicare. According to this Health Affairs Blog written by Urmimala Sarkar and Alice Hm Chen, innovation and investment are key to improve and sustain the essential services safety-net facilities provide, especially with the pandemic causing further strain on these systems.

Sarkar and Chen urge we need a concerted and coordinated policy effort to not only sustain but transform care in the US safety net to effectively address the consequences of COVID-19. Specifically, they recommend:

  1. Innovation with a safety-net focus.
  2. Ensure health information technology fits diverse patients’ needs.
  3. Invest in technology that supports daily management of chronic diseases.
  4. Prepare the health care workforce to integrate information technology into daily work.
  5. Prioritize broadband access in low-income and diverse communities.
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