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Health Aff (Millwood). 2002 Sep-Oct;21(5):277-83.

Monitoring local safety-net providers: do they have adequate capacity?

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  • 1Mathematica Policy Research, Washington, DC, USA.


The safety-net providers that serve the nation's thirty-nine million uninsured residents are vulnerable organizations even in good economic times, yet efforts to monitor their capacity have been limited at best. This study of the safety-net in five cities found that capacity was strained for specialty services and that access to pharmaceuticals was difficult, while primary care capacity was more often adequate to serve those who presented themselves for care. Also, free clinics grew during the 1990s, while many other safety-net providers focused on improving their efficiency and collecting more fees from patients.

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