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Mobilizing Community Health Workers

A recent editorial in The New York Times highlighted the health and cost-saving benefits of health care services provided by health professionals outside of traditional primary care doctors, including trusted community aides:

“One novel approach trains local community members who have experience caring for others to deliver routine services for patients at home. Two pediatric Medicaid centers in Houston and Harrisonburg, Va., have tested this concept to see if it can reduce the cost of home care and avoid unnecessary admissions to a clinic or hospital… The study concluded that the program would have averted 62 percent of the visits to a Houston clinic and 74 percent of the emergency room visits in Harrisonburg.”

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative supports the utilization of community health workers in their Lots To Lose report (pages 67-69):

Healthy Communities Recommendation #2:
Nonclinical, community-based care is a critical tool in preventing obesity and chronic disease. We need to train and deploy a prevention workforce to help deliver this kind of preventive care.”

Read the full report here.

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2012-12-20 00:00:00

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