Individuals without health insurance are generally sicker, poorer, and less able to support our economy, their families and communities. Without reliable access to a medical home, individuals with acute pain or other symptoms are more likely to use emergency departments, ultimately raising the cost of care across the health care system. Even in communities where safety net providers exist, they can be challenged to recruit and retain providers. Close to 200 new providers will be needed by 2020 to fill the gap between the number of physicians currently working in North Carolina and the estimated need.
Strategy: Access to Care
Free clinics, community health centers and other safety net providers with a mission to provide health care to the uninsured all help low-income and uninsured North Carolinians manage their chronic conditions, ultimately improving quality of life and reducing unnecessary use of emergency departments. We seek to increase capacity at existing safety net organizations to promote economies of scale and to support the long-term sustainability of these core organizations. Investments in equipment and other capital are prioritized when they support both access and quality of care as well as long-term financial viability. Our strategy also works to increase workforce commitment to and competence in providing care to underserved populations through community-based training programs. We support programs that increase collaboration across specialties (such as primary care and dental) and encourage the work of provider teams working at the top of their training and licensure.