New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for a program to improve health care access for immigrants in the nation’s largest city incorporates the principal recommendation from The Hastings Center and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC).
The recommendation, for the creation of a networked primary care medical home system for uninsured immigrants, comes from “Undocumented Immigrants and Access to Health Care in New York City: Identifying Fair, Effective, and Sustainable Local Policy Solutions,” a report by The Hastings Center and NYIC. Both organizations were participants in the Mayor’s Task Force on Immigrant Health Care Access, convened to identify ways to meet the health care needs of thousands of residents left out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The mayor’s plan is part of a yearlong program, called Direct Access, to be launched in the spring of 2016 “to provide reliable and coordinated access to affordable health care for immigrants who are excluded from federal and state support,” according to the mayor’s office.
“The creation of a direct access program for uninsured immigrants, using existing safety-net resources, is a major step toward closing health care gaps for New York City’s remaining uninsured and will spur fresh thinking about local solutions to this national problem” says Nancy Berlinger, a Hastings Center research scholar and the lead author of the report.
“The primary care medical home model reflects lessons learned from innovators in other cities,” says Michael Gusmano, a Hastings Center research scholar and co-author of the report.
Berlinger and Gusmano are co-investigators of The Hastings Center’s Undocumented Patients project, which has contributed significantly to efforts to describe fair, effective, and sustainable local solutions to a health policy problem that often creates ethical challenges for frontline clinicians and safety-net organizations with limited resources.