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UNS-001: Urban Health

Urban Health: The Wisconsin Medical Society supports the following recommendations to reduce disparities and improve urban health in Wisconsin.

  1. Reimbursement and Financing
    1. Improving physician reimbursement and payment incentives for serving Medicaid patients.
    2. Continuous improvement in workflow, system design, and electronic health records for optimal efficiency.
    3. Extending either at the state or federal level the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Primary Care services fee adjustment which brought primary care services reimbursement into parity with Medicare payment for two years as it was shown to have increased access for Medicaid patients.
  2. Patient Access
    1. The extension of medical care services to the state’s urban and rural underserved areas by working closely with local, state and federal organizations committed to improving access to health care in Wisconsin.
    2. Increased patient access to culturally and geographically appropriate physicians.
    3. Advocates for cultural competency education and ongoing training for physicians and other medical professionals.
    4. The importance of improving health literacy specific to those who live in urban settings to improve patients’ access to health care.
    5. Encouraging communities to develop programs and/or free clinics to provide health care for the underserved, uninsured and underinsured.
    6. Improving primary care via expansions of Federally Qualified Health Centers and Patient Centered Medical Homes.
    7. Universal access to necessary health care, including access for the underinsured and uninsured.
    8. Increased access to patient translation services and health literacy efforts, including the availability of patient advocate services.
    9. Improving continuity of care for patients’ access to necessary specialists, hospitals, pharmaceutical medicine and imaging services.
    10. Patient access to public and/or contracted non-emergency transportation services that are reliable, timely and efficient.
    11. Programs that reduce health disparities.
    12. Community and public health efforts that address socio-economic health determinants as a strategy to enhance the care in underserved areas and to eliminate health disparities.
  3. Health Disparities
    1. Increasing the availability and effectiveness of evidence and community-based programs and policies that improve urban health.
    2. Recognizing collaboration among stakeholders and organizations as an important step to improving urban health;
    3. Collaborating with other community entities, agencies and public health departments to improve patients’ access to health care and to reduce disparities.
  4. Workforce
    1. Increasing the amount of minority health professionals available, specifically increasing the number of medical students and physicians working in the state that represent underserved populations;
    2. Training sites for medical students and residents in urban settings and promotion of rotations through varying urban settings;
    3. Medical school programs, like TRIUMPH, which provide rotations in urban settings for medical students who are committed to providing health care to urban populations and reducing health disparities;
    4. State and/or federal physician assistance loan programs that repay educational loans for physicians practicing in health care shortage areas, like but not limited to, the National Health Services Corps and the Health Professionals Loan Assistance Program.
    5. Incentives to encourage physicians to work in the inner city. (HOD, 0416)