211. That's the number Detroit residents who lack insurance will soon be able to call for health care assistance. Patricia Anstett, medical writer for the Detroit Free Press, reports the details:
With the millions of uninsured in the U.S., it is surprising that this is the first time I have run across an initiative of this nature. One of the objectives is to connect patients with a "medical home," a place where their medical care needs are centralized. Allen is quoted as saying of medical homes, "It's where they belong, not in the emergency department."
The Safety Net Resource Center is to begin operations within the next few weeks, run by the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority and 25 community organizations.
Callers to United Way's 211 hotline will receive information on where to find free care, said Chris Allen, chief executive officer of the health authority. The authority, which helps coordinate information on uninsured and underinsured people in the area, is able to offer the additional help because federal and state funds have helped the agency's budget grow from $2 million several years ago to $8 million today, Allen said.
The 90,000 uninsured of Detroit's east side are the initial primary target of the program.
SOURCE: "211 hotline to free care nears" 04/28/08
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