San Francisco Health Access Program Focuses on Cultural Competency
San Francisco's new universal health care access program is measuring its success on how well it addresses the cultural differences of the city's uninsured population, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/18).
Launched in July, the Healthy San Francisco program has expanded citywide to 14 health clinics and eight community clinics. The program seeks to enroll all 82,000 adult uninsured residents over the next two years.
The program is not health insurance, however, and only covers the cost of health care services within the city.
The goal of the program is to provide preventive care for uninsured residents and reduce the rate of chronic diseases, which increase hospitalization and leave the city with the bill (California Healthline, 10/22).
Among the 82,000 adult uninsured residents:
- 32% are white;
- 32% are Asian;
- 26% are Hispanic;
- 3% are black; and
- 2% are Native American.
Of those residents, 39% are believed to be U.S. citizens, while 39% are undocumented immigrants and the rest are documented immigrants.
Given the city's diverse population, medical professionals treating the program's members will take into account patients' race, gender, age, sexual orientation, native language and other demographic characteristics.
About 5,000 residents have enrolled in the program, all of whom have incomes that do not exceed the federal poverty level.
In January 2008, the program is scheduled to expand to all uninsured city residents regardless of income (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/18). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.