A new study suggests that Healthy San Francisco, the country’s first government-sponsored effort to provide health care access to all residents, is working. San Francisco’s previously uninsured residents seem to be getting healthier, and providers are generally satisfied with the program and intend to continue participating.
Lessons learned in the first move toward universal coverage might help inform efforts to prepare for national reform, according to the study by Mathematica Policy Research, “Evaluation of Healthy San Francisco.”Â Â
Since the program launched in 2007, non-urgent emergency department visits and hospitalizations are dropping in San Francisco (as they continue to rise elsewhere in the state), and a centralized system has helped the program keep tabs on the city’s uninsured population.
Healthy San Francisco — which is not an insurance program but a subsidized system providing access to care for the uninsured — “has helped San Francisco prepare for health reform in several important ways,” according to Mathematica researchers.
Can state, county and city policymakers apply lessons learned in the Healthy San Francisco program to help the rest of California make the most of health care reform?
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