Impact Feature Issue on Enhancing Quality and Coordination of Health Care for Persons with Chronic Illness and/or Disabilities
From the Editors
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For individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses who have complex health care and other support needs, it is too often the case that they must navigate complex service systems largely on their own, trying to identify and put together all the pieces of the services and supports they require. The outcome is often fragmented, with the individual or family exhausted, frustrated, and experiencing significant and even life-threatening unmet needs.
Throughout the country, growing numbers of individuals with complex medical and support needs are receiving health care and other human services with the assistance of care coordination programs. Though care coordination is in its infancy as a practice, the experience of these individuals and their care providers suggests that it’s promising in not only improving effectiveness of care and quality of life, but it may also prove more cost-effective through its ability to help individuals access appropriate and preventive care before conditions escalate. This issue of Impact highlights several of these programs, and individuals whose lives have been changed, even saved, by them. It also describes system-level issues and options for further exploration by those shaping service policies and systems in our country.