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Tools for Monitoring the Health Care Safety Net

In response to an Institute of Medicine recommendation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are leading an effort to monitor the status of the health care safety net. The initiative consists of a broad range of local area measures related to safety net providers and the populations they serve (select for Fact Sheet).

This product—Tools for Monitoring the Health Care Safety Net—offers strategies and concrete tools for assessing local health care safety nets. With topics ranging from estimating the size of local uninsured populations to using administrative data to presenting information to policymakers, it can assist State and local health officials, planners, and analysts in assess the capacity and viability of their existing safety net providers as well as understand the characteristics and health outcomes for the populations served.

Edited by Robin M. Weinick, Ph.D., and John Billings, J.D.

About the Editors

About the Contributors

     By Robin M. Weinick, Ph.D. and John Billings, J.D.

     By Carolyn Clancy, M.D.

Part 1. Gathering Information About People and Providers
1. Estimating the Size of the Uninsured and Other Vulnerable Populations in a Local Area
     By Lynn A. Blewett, Ph.D. and Timothy Beebe, Ph.D.
2. Local Data Collection Strategies for Safety Net Assessment
     By Joel C. Cantor, Sc.D.
3. Assessing the Financial Health of Hospitals
     By Jack Needleman, Ph.D.
4. Assessing Safety Net Provider Financial Health: A Simple Measurement Tool
     By Timothy L. Clouse, M.A.; Gilbert Silva III, M.S.; and Robert Gilliam, M.B.A., C.M.A.

Part 2. Understanding and Using the Information
5. Using Administrative Data to Monitor Access, Identify Disparities, and Assess Performance of the Safety Net
     By John Billings, J.D.
6. Mapping Tools for Monitoring the Safety Net
     By Robert L. Phillips, Jr., M.D., M.S.P.H.; Andrew Bazemore, M.D.; and Thomas J. Miyoshi, M.S.W.
7. Integrated State Data Systems
     By Walter P. "Pete" Bailey, M.P.H.
8. Presenting Information to Decisionmakers: A Guide for Policy Analysts
     By Lawrence S. Lewin and Marion Ein Lewin

Part 3. Understanding Special Circumstances: The Safety Net in Rural Areas
9. Rural Health Care Safety Nets
     By David Hartley, Ph.D., M.H.A. and John Gale, M.S.

Interactive Tool and Software
     Tool for Financial Risk Assessment Worksheet and Required Data (By Clouse et al.)
     Software for Use of the Emergency Department Classification Algorithm (By Billings)


Current as of September 2003
AHRQ Publication No. 03-0027

Internet Citation:

Tools for Monitoring the Health Care Safety Net. AHRQ Publication No. 03-0027, September 2003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/data/safetynet/tools.htm

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