Safety-net health systems in the United States are facing enormous financial and operational challenges. These anchor systems are critical to their communities because they care for low-income populations and are key players in the local economy. To enable them to survive for the long term, business leaders, governments, and the health systems must take actions. Some excellent programs provide models.
If your organization disappeared overnight, would it be missed? For hospital-based health systems that provide essential medical care to lower-income patients in urban areas in the United States, the answer is a resounding yes. These organizations not only care for marginalized populations, they also train new generations of physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals.