Improving Access to Primary Care for People with Physical Disabilities: A Blueprint for Action
May 28, 2015
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
Although people with physical disabilities make up approximately 11% of New York City’s population, they are often medically underserved and lack access to adequate primary care.
Evidence also shows that a high proportion of primary care providers lack the competency to care for patients with physical disabilities, resulting in barriers to high-quality care. Such obstacles can lead to people with physical disabilities missing routine preventive screenings and physical exams, resulting in high rates of hospitalizations, delayed diagnosis, improper treatment, or premature death. To address this gap in health care for people with physical disabilities, NYHealth awarded a grant to Independence Care System (ICS) to design and implement a plan for a new approach to delivering primary care to people with physical disabilities.
Under this grant, ICS developed a blueprint to create centers of excellence for patients with physical disabilities. The blueprint included recommendations for training medical staff to provide clinically appropriate care; policies and procedures that reflect the needs of people with physical disabilities; and best practices for patient access to primary care in a physically accessible and culturally competent environment. Specifically, ICS examined data on opportunities to meet the needs of people with disabilities; conduct focus groups with health care providers and people with disabilities; and obtain input from local health care providers from New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation partner facilities. The blueprint was developed so any medical facility across New York State can implement a center of excellence for people with disabilities. Furthermore, ICS used this blueprint to inform key policymakers and advocate for the creation and sustainability of centers of excellence.