Physicians—like educators, attorneys, clergy, and other professionals—face the dilemma that providing charity care for those in greatest need may perpetuate the social conditions that created the need. Contributors to the August issue explore possible resolutions to that dilemma, ranging from social-justice advocacy at the individual and collective levels to changing incentives within the profession to reward those who practice primary care in underserved regions. The authors agree that, even as longer-term solutions are undertaken, charity care cannot be abandoned.
Medicaid is a vital piece of health care for children; any decision to close a practice to new Medicaid patients means more preventable illness, more severe, acute illness among children, and an overloaded community emergency department.
Teamwork is the key. Hospitals are full of nurses, case managers, and social workers, all striving for better patient care. Communicate with these caregivers to find out what they do for patients and how you can help.