Lawyers, Doctors Team To Ensure Health Safety Net For Poor

The Washington Post: In the District of Columbia, "[a]s part of a medical-legal partnership that began in 2002, lawyers work alongside doctors at four District clinics run by [Children's National Medical Center]. Their shared goal is to overcome legal and social challenges that threaten the care of their patients — low-income children, predominantly African American, and virtually all covered by Medicaid."

There are 1,400 families referred by doctors and others to the Children's Law Center to use the partnership. The program launched in 1993 in Boston and operates in 37 states. "The doctors who work in the clinics say they welcome the lawyers' help. More than ever, they say, the pediatric patients going through their doors complain of symptoms that stem from social and legal problems. Catching them early can prevent full-blown emergencies that are more difficult and costly to treat, say supporters of such partnerships." Existing funds for the program could be in jeopardy, however, though more doctors would like to participate in the partnership (Sun, 5/26).

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