To address the growing lack of access to specialty care for low income and uninsured patients, Kaiser Permanente physicians dedicate hundreds of clinical hours to evaluating and treating patients referred to them by community health centers and other safety net organizations. Kaiser Permanente founded Operation: Access, through which uninsured patients are provided surgical procedures and follow-up care free of charge at Kaiser Permanente facilities and other community hospitals. We are utilizing Internet-based technology to provide x-ray interpretation to clinics that serve the homeless. At Southern California's Orthopedic Hospital, Kaiser Permanente podiatrists provided over 3,000 visits for patients referred by community health centers. But we know this is not enough, which is why we also fund a unique partnership of health care providers to identify additional remedies to address the shortage of specialty care for low-income individuals. Side by side with safety net clinic colleagues, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff work to create a more effective system of care for low income, uninsured, and underinsured patients.
Instead of spending three weeks waiting for a chest x-ray to be read, the patients of the JWCH Medical Clinic can now get their x-rays read in a day, and find a bed for the night. In the first year alone, Kaiser Permanente radiologists read more than 4000 x-rays.
Kaiser Permanente partners with community clinics, public hospitals and neighborhood health centers to deliver medical services to low-income residents and provide access to care for those who need it.