Association Ezine Highlights Intersection of Coverage and Chronic Care on Anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare

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Walls Down, from America's Essential Hospitals, profiles work of association members

Walls Down

Walls Down: A new online magazine from America's Essential Hospitals

If 50 years of experience tell us anything, it’s that Medicaid and Medicare make a lifesaving difference every day for our most disadvantaged patients

On today's 50th anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare, America's Essential Hospitals recognized the vital connection between access to affordable health care coverage and better health for chronically ill and complex patients with a new edition of its online magazine, Walls Down.

The magazine, at http://wallsdownmag.org, features a collection of stories on a physician-advocate, an innovative care team, and an inspiring young man who come together at the intersection of health care law, payment, and quality. These stories, which take place at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, demonstrate how one essential hospital reached outside its walls to better serve the most vulnerable - and the flexibility Medicaid and Medicare provided to meet that mission.

"If 50 years of experience tell us anything, it's that Medicaid and Medicare make a lifesaving difference every day for our most disadvantaged patients," said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, president and CEO of America's Essential Hospitals. "The access to care these programs provide is key to our hospitals delivering care where and when it has the greatest effect."

Medicaid plays an important role in another Walls Down feature: a short documentary on foot and diabetes care at University Hospital, in Newark, N.J., and University Health System, in San Antonio. The video focuses on foot health as an indicator of - and an alarm bell for - more profound chronic ailments. It includes the story of a New Jersey man set on the path to a more healthful lifestyle through the podiatric care he received at University Hospital - and Medicaid's support of that care.

Also in this issue of Walls Down: an interactive mindmap of Medicaid and Medicare's past 50 years. It takes visitors through a variety of key milestones with summaries and related graphics.

"We wanted to demonstrate the many ways in which Medicaid and Medicare influence the entire health care system and the health of our communities - how care quality has improved, how access has improved, how cost efficiency has improved thanks to these programs," said Maya Linson, co-creator of Walls Down and communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

As it did in its inaugural issue, Walls Down puts a face on the work of the more than 250 hospitals and health systems that commit to caring for the nation's most vulnerable people as members of America's Essential Hospitals. The magazine draws on their stories to show the interconnected relationship they have with people and communities across the country.

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About America's Essential Hospitals
America's Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America's Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our more than 250 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.

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Carl Graziano
@OurHospitals
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