Community Paramedic Program

These house calls save money for EMS, social services, By Robert Mittendorf, September 4, 2017, Bellingham Herald: “Bellingham Fire Capt. Jeff Brubaker carries a pager like any other firefighter, and he still uses his paramedic skills to help people. But these days he’s not riding a fire engine or an ambulance and most of his patients haven’t called 911. Not as much as they used to, at least. Brubaker is Bellingham Fire Department’s community paramedic, a relatively new position that puts him in touch with people who are frequent 911 callers but who don’t need emergency care…”

Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care

Costs of expanding health coverage reduced by fewer hospital stays, study shows, By Guy Boulton, June 3, 2013, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “A state health insurance program that provided improved access to care for adults with very low incomes in Milwaukee County sharply reduced hospitalizations, suggesting that the cost of expanding coverage could be partially offset by the money saved from fewer high-cost hospital stays, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study, which was published Monday in the policy journal Health Affairs, found an increase in visits to clinics and emergency departments, but a 59% drop in hospitalizations and a 48% drop in preventable hospitalizations. The study supports the idea that if people, particularly those with chronic illnesses, have better access to care, they may be able to manage their health better, said Thomas DeLeire, a professor of public affairs and economics and director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison…”

Health and Behavior of Americans in Poverty

  • Americans in poverty at greater risk for chronic health problems, By Danielle Kurtzleben, October 30, 2012, U.S. News & World Report: “Poverty doesn’t just mean trouble making ends meet and having few assets. According to data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Americans in poverty are more likely to suffer from a variety of chronic health problems, both psychological and physical. Of the illnesses tracked in a Gallup report on the data, depression has the greatest gap between those in poverty and not in poverty. Nearly 31 percent of adults who lived below the poverty line in 2011 said they had been diagnosed with depression at some point, almost twice as high as the rate for those not in poverty — 15.8 percent. The share of adults in poverty with asthma (17.1 percent) or obesity (31.8 percent) was also roughly 6 percentage points higher in each case than the share of adults not in poverty. The study also showed that diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks were slightly more likely to afflict those in poverty than those who are not…”
  • Study: When resources are scarce, most people forfeit the future, By Mark Roth, November 2, 2012, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Poor people are often criticized for self-defeating behaviors, from taking out high-interest payday loans as a way of getting through the week, to not putting aside money for the future. But a new study published today in Science magazine suggests that most of us are likely to behave that way when we are faced with a shortage of resources…”