March 1, 2009
The Comer Science and Education Foundation
Terry Conway, MD
In the summer of 2008, the Comer Science and Education Foundation (Foundation) engaged Health Management Associates (HMA) to develop a plan for optimizing the existing health care capacity serving vulnerable pregnant women and children on the south side of Chicago. While the vast majority of these populations are covered by public insurance programs, a variety of factors have impacted access to the full spectrum of medical services in many of the neighborhoods that make up this region. HMA was directed to: undertake a thorough analysis of the demographics and utilization patterns, develop an understanding of the gaps in access, produce a practical and implementable plan that links providers to most effectively meet the full range of health care needs of low-income pregnant women and children and generate recommendations related to leadership structure and policies to make this report a viable alternative to assure access to appropriate and effective care. Additionally, to help sustain these proposals, HMA reviewed the underlying financing systems to see if areas for improvement could be identified and linked to the delivery system changes.