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Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal

Abstract

The primary objective of the Health Care Linkage Project, funded by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust, is to develop, implement, and evaluate a primary health care linkage network within the city of Chicago that creates formalized linkages between community health centers, the Chicago Department of Health clinics, and hospitals. Six linkage networks are currently operational, with an additional two sites phased in during 1991. The success of the pilot project has been demonstrated by hundreds of patients receiving primary care and ancillary services on a more timely basis, by greater coordination between the public and private sector, by cost-savings to both patients and providers through reducing inappropriate use of services, and by a variety of spin-off projects which have improved the quality and accessibility of services. A second important objective is the development of a Health Care Linkage Manual that describes the practical experience and lessons gained from the linkages, the status of comparable arrangements in other U.S. cities, replicability of the linkage models. and recommendations for policy changes which will make linkages more effective.

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