Cover: Financing Health Care for Women with Disabilities

Financing Health Care for Women with Disabilities

Published Jan 1, 2003

by Janice C. Blanchard, Susan D. Hosek

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Women with disabilities, a large and growing segment of the U.S. population, are as a group underserved when it comes to the health care services that are appropriate to their needs. Although these needs are well documented, the barriers that may prevent these women from obtaining appropriate care are less understood. This paper describes the major financial issues affecting access to appropriate primary health care for women with disabilities and presents recommended strategies for effectively addressing those issues. The authors find that while the health care financing system explicitly reimburses for specialty care for a disabling condition, it ignores the substantial additional equipment and staffing needed to provide appropriate general health care for women with disabilities. New approaches for financing health care for this population should be considered, along with a careful assessment of the cumulative cost effects of any new approach on the federal Medicare and Medicaid budgets.

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Health for the FISA Foundation.

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