New name, new look, continued commitment to the well-being of vulnerable populations

A new name, a new website—these are the culmination of hours of internal discussion about who we are as an organization and the values we bring to our work. A lot has changed since our organization was founded in 1992 as the Medicaid Working Group and later the Health & Disability Working Group. Our focus has evolved to include health policy beyond Medicaid programs, and medical and social advances have radically changed what it means to live with a disability. The Boston University School of Public Health, where we are housed, has also evolved to become one of the top ten schools of public health in the U.S.

What remains at the heart of the Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice (our new name) is a focus on building on policies and practices that improve the well-being of those who are often overlooked in the health care discussion–children and adults with special health care needs, people living with HIV and other chronic diseases, or those facing issues of substance use, mental health, and homelessness. We foster partnerships with these communities in all our work.

We have worked hard to make it easy for you to find what you came to our website for. We welcome your comments and feedback–your ideas help us provide meaningful policy research and support for social change. Contact us.

Improving access to health coverage for children with special health care needs in the face of health inequities

Forgoing care because of a lack of health insurance can lead to long-term detrimental effects on children’s health and well-being. This is especially true for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) who require health services beyond those required by children generally. Yet some CSHCN and their families may face particular barriers to coverage and care due to race/ethnicity, age, language, or socioeconomic, immigration, or functional status.

The Catalyst Center, the National Center for Health Insurance and Financing for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, has produced several publications that can help organizations recognize and counter the impacts that health insurance inequities may have on CSHCN, including

The Catalyst Center recognizes the impact of health inequities on vulnerable and underserved populations. We are committed to raising awareness of this issue and working to identify and disseminate strategies to overcome barriers to coverage and care. Towards this goal, addressing health insurance inequities is a component of all aspects of our work, from the chartbook that provides state data on health coverage and health care financing for CSHCN to its analyses of the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The Catalyst Center has been a project of the Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice since 2005.

Addressing Barriers to HIV Care: the Med-HEART Project

The Center for Advancing Health Policy and Practice and Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program have partnered to establish the Med-HEART (Medical Home-HIV Evaluation & Resource Team) project that serves as evaluation and technical assistance center for nine demonstration sites. As part of a five-year HRSA initiative, Building Medical Homes for Multiply Diagnosed HIV Homeless Populations, these sites will design, implement, and evaluate innovative interventions to improve timely entry, engagement, and retention in HIV care and supportive services for people who are homeless and living with HIV.