Expectations of Primary Care Providers

Comprehensive women’s health services
EHF highly values the provision of comprehensive preventive services for women of all ages. According to the Institute of Medicine, women in particular stand to benefit from additional preventive health services including medications, procedures, devices, tests, education and counseling shown to improve well-being, and/or decrease the likelihood or delay the onset of a targeted disease or condition. This includes among other things, a full range of contraceptive education, counseling, methods and services so that women can better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes. The public health benefits of contraception are well-documented in the literature and the CDC identifies family planning as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

In May 1992, responding to a recent resurgence of measles, the U.S. Public Health Service and a diverse group of medical and public health experts established the Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practices.

These standards, which were approved by the U.S. Public Health Service and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, represent the most desirable practices for all healthcare providers and immunization programs. These standards support that immunizations should be given as part of comprehensive child healthcare. Consistent with these standards, the Foundation expects primary care clinics serving children to incorporate these standards as part of their comprehensive primary care and pediatric services.

Patient fees

EHF believes that all clinics, including those serving low-income, uninsured and vulnerable populations, should look to a variety of revenue streams to support their work. Patient fees, priced on a sliding scale and waived when appropriate, are an important part of the revenue mix for several reasons. First, they provide a source of revenue, even if modest, that can make a difference in a tight budget. Healthcare delivery has substantial costs, and patients know or should know that and should contribute when they can. Additionally, patients value what they pay for and feel more dignity when they contribute to the cost of their care than when they receive care in the form of charity. High-quality care is less likely to be achievable and sustainable if it relies entirely on philanthropy (in the form of dollars and/or staff).