Can Access to a Medical-Legal Partnership Benefit Patients with Asthma Who Live in an Urban Community?
Approximately one in 10 children in the U.S. has a diagnosis of asthma. African American and low-income children are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma. They are more likely to suffer the worse outcomes because of low socioeconomic status and environmental exposures. A medical-legal partnership is an interdisciplinary collaboration between a medical entity such as a hospital or clinic and a legal entity such as a lawyer, law school, or legal aid society created to address barriers to health care access and limitations to well-being. Addressing the legal concerns of these patients can improve access to medical services, reduce family stress, and address legal concerns that contribute to poor health. The Health Law Partnership (HeLP) is one such medical-legal partnership that provides a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to health care. During the seven-year study period we found both financial ($501,209) and non-financial benefits attributable to interventions by the attorneys at HeLP.