New report describes the patients screened and treated by medical-legal partnerships in 2016, and how these programs advance health and wellbeing. It also offers insights into the organizations that participate in these programs.
Findings from the 2016 National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership Surveys
By Marsha Regenstein, PhD, Jennifer Trott, MPH, and Alanna Williamson
Today, more than 300 medical-legal partnerships operate nationwide, demonstrating enormous diversity in terms of patient populations served, legal care provided, and organizational priorities. New national data on medical-legal partnership activities highlight common trends and key issues for the field to consider. This report is based on a national survey of health care organizations and legal organizations actively operating medical-legal partnerships. The surveys were conducted by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership for the 2016 calendar year.
Key findings include:
- One in three health care organizations with active medical-legal partnerships are now health centers, contributing to an increasingly diverse MLP landscape;
- One-third of health care organizations with medical-legal partnerships include funding for these activities in their operating budget;
- In 2016 alone, MLP legal partners collectively trained more than 11,000 health care providers in MLP services and health-harming legal needs; and
- Clinicians reported improved patient health outcomes and greater compliance with medical treatment as a result of MLP services.
This report also describes: (1) the characteristics of organizations participating in medical-legal partnerships; (2) the populations screened for social determinants of health and referred for legal services; (3) resources organizations dedicate to medical-legal partnership activities, (4) how medical-legal partnerships integrate and deliver services and share information; and (5) the ways these programs advance health and well-being.