Every year medical-legal partnerships help thousands of people in 41 states.
Last year, medical-legal partnerships helped more than 75,000 patients resolve legal issues that were impeding their health, trained more than 11,000 health care providers to better understand and screen patients for health-harming social needs, and engaged in projects designed to improve how clinics and policies address health-harming social conditions for entire communities.
Studies show that when legal expertise and services are used to address social needs:
People with chronic illnesses are admitted to the hospital less frequently.
Studies showed that legal assistance targeted at improving housing conditions improved the health of asthma patients (Journal of Asthma and Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved), and another study showed medical-legal partnership’s positive impact on the health of sickle cell patients (Pediatrics).
People more commonly take their medications as prescribed.
(Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved and Journal of Clinical Oncology)
People report less stress.
(Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved).
Less money is spent on health care services for the people who would otherwise frequently go to the hospital.
One study showed that medical-legal partnership services reduces health care spending on high-need, high-use patients (Health Affairs).
Clinical services are more frequently reimbursed by public and private payers.
Medical-legal partnerships have been shown to save patients health care costs and recover cash benefits (Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved and Journal of Palliative Medicine).
How clinicians view MLP services:
In our 2016 survey of medical-legal partnership programs across the country, we asked health care organizations to tell us how often clinicians at their hospital or health center anecdotally reported the following benefits of MLP services:
reported improved health outcomes for patients;