Article: Addressing energy insecurity with medical-legal partnership

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

By Daniel Taylor, Bruce Bernstein, Eileen Carroll, Elizabeth Oquendo, Linda Peyton, & Lee Pachter Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Energy insecurity may result in adverse consequences for children’s health, particularly for children with special health needs or chronic health conditions. Working within a medical-legal partnership, an urban hospital-based pediatric practice standardized criteria for providers approving medical need utility certification requests. Authors compared prior-year utility certification requests and approvals (pre-intervention) with the intervention year for families who reported energy insecurity on a waiting-room screening questionnaire. Between the first and second years of the study, certification of medical need approvals increased by 65 percent, preventing utility shut-offs for 396 more families with vulnerable children.