Literature review: Making the case for medical-legal partnerships, 2013-2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020

By Caitlin Murphy, MPA-PNP National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

In 2013, the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership conducted a review of the salient literature on medical-legal partnerships (MLPs), including the need for the MLP intervention, the essential components of the approach, and emerging evidence of the intervention’s impact. This brief provides an update to that review, citing peer-reviewed observational studies from January 2013 – August 2020 that demonstrate medical-legal partnerships’ impact improving:

  1. Patients’ health and wellbeing;
  2. Patients’ housing and utility stability;
  3. Patients’ access to financial resources;
  4. Health care systems and the health care workforce; and
  5. Policies, laws, and regulations to foster health and wellbeing.

Additionally, this literature matrix compiles findings from a deeper scan of all MLP-related, peer-reviewed literature from January 2013 – August 2020. The literature is characterized into three categories:

  • Descriptive articles, which describe the need for and approach of MLPs among general and special populations;
  • Practice reports, which take a “case study” approach to describing MLPs in practice (but do not necessarily measure outcomes in a robust manner); and
  • Observational studies, which seek to measure MLP’s impact on patients, providers, and communities.