In March of 2016, CHLPI began a major new initiative to pursue equity in access to specialty care. Despite the enactment and ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many individuals across the nation continue to be uninsured or underinsured and are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to obtaining timely diagnosis and treatment of serious illnesses, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. Moreover, even individuals who have adequate insurance coverage may face barriers to care from specialist providers if they are members of a minority group or live in a rural area. For example, Black and Hispanic Americans diagnosed with cancer experience significantly higher mortality rates than whites. Living far from an urban center is also associated with higher rates of cancer death.
CHLPI seeks to address these persistent disparities by identifying opportunities for legal and policy change that will increase access to health care for underserved groups and, ultimately, improve health outcomes for these populations. As part of this initiative, CHLPI will support innovative pilot projects and studies in health education, prevention, and treatment for diseases including lung cancer, skin cancer, and HIV/AIDS. These projects are led by specialty and primary care health providers, national advocacy organizations, and medical researchers, from the Association to Community Cancer Centers to Farmworker Justice to the Patient Advocate Foundation.