The St. Louis Integrated Health Network (IHN) was formed in 2003 in response to recommendations from the RHC’s report, “Recommendations for Improving the Delivery of Safety Net Primary and Specialty Care Services.” The report proposed that safety net health care providers in the St. Louis region form a permanent regional network to integrate and coordinate services better to serve citizens.
In 2003, the RHC received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to support the creation of this coordinated system of care. In November 2003, administrators from the region’s outpatient healthcare safety net providers gathered at the first organizational meeting of the St. Louis Integrated Health Network.
What Exactly is the Integrated Health Network?
The IHN is an alliance of primary and specialty safety net medical care providers in the St. Louis region. IHN membership include:
- Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers
- Crider Health Center
- Family Care Health Centers
- Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Centers
- MHD Comprehensive Health Centers
- St. Louis County Department of Health
- City of St. Louis Department of Health
- Saint Louis University
- Washington University School of Medicine.
The Missouri Primary Care Association and the RHC serve as technical advisors to the IHN.
The IHN aims to improve access to health care for uninsured and underinsured adults and children through increased integration and coordination of a safety net for health care. The mission of the IHN is to strive for quality, accessible and affordable healthcare services for all residents of Metropolitan St. Louis, with an emphasis on the medically underserved, through collaboration and partnership.
The Impact of the Integrated Health Network
Since 2003, as a result of the IHN’s work to reduce barriers to care, patient wait times for specialty care services have dropped by 85%.
Together, IHN members serve over 172,000 patients through 480,000 primary care encounters and 125,000 specialty care encounters. The IHN Primary Care Home Initiative’s goal is to connect Medicaid and uninsured patients in the St. Louis Region to a healthcare home through the use of health information technology and programming designed to support patient care.
The IHN also administers the Community Referral Coordinator (CRC) program, which works to enhance coordination between hospital and health centers and make connections to primary care home for higher quality overall care. To learn more about the IHN, visit www.stlouisihn.org.