Persons with developmental disabilities living in the community have a greater number and variety of health care needs than the average population of the same age and sex. The erroneous assumption that the generic health care system would be able to provide all necessary services to the large number of individuals recently transferred from state residential facilities to the community has proved to be an unexpected disappointment to human service policymakers. In an effort to remedy this situation, a program of health care services was established by the New Jersey Department of Human Services at a community teaching hospital to supplement the existing generic system of medical care. Within four years, the program had rapidly grown to provide care for 729 patients who had come to rely on the center for primary care, specialty medical and dental services, and medical case management. The demographic characteristics of this program are described as well as data on morbidity, service utilization, and special problems encountered when care was provided to this complex and medically underserved population.
Ziring PR, Kastner T, Friedman DL, et al. Provision of Health Care for Persons With Developmental Disabilities Living in the Community: The Morristown Model. JAMA. 1988;260(10):1439–1444. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410100129038
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