This brief presents four case studies of medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) with projects dedicated to assisting those with opioid use or substance use disorder in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Portsmouth (Ohio) and Reno. It finds that MLPs are successful at reducing barriers to employment, stabilizing families, and improving health.
Partnerships Between Health Care and Legal Providers in the Veterans Health Administration
Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) offer a unique union between legal aid and health care services. Focusing on the operations of Veteran Health Administration (VHA) medical centers in Connecticut and New York, this report describes MLP development and application in the context of veterans’ needs. After discussing the critical needs of the veteran population, the authors conclude with steps regarding how to go about establishing an MLP.
Law as Healer: How Paying for Medical-Legal Partnerships Saves Lives and Money
This report explores a large body of empirical evidence showing that increased access to legal services via medical legal partnerships can substantially improve health outcomes. Built on the merger of legal aid and health care providers, the medical-legal partnership (MLP) approach provides a more holistic model for addressing social and health related issues among low income populations. The author offers several policy recommendations to develop sustainable funding for MLP programs that pursue legal resolutions to health-harming social risks.
Civil Legal Services and Medical Legal Partnerships Needed by the Homeless Population: A National Survey
Surveying a sample of 48 homeless service sites across 26 states, this study seeks to better understand Medical-Legal Partnership on a national scale. Results indicate that a vast majority of patients experience at least one civil legal issue, most often related to housing, employment, health insurance, and disability benefits. In addition, most sites lacked training to screen for civil legal issues and reported an interest in developing partnerships to better serve vulnerable populations.
Bridging Health Disparity Gaps through the Use of Medical Legal Partnerships in Patient Care: A Systematic Review
They conducted a systematic literature review on how medical-legal partnerships impact individuals and implications for individuals living with HIV. They find that MLPs can address the social and environmental threats to an individual’s health.
The Opioid Crisis In America & the Role Medical-Legal Partnership Can Play In Recovery
This issue brief by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership supports the need for legal services in addressing the non-medical issues for legal clients with substance use disorders(SUD)on their road to recovery. Citing case studies of existing recovery-based MLPs in Ohio, Indiana, and Nevada, this paper provides a well-supported argument for the impact of lawyers as significant actors in combating the ongoing opioid crisis.
Upstream Advocacy: Addressing Cancer Survivors’ Employment Problems Through Medical-Legal Partnerships
This article reviews the cultural changes that affect cancer survivors at work, explains how their legal needs can impact their quality of life, and proposes that medical-legal partnerships are an ideal model to provide legal resources to underserved survivors to help them avoid and address negative employment consequences.
Doctors and Lawyers Collaborating to HeLP Children: Outcomes from a Successful Partnership between Professions
Researchers present a case study of one medical-legal partnership at three pediatric primary care centers. They find that referrals were often for housing and income/health benefits. Of the cases referred to the legal service side of the MLP, 89 percent of them had positive outcomes.
Environmental Improvements Brought by Legal Interventions in the Homes of Poorly Controlled Inner-City Adult Asthmatic Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Study
This study investigates how legal assistance improves physical housing conditions. O’Sullivan finds that when legal aid can address some of the underlying housing conditions — such as mold and mice — emergency department use drops and medication necessary is reduced.
Medical-Legal Strategies to Improve Infant Health Care: A Randomized Trial
This study on medical-legal partnerships find that when parents have access to legal services, they are more likely to complete their child’s immunization schedule on time (p<0.01) at six and eight months. Further, those infants were more likely to have routine preventative care visits.