Healthcare Access

About DREDF’s Healthcare Work

Close-up of the wheel of a wheelchair and wheelchair user's hand.

People with disabilities experience a range of physical, programmatic and systemic barriers when they try to access healthcare. We work out ways to apply existing laws and principles of disability non-discrimination in the complicated context of how health care services are delivered in this country.


DREDF releases two new Issue Briefs that highlight promising collaborations between aging and disability organizations, Medicaid managed care organizations, and heath and mental health care providers. The organizations involved in these collaborations are working to improve health for older adults and people with disabilities while also reducing emergency department visits, hospital admissions and re-hospitalizations. July 2016

ISSUE BRIEF (PDF): Care1st Health Plan and Access to Independence, San Diego County, California (Updated 12.15.16)

ISSUE BRIEF (PDF): FREED Center for Independent Living, Grass Valley, California and the Area Agency on Aging, Sacramento, California (Updated 12.12.16)

DREDF supports CMS proposals to include Promoting Health Equity and Continuity, and Social and Community Involvement as Clinical Practice Improvement Activity performance categories related to rewarding eligible practitioners who work to improve and maintain high quality care for people with disabilities. However, we question why the proposed rule fails to immediately adopt the subcategory of promoting health equity, which explicitly includes “maintaining adequate equipment and other accommodations.” Download the letter (PDF) June 27, 2016

DREDF releases​, The Case for Including Functional Limitation Measures in Electronic Health Records, an​ Issue Brief that supports including either the American Community Survey (ACS) set of six disability questions or other equivalent functional limitation measures in electronic health records.​ (PDF) April 2016

DREDF advocates for accessibility of information about insurance sold through the Health Insurance Marketplace and clear information about benefits and coverage offered by insurers. March 2016.

DREDF and CFILC oppose pending mergers between Centene-Health Net, Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Sigma, and Blue Shield-Care 1st Health Plan, and recommend that a Disability and Health Foundation be established if the mergers go forward. (PDF) March 2016

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently named Silvia Yee, DREDF Senior Attorney, as a consumer liaison representative for 2016. January 2016

DREDF responds to CMS request for information on new system for paying Medicare providers. November 2015

DREDF comments on HHS Office for Civil Rights proposed anti-discrimination rules under the Affordable Care Act. November 2015

Webinar Series
DREDF, on behalf of the Aging and Disability Partnership for Managed Long Term Services and Supports, presented three webinars that explored promising collaborations among Independent Living Centers, Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, Area Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and clinical settings. These collaborations, operating in different configurations, re-envision the independent living philosophy and related services as central elements of both care coordination and Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). October 2015

New ​Advocate’s Guide To California’s Coordinated Care Initiative
Implementation of the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) in California is now underway in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. DREDF and Justice in Aging announce Version ​Four of the Guide (PDF), which provides the most recent information on the CCI. ​June 2015

Disability Guide and Factsheets for Federal Marketplace Navigators
DREDF, in collaboration with the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) created the Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators (PDF) and 15 substantive fact sheets on topics such as getting and using health plan evidence of coverage and the process for Medicaid eligibility.