The Convergence of Health and Human Services

The delivery of medical and human services in the United States is a landscape of fragmented care, with services split among multiple programs and providers, each of whom is often unaware of services delivered by other care providers. This siloed approach subjects recipients of healthcare and human services to a myriad of overlapping and non-coordinated care plans which leads to poor outcomes.

Healthcare providers have historically viewed medical care as wholly contained within the framework of diagnosis and treatment with little consideration for a patient’s circumstances outside the scope of traditional medical care. Human service organizations, meanwhile, have focused primarily on assisting clients with human service needs and have been content to cede delivery of medical care to other health providers. In this paradigm, the roles of healthcare providers and human service providers are complementary, but separate. Human service agencies address the human needs of food, clothing, transportation, housing, and employment while healthcare providers address physical and mental health needs.

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