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The Crucial Role of Counties in Health Care Delivery


The California Health Care Foundation has released an updated version of its 2004 overview of the range of health services and programs California counties provide, either by statute, by practice, or by default.

The report outlines:

  • Counties’ basic responsibilities for such services as public health, mental health, substance abuse treatment and medical care;
  • The funding streams for these services and programs; and
  • The varying methods counties use to provide the services.

The report notes that California’s 58 counties are core providers of an array of local health services, covering care for low-income, underserved, and uninsured populations, public and environmental health, and mental health, including treatment for substance abuse. They rely on a complex and shifting patchwork of federal, state, and local funds to do so.



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