Offering health care services at 75 percent of the cost of traditional insurance, Healthy Howard has served as a good example of how to reach out to the underserved, according to a recent case study of the program by a Bethesda-based health-care organization.

The Healthcare Performance Management Institute, a research and education organization that focuses on cost-effective health care, praised Healthy Howard for providing "quality health care to the uninsured at a fraction of the cost of comparable private programs."

Though not insurance, Healthy Howard offers basic medical care, including diagnostic tests, urgent care services and discounted prescription drugs. The program, which costs as little as $50 a month, matches participants with primary care physicians and health coaches who help them create and follow Health Action Plans.

"Healthy Howard represents a tremendous victory in the battle to expand access to health care," the institute's executive director, George Pantos, said in a statement. "But it wouldn't have been possible without the development of the cloud-based data-analytics technology that drives the entire effort."


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Pantos added: "Healthy Howard provides an excellent model for other municipalities struggling to expand access to care for the uninsured. The program could even inform the efforts of state officials to set up the new federally mandated health insurance exchanges."