The Colorado Health Equity Project will gather retrospective data to study the impact the MLP model has had in Colorado since 2009. Moreover, CHEP will conduct a longitudinal study to determine the effective- ness of the CHEP interventions on health outcomes and patient satisfaction. We will also administer questionnaires to students and professionals at the beginning and end of the year, to determine what, if any, impact the program may have on their perspectives and future professional plans. Finally, our work with the Colorado School of Public Health will be directed towards developing an approach that can be replicated, to translating patient experiences into policy through the MLP model.
Our research will begin to fill some of the evidentiary gaps that exist on a national level. While there are approximately 270 medical–legal partnership programs throughout the country, evidence to establish a direct connection between unmet legal needs and health, legal, and financial outcomes is sparse. MLPs do not have a way to assess the value of the services offered, or to approach the goal of scaling up the legal services to systemic solutions to the problems we encounter. Recent publications from several MLPs have shown promising results, however additional data is needed using a standard set of outcomes that can be reproduced across health-care systems.