Health Center News

Research Department: A Year In Review


The NACHC Research Department has had another busy and productive year! Here is a quick recap of just some of the research- and data-driven resources we have put together, as well as some exciting projects we have been working on:

The Role of Community Health Centers in Lowering Preventable Emergency Department Use

This fact sheet notes the substantial proportion of emergency department (ED) visits in the US that are preventable and identifies some of the most common barriers that lead to increased preventable emergency department use. In addition, it highlights the vital role played by the health center model of care in eliminating such barriers, noting that the average cost of a health center visit is one-sixth the average cost of an ED visit

Qualified Health Plans and Health Centers: A Primer

This primer provides a brief explanation of qualified health plans and points to the numerous ways health centers serve as key partners for QHPs. It also provides new data on health centers’ experiences with QHPs and the patients enrolled in them, including loss of patient QHP coverage. Key QHP contracting tips for health centers are provided as well.

Health Centers Provide Cost Effective Care

This popular fact sheet was revamped this year with a more infographic style and some new data. This resource highlights health centers’ lower average costs of care compared to all physician settings, despite serving more complex patients. It also presents research findings that health centers produce savings for the health care system while also generating jobs and stimulating economic activity in low income communities across the country.

National Health Center Week Infographics

Two new infographics were developed to celebrate National Health Center Week 2015. One, titled Health Centers: Paving the Road to Good Health, uses data and research-driven facts to illustrate the unique characteristics of health centers and their patients as well as the many ways in which health centers successfully deliver and improve care compared to other providers. A second, customizable infographic made it possible for individual health centers to tell their health center story against a backdrop of facts about the national health center movement’s 50 year history and growth.

Assessing and Addressing the Social Determinants of Health to Position Health Centers for Value Based Payment

The NACHC Research Department has worked with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), the Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), and the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) to develop a protocol that allows health centers to collect and respond to patient-level data on the social determinants of health.  Click here to view the tool and more information.

Expanding Health Center Patient-Centered Research Capacity

The NACHC Research Department has worked with a host of partners to build health centers’ capacity to engage in patient-centered outcomes research by developing a free curriculum and collaborative learning community.  The curriculum includes twelve webinars that walks through the steps needed to produce a research proposal, including developing a research question, calculating sample sizes, analyzing data, developing budgets, and writing a proposal.  View the recorded webinars here.

All of us here in the Research Department are honored to be applying research to empower health centers and the communities they serve—thank you for the opportunity and for a wonderful 2015!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2016,

The NACHC Research Department:  Michelle Proser, Michelle Jester, & Caitlin Crowley