A couple of studies recently out about Community Health Centers bear mentioning because they add to a growing body of evidence about the quality of care at health centers. The California Primary Care Association examined how Medi-Cal managed care patients who use a health center for primary care compared to non-health center patients. Key findings include fewer visits to a hospital and lower readmission rates. An analysis of total health system costs showed that FQHC adults’ total costs were 37 percent lower than non-FQHC adults’ total costs.
“This study confirms what we in the health center community have been saying for years: that by providing patients with high-quality care, federally qualified health centers ultimately drive down the overall cost of care to the health system,” said CPCA CEO, Carmela Castellano-Garcia.
You can view the full results of the study by visiting this link.
Also, a national study published this month in the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management showed health centers report minimal racial/ethnic disparities on select clinical quality measures compared to national rates. The researchers analyzed 2009 federal data found that although some health disparities do exist in clinical outcomes between racial/ethnic patient groups at health centers the magnitude of the differences is small. The researchers say the findings are noteworthy, especially compared to disparities found nationwide. Also, remember that health centers serve population that is more challenged than mainstream America in terms of income and access to care. Unfortunately, the article is not free but here is the abstract so you can learn more.