Am J Public Health. 2014 Jan;104(1):124-33. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301426. Epub 2013 Nov 14.
The adoption and discontinuation of clinical services by local health departments.
We identified factors associated with local health department (LHD) adoption and discontinuation of clinical services.
We used multivariate regression with 1997 and 2008 LHD survey and area resource data to examine factors associated with LHDs maintaining or offering more clinical services (adopter) versus offering fewer services (discontinuer) over time and with the number of clinical services discontinued among discontinuers.
Few LHDs (22.2%) were adopters. The LHDs were more likely to be adopters if operating in jurisdictions with local boards of health and not in health professional shortage areas, and if experiencing larger percentage increase in non-White population and Medicaid managed care penetration. Discontinuer LHDs eliminated more clinical services in jurisdictions that decreased core public health activities' scope over time, increased community partners' involvement in these activities, had larger increases in Medicaid managed care penetration, and had lower LHD expenditures per capita over time.
Most LHDs are discontinuing clinical services over time. Those that cover a wide range of core public health functions are less likely to discontinue services when residents lack care access. Thus, the impact of discontinuation on population health may be mitigated.
- [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]