Patients at Federal Health Centers Get More Preventive Care in Fewer Visits, Study Finds
In a recent AHRQ-funded study, researchers found that patients who received most of their care at federally funded health centers had fewer office and hospital outpatient visits, fewer prescriptions and fewer hospital stays. The researchers also found that these patients were more likely to receive breast cancer screening. Data from AHRQ’s 2004–2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were used to compare health care usage and preventive care between patients at federal health centers and patients in other settings. Federal health centers provide socially and medically disadvantaged patients with care that results in lower systemwide utilization and valuable preventive care, the authors concluded. The article and abstract “Health Care Utilization and Receipt of Preventive Care for Patients Seen at Federally Funded Health Centers Compared to Other Sites in Primary Care” were published online April 30 in Health Services Research. AHRQ's James Kirby, Ph.D., and Quyen Ngo-Metzger, M.D., M.P.H., are co-authors of the article.
Health Care Utilization and Receipt of Preve... [Health Serv Res. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI
Health Serv Res. 2014 Apr 30. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12178. [Epub ahead of print]
Health Care Utilization and Receipt of Preventive Care for Patients Seen at Federally Funded Health Centers Compared to Other Sites of Primary Care.
Laiteerapong N1, Kirby J, Gao Y, Yu TC, Sharma R, Nocon R, Lee SM, Chin MH, Nathan AG, Ngo-Metzger Q, Huang ES.
To compare utilization and preventive care receipt among patients of federal Section 330 health centers (HCs) versus patients of other settings.
A nationally representative sample of adults from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2004-2008).
HC patients were defined as those with ≥50 percent of outpatient visits at HCs in the first panel year. Outcomes included utilization and preventive care receipt from the second panel year. We used negative binomial and logistic regression models with propensity score adjustment for confounding differences between HC and non-HC patients.
Compared to non-HC patients, HC patients had fewer office visits (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 0.63) and hospitalizations (aIRR, 0.43) (both p < .001). HC patients were more likely to receive breast cancer screening than non-HC patients (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.78, p < .01). In subgroup analyses, uninsured HC patients had fewer outpatient and emergency room visits and were more likely to receive dietary advice and breast cancer screening compared to non-HC patients.
Health centers add value to the health care system by providing socially and medically disadvantaged patients with care that results in lower utilization and maintained or improved preventive care.
© Health Research and Educational Trust.
Safety net; preventive care; utilization
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