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Health Aff (Millwood). 2007 Sep-Oct;26(5):1459-68.

Access to specialty care and medical services in community health centers.

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  • 1Health Care Policy Department, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.


Although community health centers (CHCs) provide primary health services to the medically underserved and poor, limited access to off-site specialty services may lead to poorer outcomes among underinsured CHC patients. This study evaluates access to specialty health services for patients receiving care in CHCs, using a survey of medical directors of all federally qualified CHCs in the United States in 2004. Respondents reported that uninsured patients had greater difficulty obtaining access to off-site specialty services, including referrals and diagnostic testing, than did patients with Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance.

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