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Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Jul;30(7):1335-42. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0066.

Medicaid patients seen at federally qualified health centers use hospital services less than those seen by private providers.

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1
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Denver, CO, USA. jrothko@emory.edu

Abstract

Federally qualified health centers, also known as community health centers, play an essential role in providing health care to millions of Americans. In return for providing primary care to underserved, homeless, and migrant populations, these centers are reimbursed at a higher rate than other providers by public programs such as Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the role of the centers is expected to grow. To examine the quality of care that the centers provide, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing compared the use of costly hospital-related services by Medicaid clients whose usual source of care was a community health center with the use by clients whose usual source of care was a private, fee-for-service provider. The study found that community health center users were about one-third less likely than the other group to have emergency department visits, inpatient hospitalizations, or preventable hospital admissions. Public funders such as states should work with community health centers to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care even further.

PMID:
21734208
DOI:
10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0066
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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