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Comparative Performance of Community Health Centers and Other Usual Sources of Primary Care

Gurewich, Deborah PhD; Tyo, Karen R. MA, MSW; Zhu, Junya MS; Shepard, Donald S. PhD

Journal of Ambulatory Care Management:
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0b013e31822cbc59
Original Articles
Abstract

Objective: To determine how Community Health Centers (CHCs) perform relative to other primary care providers.

Research Design: A retrospective cohort study of Medicaid claims comparing provider groups on the basis of avoidable hospitalizations and costs.

Results: Avoidable hospitalization rates did not differ significantly across care settings. Hospital outpatient departments and CHCs had comparable total costs, whereas physicians had slightly but significantly lower total costs.

Conclusions: Understanding determinants of care cost differences could inform future performance improvement initiatives. Care quality variance within provider groups may be more significant than care quality performance across care settings.

Author Information

Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, MS 035, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Correspondence: Deborah Gurewich, PhD, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, MS 035, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454 (gurewich@brandeis.edu).

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.