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Landmark Study Confirms Medicaid Cost-Savings at Health Centers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Samantha Porter
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Contact: Julie DiRossi-King, COO
September 21, 2016                                                                  (614) 507-7805

 

Landmark Study Confirms Medicaid Cost-Savings at Health Centers

Total cost of care for FQHC patients was 24% lower, due to fewer hospital ER visits, reduced spending on inpatient and specialty care.



A new study confirms significant Medicaid cost-savings among patients at Community Health Centers. The study, recently released online, will be published in the November issue of the American Journal of Public Health and is one of the largest multi-state studies of its kind. 

Authors analyzed Medicaid claims data for both health center and non-health center patients in 13 states and found that health centers save, on average, $2,371 (or 24%) in total spending per Medicaid patient when compared to other providers.  Unfortunately, Ohio was not one of the 13 states selected for this study; however we are confident the results would be similar among Community Health Centers in our state. 

Researchers found that health center Medicaid patients had lower use and spending than non–health center patients across all services studied, including:

22% fewer specialty care visits
33% lower spending on specialty care
25% fewer inpatient admissions
27% lower spending on inpatient care
24 % lower total spending


“This study adds to the wealth of research documenting the tremendous cost-savings that Health Centers generate across the health care delivery system for a comparatively modest investment,” says OACHC’s President and CEO Randy Runyon, “Community Health Centers deliver results through the effective management of primary care and chronic disease management, notably in the form of lower total spending.”

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at Irvine, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Health Resources and Services Administration.  The abstract can be found by visiting this link

Community Health Centers care for 25 million people nationwide, including 623K Ohioans in 2015. Nearly half (49 percent) of all health center patients rely on Medicaid to cover their care yet, Medicaid payments to health centers make up only 1.6% of total Medicaid spending. 

About Ohio’s Community Health Centers

Federally Qualified Health Centers and FQHC Look-Alikes, more commonly referred to as Community Health Centers (CHCs), are non-profit health care providers that deliver affordable, high-quality and comprehensive primary care to medically underserved populations, regardless of insurance status. CHCs provide integrated whole person care, oftentimes providing onsite dental, behavioral, pharmacy, vision and other needed supplemental services under one roof. While each CHC is distinct, they share one common purpose: to provide primary health care services that are coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent and community directed.

About OACHC

The Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) is a not-for-profit professional association representing Ohio's Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs, or community health centers). OACHC's Mission is to ensure access to high-quality affordable health care for all Ohioans through the growth and development of Ohio's Community Health Centers. OACHC represents Ohio's 46 Community Health Centers at 258 locations, including multiple mobile units, in 62 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Please visit www.ohiochc.org for more information.

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