Examining Rising Demands On Community Health Centers

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Studies examine rising demands on community health centers, pay-for-performance initiatives, comparative effectiveness research.

  • "Community Health Centers Tackle Rising Demands and Expectations," Center for Studying Health System Change: The issue brief discusses the results of a 2007 study involving site visits to 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities to examine trends in the use of community-based health centers. According to the study, although funding for federally qualified community centers doubled to nearly $2 billion annually in 2006, the health centers are struggling to meet rising demands for care in part because support for existing centers has not kept pace with operating expenses and patient growth. The centers face difficulties recruiting and retaining staff members in a competitive labor market and are dealing with increased quality reporting expectations, racial and ethnic health disparities, and public health emergency preparation, according to the study. The study also found that community health centers also face problems referring uninsured and Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries for specialty care (HSC release, 12/19).
  • New data, Statehealthfacts.org: Statehealthfacts.org recently added new and updated data on the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage and medical malpractice claims and payments. FMAP, the rate at which the federal government matches each state's Medicaid and SCHIP spending, is now available for all states for fiscal year 2009, and data on medical malpractice claims and payments have been updated for 2007 using data from the National Practitioner Data Bank. The total number of paid claims, total dollars of paid claims and average claims payments are available for all states and the nation (Kaiser Family Foundation release, 12/20).
  • "Paying for Quality: Understanding and Assessing Physician Pay-for-Performance Initiatives," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Synthesis Project: The report examines pay-for-performance initiatives and evidence of their effectiveness as private and public health care purchasers nationwide are increasingly interested in offering financial incentives as a reward for providing quality care. The report details the structure of pay-for-performance programs, the concerns of physicians and policymakers, and whether financial incentives would actually improve patient care (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation release, 12/17).
  • "Research on the Comparative Effectiveness of Medical Treatments: Issues and Options for an Expanded Federal Role," Congressional Budget Office: The report examines options for expanding federal funding for comparative effectiveness research. The report also analyzes the state of the research in both the public and private sectors and discusses several mechanisms for organizing and funding additional research efforts. CBO also discusses whether comparative effectiveness research could help reduce health care spending without having a negative impact on overall health (CBO, "Research on the Comparative Effectiveness of Medical Treatments: Issues and Options for an Expanded Federal Role," December 2007).
  • "Too Great a Burden: America's Families at Risk," Families USA: The report shows that since 2000, U.S. families are spending more of their pretax incomes on health care costs. According to the report, 61.6 million people younger than age 65 -- 82.4% of whom have health insurance -- are in families that will spend more than 10% of their pretax incomes on health care in 2008, and 17.8 million are in families that will spend more than 25% of their pretax incomes on health care in 2008. The report also examines factors driving the trend and finds that rising health insurance premiums are the primary reason U.S. families are spending more on health care (Families USA release, 12/20).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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