Financing geriatric programs in community health centers.
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Financing geriatric programs in community health centers.

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      There are approximately 600 Community and Migrant Health Centers (C/MHCs) providing preventive and primary health care services principally to medically underserved rural and urban areas across the United States. The need to develop geriatric programs within C/MHCs is clear. Less clear is how and under what circumstances a comprehensive geriatric program can be adequately financed. The Health Resources and Services Administration of the Public Health Service contracted with La Jolla Management Corporation and Duke University Center on Aging to identify successful techniques for obtaining funding by examining 10 "good practice" C/MHC geriatric programs. The results from this study indicated that effective techniques included using a variety of funding sources, maintaining accurate cost-per-user information, developing a marketing strategy and user incentives, collaborating with the area agency on aging and other community organizations, and developing special services for the elderly. Developing cost-per-user information allowed for identifying appropriate "drawing card" services, negotiating sound reimbursement rates and contracts with other providers, and assessing the financial impact of changing service mixes. A marketing strategy was used to enhance the ability of the centers to provide a comprehensive package of services. Collaboration with the area agency on aging and other community organizations and volunteers in the aging network was found to help establish referral networks and subsequently increase the number of elderly patients served. Finally, development of special services for the elderly, such as adult day care, case management, and health education, was found to increase program visibility, opportunities to work with the network of services for the aging, and clinical utilization.
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