Impact of community health centers and Medicaid on the use of health services.
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Impact of community health centers and Medicaid on the use of health services.

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      The impact of improved access to health care through the Federal community health center (CHC) and Medicaid programs was examined in five urban low-income areas. Data on access to care and physician, hospital, and dental services utilization were collected by baseline and followup health surveys in the CHCs' services areas. There was a shift in use from hospital clinics to CHCs. Followup surveys indicated that 23 percent of the population reported CHCs as usual source of care. Travel time to source of care was reduced for users of CHCs. Medicaid coverage of the population in the survey areas increased from 16 to 37 percent between the baseline and followup surveys, an interval of 4 to 7 years. Increases occurred in the use of physicians and dental care between the baseline and followup surveys, but the rates scarcely kept pace with the national rates. Respondents who reported CHCs as their usual source of care, however, had a higher rate of physician visits and a lower rate of hospitalization compared with those using private physicians or hospital clinics as the usual source of care. Respondents with Medicaid coverage usually had higher physician and hospital use, irrespective of usual source of care. Both CHC and Medicaid programs contributed to increased use of dental care by providing financial and dental care resources. Although these two programs greatly facilitated the use of health services, disparity in physician and dental utilization remains between the five low-income areas and the averages for the nation.
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