Navigation Links
Community health centers compare well with private practices, Stanford researcher finds
Date:7/9/2012

STANFORD, Calif. Government-funded community health centers, which serve low-income and uninsured patients, provide better care than do private practices, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and colleagues at University of California, San Francisco looked at the actions physicians took when patients visited private practices versus the actions that were taken at community health centers, also referred to as Federally Qualified Health Centers and FQHC Look-Alikes, both of which receive government support.

Their study is to be published online July 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Stafford is the senior author.

The results of the study are particularly encouraging given that the Affordable Care Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld June 28, depends on community health centers to provide services to previously uninsured patients.

"If community health centers are going to be taking up some of the new demand, we can be confident that they're giving relatively good care," Stafford said.

Stafford and his colleagues analyzed records of 73,074 visits to private practices, FQHCs and FQHC Look-Alikes. Both FQHCs and Look-Alikes receive enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement; FQHCs also receive government grants. The researchers acquired the records from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which the National Center for Health Statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008.

They evaluated the physicians' adherence to professional and federal guidelines for 18 measures, which included treatments for specific diseases, screening for certain conditions, and diet and lifestyle counseling. "We looked at fairly common conditions that are seen in primary care," said lead author L. Elizabeth Goldman, MD, of the UC San Francisco.

The researchers found that community health center physicians performed as well as their private practice colleagues in 13 of the 18 measures. For the remaining five measures use of ACE inhibitors for congestive heart failure, use of beta blockers, use of inhaled corticosteroids for adult asthmatics, blood pressure screening and avoidance of electrocardiograms in low-risk patients the community physicians followed recommendations a higher percent of the time.

Given that patients at community health centers have more health and socioeconomic challenges and therefore take up more physician time, said Stafford, "The fact that community health centers look better is perhaps surprising."

"On the other hand, having worked in community health centers, I can see how it makes sense," he added. "These are centers where physicians are not as profit-driven and many have incentives more in line with providing quality care."

Stafford added that the government has provided the centers with technology that helps manage patient care, which may explain their superior performance. And they are generally larger than private practices: "Having a number of colleagues helps you develop better practices. In a solo practice, you have rare opportunities to debate the best way to practice medicine."

When the researchers adjusted the data so that the patients' characteristics were statistically equal, the community health center physicians performed better on three additional measures: aspirin for congestive heart failure, statins for congestive heart failure, and avoidance of benzodiazepine, which has serious long-term side effects, for depression. (The statistical adjustment did not alter the balance in the other previous measures, and if anything, the magnitude of the difference increased in favor of the community physicians.)


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Ipaktchian
susani@stanford.edu
650-725-5375
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers offer new approach to track former prisoners access to community HIV care
2. AFTS Labs Partners With Physicians To Complement NY's Mandated I-STOP Tracking System For Pain Pill Prescriptions: A Recipe For A Safer Community
3. Friends Life Care, a Pennsylvania Based Long-Term Care Provider, Launches VigR eMeetinghouse — An Interactive Online Community
4. Racial make-up of community impacts obesity risk
5. Higher medical home performance rating of community health centers linked with higher operating cost
6. Community-acquired MRSA cases on the rise in New York City, study suggests
7. Researchers call for obesity prevention efforts to focus on community-wide systems
8. Better ethics education needed in community-based research
9. $53 million grant will help health researchers develop new therapies -- with the publics help
10. Handlebar level can affect sexual health of female cyclists
11. UTHealth, French researchers discover gene defect for new syndrome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... February 07, 2016 , ... Women's Excellence staff, in all four locations, ... National Wear Red Day is the first Friday each February and a day to ... 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps is proud to sponsor ... event brings together top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and coaches from around the US. ... Bay Area Disc Program Director of Youth and Education, describes this year YUCC as ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Steven Tonkinson, 36, of Coconut Grove, ... year since it started in 2003. This year, he ran all 26.2 miles with ... and NBA team the Miami Heat. , This Sunday, while many are watching the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... stage for new clinical and scientific initiatives have all marked the last 12 ... appointed President and CEO of the nation’s oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... life? The answer may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether ... as well as pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016  Patients in Alabama seeking ... therapy no longer have to travel out of state. ... Urology Centers of Alabama to provide a total ... qualifying patients. Alabama is ... of prostate cancer using many different modalities. They are the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016 --> ... states that the global active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) market ... to reach US$185.9 bn by 2020. It is expected ... to 2020. The title of the report is "Active ... Geography, and by Therapeutic Area) - Global Industry Analysis, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Site Profile: --> Site ... People, announced their latest primary healthcare case study where speech recognition ... and to save the practice money. Site Profile: ... Challenge: --> ,- Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since ... Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since 2013 Challenge: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: