HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Oronce CIA, Fortuna RJ. Differences in Rates of High-Value and Low-Value Care Between Community Health Centers and Private Practices. Journal of general internal medicine. 2019 Nov 19; 1 to 7.
Community health centers (CHCs) are an integral part of the health care safety net. As health systems seek to improve value, it is important to understand the quality of care provided by CHCs.
To evaluate the performance of CHCs compared with private practices on a comprehensive set of high-value and low-value care measures.
This cross-sectional study used data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2010 through 2012. We compared CHCs with private practices using logistic regression models that adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance, number of chronic illnesses, rural versus urban location, region of country, and survey year.
We included outpatient visits to generalist physicians at either CHCs or private practices by patients 18 years and older.
We examined 12 measures of high-value care and 7 measures of low-value care.
A total of 29,155 physician visits, representing 584,208,173 weighted visits, from 2010 through 2012 were included. CHCs were more likely to provide high-value care by ordering beta-blockers in CHF (46.9% vs. 36.5%; aOR 2.56; 95%CI 1.18-5.56), statins in diabetes (37.0% vs 35.5%; aOR 1.35; 95%CI 1.02-1.79), and providing treatment for osteoporosis (35.7% vs 23.2%; aOR 1.77; 95%CI 1.05-3.00) compared with private practices. CHCs were more likely to avoid low-value screening EKGs (98.7% vs. 88.0%; aOR 11.03; 95%CI 2.67-45.52), CBCs (75.9% vs. 65.7%; aOR 1.72; 95%CI 1.18-2.53), or urinalyses (86.0% vs. 80.5%; aOR 1.87; 95%CI 1.11-3.14) during a general medical exam. CHCs were also less likely to prescribe antibiotics for a URI (48.3% vs. 63.1%; aOR 0.59; 95%CI 0.40-0.88).
On a number of high-value and low-value measures of care, CHCs performed similar to or better than private practices. As healthcare delivery reforms continue to progress, CHCs are well positioned to provide high-value healthcare.