The purpose of this study was to obtain nationally representative data about the users of community health centers (CHCs) and the services they obtain. The data will inform BHPC staff about the users’ care-seeking behaviors, including their sociodemographic characteristics, the reasons for seeking care, health care service utilization, morbidities and co-morbidities, and the content of encounters with medical staff. The data will also be used to help policymakers and Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) staff to assess how well HRSA-supported health care sites are able to meet health care needs, guide planning decisions, complement data that are not routinely collected from other BHPC data sources, and determine the extent to which CHCs fill unmet needs and address any gaps in the health care system. The study also provided a snapshot of users and services of the National Health Service Corp (NHSC) sites. The study consisted of three main components: 1) CHC User Survey, 2) CHC Visit Survey and, 3) an NHSC User Survey. The CHC User and Visit surveys were conducted in a sample of 70 eligible CHCs that had received Section 330 grants, while the NHSC User Survey was conducted in a sample of 15 selected NHSC sites. Data was collected for the User survey by way of computer-assisted personal interviews conducted at the clinics, the sample users’ home, at a public place, or by telephone. That data was then analyzed by SUDAAN software. General demographic findings in the CHC user survey indicated that users are generally younger, more likely to be Black or Hispanic, less likely to be married, more likely to have less than a high school education, poorer, more likely to be unemployed, have some form of public assistance, be uninsured, and more likely to be current smokers. Findings from the CHC visit survey indicated that nearly 10% of all visits by CHC users over a 12-month period were from a referral from another provider. Findings from the NHSC User Survey indicated that a majority of users interviewed were largely Black (40%) or White (40%), with about 14 percent stating they were Hispanic. A majority of these users were male and about half stated they weren’t in the work force, with 60 percent of users with less than a high school education. The study’s overall intent was not to provide in depth analysis of the data, but to draw the readers’ attention to some points of interest for further exploration and analysis.
PIC ID: 6811
Agency Sponsor: HRSA-BPHC, Bureau of Primary Health Care
Federal Contact: Wulu, John, 301-594-3730
Performer: RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC