Performance Improvement 2013-2014. What is the Extent of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Clinical Quality Outcomes among Health Center Patients and How Do These Potential Disparities Differ across Various Health Center Characteristics?

01/01/2014

More than 1100 federally funded health centers provide primary and preventive care to about 20 million underserved patients in the United States. This study assessed racial/ethnic disparities in clinical quality among United States health centers, and examined whether performance on quality measures varied across three health center characteristics: health center patient volume, duration of health center funding, and extent of managed care penetration. Three indicators of clinical quality were examined: poorly controlled hypertension among adult patients, poorly controlled diabetes among adult patients, and low birth weight among newborns.

Poor diabetes control was more prevalent among Hispanic/Latino patients than non-Hispanic white patients. Non-Hispanic black/African American patients had statistically worse outcomes than non-Hispanic white patients. Health centers with larger patient volume fared better than their counterparts with smaller volume for all racial/ethnic groups. For Hispanic/Latino patients, more established health centers compared favorably to new health centers for all three outcomes. Health centers with some managed care penetration did better for diabetes and hypertension control relative to health centers without managed care penetration.

Report Title: Racial/Ethnic Differences in Clinical Quality Performance among Health Centers
Agency Sponsor: HRSA, Health Resources and Services Administration
Federal Contact: Lydie Lebrun-Harris, 301-443-2178
Performer: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Record ID: 10101 (March 1, 2013)

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