More Federal Funding of Health Centers Mitigates Access Issues
Findings among low-income, uninsured adults from 2002 to 2007
TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2000, increased federal funding for community health centers has helped low-income adults get access to primary care and dental care, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in Health Services Research.
Stacey McMorrow, Ph.D., and Stephen Zuckerman, Ph.D., both from the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., utilized data from the Bureau of Primary Health Care's Uniform Data System (2000 to 2007) to assess federal funding for health centers. The National Health Interview Survey (2001 to 2008) was used to assess individual-level measures of access and use.
The researchers found that community health center funding rose from $1.3 billion in 2002 to $2 billion in 2007. Low-income adults were more likely to have an office visit and to have a general doctor visit in markets with larger funding increases. For uninsured and publicly insured adults, the results were stronger.
"Expansions in federal health center funding had some mitigating effects on the access declines that were generally experienced by low-income adults over this time period," McMorrow and Zuckerman conclude.