Community-Based Primary Care Centers Affected by Medicaid Clients Moving into Managed Care

Assessment of the needs of community-based primary care centers moving into managed care - supplement

During 1997 and 1998, researchers at the University of Washington Institute for Public Policy and Management assessed the needs of community-based primary care centers to participate successfully in managed care.

The research team interviewed individuals knowledgeable in community health centers and/or managed care, reviewed related literature, and surveyed activities in this area by other charitable foundations.

Key Findings

  • A spectrum of public policy and market-driven changes in the health care environment are having a profound effect on most health centers.

  • Prior expansions in Medicaid beneficiaries, combined with the advent of cost-based reimbursement through the Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) Program, increased health center reliance on Medicaid revenues.

  • In 1996, there was a 9.5 percent increase in uninsured clients at federally assisted Community and Migrant Health Centers, while total clients remained relatively unchanged (.05 percent increase).

  • The real impact of the rapid transition to Medicaid managed care on health centers was found to be extremely varied and largely dependent on location.

Key Recommendations

  • To address health center needs, the report recommended five categories of projects for funding:

    • National demonstration projects.
    • Policy analysis projects.
    • Special studies.
    • Short-term projects.
    • Public information projects.