Health Care Research
In looking at the definition of research, it is pretty much defined the same no matter what resource you are looking at. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition (2003) defines research as: 1) careful or diligent search; 2) studious inquiry or examination; investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws; 3) the collecting of information about a particular subject. Research may mean different things to different ...view middle of the document...
Federally Qualified Health Centers were established in 1964 and initially called Neighborhood Health Centers. According to the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (2013), President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”, the legislative goals for neighborhood health centers were to:
• Provide comprehensive, high-quality health services;
• Be accessible to low-income residents;
• Be responsive to patient needs; and
• Offer employment, education and social assistance.
Health care research significantly influences the funding FQHCs receive. “Indeed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides an $11 billion Health Center Trust Fund because of their perceived importance in serving the Medicaid population” (chrt.org). FQHCs exceeded the above goals as they grew in numbers as well as help curb costs of providing services by reducing the number of emergency room visits and hospital stay. “The core question is: What does the evidence say about the impact FQHCs have had on the noted goals? The bottom line answer to this question is that FQHCs are generally meeting their original goals by serving low-income populations with quality, cost-effective health care” (chrt.org). Specific research shows that FQHCs and FQHC look-alikes provide services to more than 20 million people in the country. According to Center’s for Healthcare Research & Transformation (2013), in 2010, health centers served about 15 percent of the uninsured, 16 percent of the Medicaid population, and 1.6 percent of the privately uninsured, nationally. There remains a significant unmet need. With the ACA Medicaid expansion, FQHCs will become increasingly important. The newly insured population did not significantly shift to private health care sources after the implementation health care reform. In fact, health centers experienced a 31 percent increase in patient volume between 2005 and 2009. Health centers played a major role in caring for the newly insured, particularly during a period when many had difficulty finding primary care, while continuing to serve uninsured residents. Leaders in health care can use this research information to manage the care of patients by ensuring they have the appropriate trained staff to provide services to both the insured and uninsured population. The conclusion that can be drawn from the effectiveness of FQHCs is the value, quality, and cost effectiveness they provide.
Three Implications of Health Care Research
Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) data provides a foundation for further discussion on the effectiveness of FQHCs. The data provided an indication that FQHCs provide value, quality, and cost effective services to health care and patients.
“FQHCs are demonstrating value. The investment in primary care, through FQHC PPS rates and enabling services, is associated with reduced inpatient utilization, lower readmission rates, and fewer ED visits for their patient populations....