Access to care for U.S. health center patients and patients nationally: how do the most vulnerable populations fare?
ABSTRACT This study examined access to care for uninsured and Medicaid-insured community health center patients in comparison to nonhealth center patients nationally. Using nationally representative data from 2 major surveys in 2002, there was a positive association between seeking care in community health centers and self-reported access to care for both uninsured and Medicaid patients. This suggests that health centers may fill a critical gap in access to care for patients who use their services. Given recent budget cuts to the Medicaid program, health centers remain an important policy option to assure access to care for vulnerable populations.