New Study Demonstrates Health Center Usage Leads to Medicaid Cost Savings

By Published On: October 5, 2016

Health centers save money when it comes to Medicaid recipients, according to a recent study that will be published next month in the American Journal of Public Health.  Medicaid recipients who received most of their primary care in health centers had fewer outpatient visits, fewer inpatient admissions, and decreased emergency room usage when compared to Medicaid recipients who received most of their primary care in other health care settings. Medicaid spending in these areas and for total spending was also less for health center patients versus those receiving primary care in other settings.  Specifically, health center patients had:

  • 22% fewer outpatient visits
  • 33% decrease in spending on outpatient care
  • 25% fewer inpatient admissions
  • 27% decrease in spending on inpatient admissions
  • 11% decrease in emergency department use
  • 24% decrease in total spending

This new study demonstrates that health centers save Medicaid money.  Health centers currently provide primary care services to approximately 1 out of 7 Medicaid enrollees. As states consider expanding Medicaid, this study makes clear that health centers play a vital role in providing Medicaid recipients with cost-effective primary care.

The study included data on Medicaid recipients from 13 states and examined multiple health care services, such as primary care, other outpatient care, prescription drugs, Emergency Department use, and inpatient care.

Click here to read an abstract of the study, “Health Care Use and Spending for Medicaid Enrollees in Federally Qualified Health Centers versus Other Primary Care Settings”.

If you have additional questions on this topic, please contact our Health Care practice group at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, www.FTLF.com.


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