VA community-based outpatient clinics: access and utilization performance measures.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to compare access and utilization performance measures between Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) and primary care clinics at parent VA Medical Centers (VAMC) and between VA-staff CBOCs and contract CBOCs. METHODS: The study design was cross-sectional and retrospective. Performance measures were based on data routinely collected for administrative and research purposes by the VA. The sample included all primary care patients (n = 37,084) treated at the 38 CBOCs opened before 4/1/98 (30 VA-staff and 8 contract) and all primary care patients (n = 318,369) treated at the 32 parent VAMCs. Six months of service use data were used to derive the access and utilization performance measures. Multivariate regression analyses were used to control for observable casemix differences. RESULTS: CBOCs are attracting new high priority patients to the VA health care system. CBOC patients had more primary care encounters and fewer specialty encounters than patients in the primary care clinics of the parent VAMCs. VA-staffed CBOC patients had more primary care encounters and fewer specialty encounters than contract CBOC patients. CONCLUSIONS: CBOCs are helping the VA achieve its goals of attracting new patients and shifting the focus of care from the specialty to the primary care setting.
Fortney, JC; Borowsky, SJ; Hedeen, AN; Maciejewski, ML; Chapko, MK
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