Access to care for U.S. health center patients and patients nationally: how do the most vulnerable populations fare?

Med Care. 2007 Mar;45(3):206-13. doi: 10.1097/01.mlr.0000252160.21428.24.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medically Uninsured / statistics & numerical data*
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Vulnerable Populations / statistics & numerical data*