On-site provision of substance abuse treatment services at community health centers

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012 Jun;42(4):339-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.09.012. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


We examined on-site and off-site referral-based provision of substance abuse (SA) treatment services among a sample of community health centers (CHCs). Analyses used survey data collected from CHCs in three states merged with administrative claims to both characterize CHC care delivery models and examine the association between models and care quality. Care quality was based on the Washington Circle measures of initiation and engagement. Approximately half the sample provided at least some SA treatment services on site. The provision of intensive outpatient treatment services on site was associated with significantly higher engagement rates. It was also associated with higher (but not significantly) initiation rates. At the same time, on-site provision of screening and counseling services was negatively associated with both initiation and engagement rates. Given limited resources, investing in more intensive services on site may yield better outcomes for CHC patients than lower level services, but further study is recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Primary Health Care
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • United States