Objective: This study compared the preventive service utilization of uninsured patients receiving care at Oregon community health centers (CHCs) in 2008 through 2011 with that of continuously insured patients at the same CHCs in the same period, using electronic health record (EHR) data.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis, using logistic mixed effects regression modeling to calculate odds ratios and rates of preventive service utilization for patients without insurance, or with continuous insurance.
Results: CHCs provided many preventive services to uninsured patients. Uninsured patients were less likely than continuously insured patients to receive 5 of 11 preventive services, ranging from OR 0.52 (95% CI: 0.35-0.77) for mammogram orders to 0.75 (95% CI: 0.66-0.86) for lipid panels. This disparity persisted even in patients who visited the clinic regularly.
Conclusion: Lack of insurance is a barrier to preventive service utilization, even in patients who can access care at a CHC. Policymakers in the United States should continue to address this significant prevention disparity.
Keywords: Community health centers; Electronic medical records; Health insurance; Preventive services.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.