Innovative methods for parents and clinics to create tools for kids' care (IMPACCT Kids' Care) study protocol

Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Sep;44:159-163. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Aug 18.


Background: Despite expansions in public health insurance, many children remain uninsured or experience gaps in coverage. Community health centers (CHCs) provide primary care to many children at risk for uninsurance and are well-positioned to help families obtain and retain children's coverage. Recent advances in health information technology (HIT) capabilities provide the means to create tools that could enhance CHCs' insurance outreach efforts.

Objective: To present the study design, baseline patient characteristics, variables, and statistical methods for the Innovative Methods for Parents And Clinics to Create Tools for Kids' Care (IMPACCT Kids' Care) study.

Methods/design: In this mixed methods study, we will design, test and refine health insurance outreach HIT tools through a user-centered process. We will then implement the tools in four CHCs and evaluate their effectiveness and barriers and facilitators to their implementation. To measure effectiveness, we will quantitatively assess health insurance coverage continuity and utilization of healthcare services for pediatric patients in intervention CHCs compared to matched control sites using electronic health record (EHR) and Oregon Medicaid administrative data over 18months pre- and 18months post-implementation (n=34,867 children). We will also qualitatively assess the implementation process to understand how the tools fit into the clinics' workflows and the CHC staff experiences with the tools.

Conclusions: This study creates, implements, and evaluates health insurance outreach HIT tools. The use of such tools will likely improve care delivery and health outcomes, reduce healthcare disparities for vulnerable populations, and enhance overall healthcare system performance. Identifier: NCT02298361.

Keywords: Access to healthcare; Children; Community health centers; Health insurance.

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