How to get underserved and uninsured students the best quality health care

Last week, during our four-part blog series that introduced everyone to our outreach programs, our post introducing our School-Based Services got the most visits! In that post a research study was quoted saying,

School-based clinics are considered one of the most effective strategies for delivering high quality, comprehensive, and culturally-competent primary and preventive care to children and teens.”

 

The study was done in Denver, CO – ‘using administrative databases maintained by Denver Health (DH) and Denver Public Schools (DPS)’.  Denver Health is Denver’s primary “safety-net” institution caring for many of the city’s uninsured.  Similar to us here at HealthNet, Denver Health is composed of 11 school-based health centers (SBHCs), 9 community health centers, 2 urgent care centers, and a tertiary care hospital with an emergency department.  HealthNet operates 6 community health centers, 3 specialty care centers, and offers school-based services in 8 schools.

 

The most interesting fact about the study is that the comparison was between students who use SBHCs and students who use community health centers and NOT a school-based health center.

 

photo by Fort Rucker

The findings were clear!

School-based users were less likely to be insured, either by Medicaid or another form of insurance; however, they were more likely to have made greater than 3 primary care visits and half as likely to use emergency care for health maintenance.

 

The results show the importance of having a health center present in schools.  School-based health centers help boost access to quality care for underserved and uninsured students.

 

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What do you think about the having access to primary care within schools?
Would it benefit students even if they are NOT in underserved areas?
Leave you comments below!

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To read the full research study click here – the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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