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Quality of Care in Community Health Centers and Factors Associated with Performance

This study examines quality performance among community health centers (CHC) on three key measures of primary and preventive care — diabetes and blood pressure control and timely Pap tests — using quality in Medicaid managed care organizations (MCO) as a benchmark. The study also identifies factors that differ significantly between high- and lower-performing health centers. Most health centers perform better than 75% of all Medicaid MCOs on the two chronic care measures, and more than 1 in 10 exceed this benchmark on all three quality measures. Few health centers lag behind average Medicaid MCO performance on all three measures. Lower-performing health centers have very high uninsured and homeless rates, while high performers have higher rates of Medicare and privately insured patients, a finding that suggests that the ACA expansion of Medicaid and private insurance may foster gains in health center quality performance.