Exploring the value of integrated outreach programs for health centers

Dates: 2013

Geographic Scope: Nationwide

Client(s): Health Outreach Partners

Service: Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Integrated Care Models, Healthy Communities

Outreach programs help people access and navigate health services and are essential to the mission of community health centers. Outreach services such as insurance eligibility, case management, transportation, and interpretation help address health disparities by improving the accessibility and quality of care for underserved communities. In addition, outreach programs can help health centers increase revenue by expanding the patient base, changing the health center payer mix, and actively engaging patients in their own health management. Past efforts to measure the impact of outreach programs have proved challenging due to limited resources for data collection and a lack of standardized metrics. Health center leaders need improved tools to assess the potential value of outreach programs.

Health Outreach Partners (HOP) is a national organization based in Oakland, California that aims to build strong, effective and sustainable grassroots health models to improve the quality of life of low-income, vulnerable and underserved populations. HOP contracted JSI to develop a strategic framework and corresponding toolkit that health center decision-makers (e.g., CFOs, CEOs, board members, and others) can use to make the business case for integrated health outreach programs.

As part of the project, JSI conducted a landscape scan and collected input from stakeholders and key informants to determine potential mechanisms by which outreach programs can produce return on investment.

This project was part of a larger HOP project called, "Making the Business Case for Integrated Community Health Outreach: Meeting the Health Center’s Mission and Margin” launched in October 2012 and funded by the Bureau of Primary Health Care at the Health Resources and Services Administration.