Enabling Services Play Critical Role in Health Care Systems for Vulnerable Populations
January 5, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[Archive] Stacy Lavilla
Director of Communications
(510) 272-9536 x110
New Study Shows Positive Impact of Enabling Services on Diabetes Patients
Oakland, CA– January 5, 2009 –Diabetes patients using Enabling Services (ES), non-clinical services such as financial counseling and health education, had better health outcomes than non-users, according to a recent study by the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO). This new data underscores the importance of including ES in any comprehensive health care system.
AAPCHO’s latest study, presented at the 7th Annual Community Health Center (CHC) Leadership Conference in Hawaii last month, found that of 3,068 diabetes patients who used medical services at four CHCs nationwide in 2007, the 1,337 patients (43.6%) who also used enabling services had on average significantly lower hemoglobin A1C (blood sugar) levels compared to non-ES users. Moreover, uninsured patients were most likely to use ES, which are services that facilitate access to quality primary care services, especially for medically underserved patients. The CHCs participating in this study are located in New York, Washington and Hawaii.
“What this study begins to show us is that enabling services, which include translation services and health education, do in fact improve health outcomes for vulnerable and medically underserved Asian American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander patients,” said Jeffrey B. Caballero, executive director at AAPCHO.
Mr. Caballero further explained,” With current health care discussions revolving around comprehensive healthcare systems and defining the “medical home”, federal agencies and lawmakers must recognize the true value of enabling services and the CHCs that provide them.”
Because health care providers typically are not reimbursed for these critical patient services, most ES programs are underfunded and are threatened in today’s unstable economy. According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, CHCs save the health care system up to $17.6 billion per year based on lower per patient costs. CHCs also have an overall economic impact of $12.6 billion and produced 143,000 jobs across the country last year.
“It is my hope that policymakers will see that with the growing number of uninsured in this country and a continually sagging economy, community health centers are recognized as invaluable to this country’s safety net of care, and that enabling services will be a critical and reimbursable component of all proposed health care reform packages,” Caballero added.
The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) is a national association of twenty-five community-based organizations serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in the U.S. For more information on AAPCHO and its Guiding Principles and Values, please visit: http://www.aapcho.org