Community health centers cost savings: Ambulatory care patients in North Carolina

Patrick Richard, Kristina D. West, Peter Shin, Mustafa Z. Younis, Sara Rosenbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act boosted the expansion of community health centers (CHCs) with $11 billion in mandatory funding from 2011 to 2015. This study used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to assess the cost savings associated with the use of community health centers compared to other primary care providers. After controlling for various demographic, socioeconomic characteristics and health conditions, we found savings at an average of $3,437 in total expenditures and $1,211 in ambulatory care expenditures. These results suggest that continuing investment in health centers are important during times of budget cuts in order to improve access to care and to generate cost savings to the healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-291
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Community health centers cost savings: Ambulatory care patients in North Carolina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this