Changes in primary care access at community health centers between 2012/2013 and 2016

Brendan Saloner, Adam S. Wilk, Douglas Wissoker, Molly Candon, Katherine Hempstead, Karin V. Rhodes, Daniel E. Polsky, Genevieve M. Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare access at community health centers (CHCs) vs private offices (non-CHCs) under the Affordable Care Act. Data Source: Ten state primary care audit conducted in 2012/2013 and 2016. Study Design: CHCs and non-CHCs were called. We calculated difference in differences comparing CHCs vs non-CHCs by caller insurance type. Principal Findings: In both rounds, Medicaid and uninsured callers had higher appointment rates at CHC than non-CHCs. CHC appointment rates significantly increased between 2012/2013 and 2016 for both employer-sponsored and Medicaid callers, with no significant wait time changes. Appointment rates increased (13.5% points, P < 0.001) and wait times decreased (−5.7 days, P = 0.017) at CHCs relative to non-CHCs for employer-sponsored insurance. Conclusion: Appointment availability at CHCs improved after ACA implementation, without increased wait times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalHealth services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Affordable Care Act
  • access
  • community health centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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