"Restructuring Care in a Federally Qualified Health Center to Better Meet Patients' Needs," Health Affairs, March 2011 30(3):419–21.
Long wait times for appointments make it difficult for patients to get necessary care and keep appointments, especially when patients have unpredictable work and family schedules. Same-day access can reduce no-shows, while group visits can improve outcomes.
Clinica Family Heath Services, a federally qualified health center in Colorado, redesigned its operations to enable same-day appointments and instituted group visits to provide prenatal care. The group visits emphasized patient education and made use of peer support to promote better health.
The average birth rate of underweight babies is 8.9 percent in Colorado, but just 6 percent of babies born to Clinica patients are underweight. The rate is even lower (5.3%) among mothers who opt to receive prenatal care through Clinica's group visit program. Clinica estimates the program saves several hundred thousand dollars for each avoided underweight birth.