Country: United States

Survey Organization: Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS), a branch of AUS and ICR/International Communications Research

Field Dates: February 2, 2009–April 2, 2009

Sample: 1,573 patients age 18 and older or adults accompanying a child under the age of 18 in 27 Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant primary care clinics in New Orleans parish. A total of 2,021 individuals were approached for an interview and 448 refused. The response rate for the survey was 77.8 percent. The data are weighted in accordance with patient flow reports to ensure that each clinic is proportionally represented. The margin of error was +/– 2.92; however, the margin-of-error calculations for non-random samples should be treated carefully.

Interview Method: 20-minute, two-part, in-person surveys

One of the many things Hurricane Katrina devastated when it hit New Orleans in 2005 was the city's health care system. Two hospitals that had been the main sites of care for low-income, uninsured residents were closed for long periods; one remains so. In their place has emerged a network of more than 90 independent, neighborhood primary care clinics, funded with federal, state, and local money. To find out how well these community clinics were serving their high-need populations, The Commonwealth Fund conducted interviews with patients at 27 clinics in 2009. The findings are encouraging: most patients reported having easy access to care, helpful communication with clinicians, good management of their chronic illnesses, and preventive care. When they needed care, costs did not deter them from seeking it. The results suggest that the locally based clinics could serve as a model for delivering primary care to vulnerable populations elsewhere.