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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
Results1 to 25 of 374 Research Studies Displayed
McInerney M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM. M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM
Welcome mats and on-ramps for older adults: the impact of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansions on Dual Enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid.
The authors examined whether Medicaid participation by low-income adults age 65 and up increased as a result of Medicaid expansions to working-age adults under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Using American Community Survey data and state variation in ACA Medicaid expansions, they found that Medicaid expansions to working-age adults increased Medicaid participation among low-income older adults by 4.4 percent. They also found evidence of an “on-ramp” effect, which is an important mechanism behind welcome mat effects among some older adults.
Citation: McInerney M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM. M, Mellor JM, Sabik LM . Welcome mats and on-ramps for older adults: the impact of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansions on Dual Enrollment in Medicare and Medicaid. J Policy Anal Manage 2021 Win;40(1):12-41. doi: 10.1002/pam.22259..
Keywords: Elderly, Medicaid, Medicare, Low-Income, Health Insurance, Policy
Chelen JSC, White DB, Zaza S
US ventilator allocation and patient triage policies in anticipation of the COVID-19 surge.
Researchers assessed policy preparedness and substantive triage criteria within existing policies using a cross-sectional survey distributed to public health personnel and healthcare providers between March 23 and April 23, 2020. They found that their sample of policies reflected organizational strategies of exemplar-based policy development and the use of objective criteria in triage decisions, either before or instead of clinical judgment, to support ethical distribution of resources.
Citation: Chelen JSC, White DB, Zaza S . US ventilator allocation and patient triage policies in anticipation of the COVID-19 surge. Health Secur 2021 Sep-Oct;19(5):459-67. doi: 10.1089/hs.2020.0166..
Keywords: COVID-19, Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, Policy
Berdahl TA, Moriya AS
AHRQ Author: Berdahl TA, Moriya AS
Insurance coverage for non-standard workers: experiences of temporary workers, freelancers, and part-time workers in the USA, 2010-2017.
This AHRQ-authored paper estimates insurance disparities across non-standard employment categories and determines how coverage disparities shifted following health reform in 2014. Data on working-age adults was analyzed from the 2010-2012 and 2015-2017 MEPS. Uninsurance decreased after health reform for all groups of nonstandard workers with a 10-14% point decline. Uninsurance remained high for all freelance workers at 30.8%, full-time temporary workers (25.1%) and part-time workers (17.9%) compared to full-time workers (11.9%). Lower uninsurance in a Medicaid expansion state was found for all categories of workers.
Citation: Berdahl TA, Moriya AS . Insurance coverage for non-standard workers: experiences of temporary workers, freelancers, and part-time workers in the USA, 2010-2017. J Gen Intern Med 2021 Jul;36(7):1997-2003. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06700-0..
Keywords: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), Health Insurance, Policy, Uninsured, Medicaid, Low-Income
Mackie TI, Kovacs KM, Simmel C
A best-worst scaling experiment to identify patient-centered claims-based outcomes for evaluation of pediatric antipsychotic monitoring programs.
This study utilized a best-worst scaling (BWS) experiment to identify the claims-based outcomes that matter most to patients and other relevant parties when evaluating pediatric antipsychotic monitoring programs, specifically in foster care children. Relevant parties included policymakers (n = 31), foster care alumni (n = 28), caseworkers (n=23), prescribing clinicians (n = 32), and caregivers (n = 18). Participants received surveys with a scenario on antipsychotic monitoring programs and ranked 11 candidate claims-based outcomes as most and least important. Safety indicators ranked among the top three candidate outcomes across respondent groups. Foster care alumni put “antipsychotic treatment reduction” and “increased psychosocial treatment” as the highest ranking. Caseworkers, prescribers, and caregivers gave top priority to “increased follow-up after treatment initiation”. Potential unintended consequences ranked lowest, including increased use of other psychotropic medication classes, increased psychiatric hospital stays, and increased emergency room utilization.
Citation: Mackie TI, Kovacs KM, Simmel C . A best-worst scaling experiment to identify patient-centered claims-based outcomes for evaluation of pediatric antipsychotic monitoring programs. Health Serv Res 2021 Jun;56(3):418-31. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13610..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Medication, Medication: Safety, Patient Safety, Policy
Chow JY, Nijhawan AE, Mathews WC
Hospitalization rates among persons with HIV who gained Medicaid or private insurance after the Affordable Care Act in 2014.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether gaining inpatient healthcare coverage had an effect on hospitalization rates among persons with HIV following implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Hospitalization data from 2015 were obtained on adults receiving longitudinal care at HIV clinics; all patients were previously uninsured and supported by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) in 2013. Findings showed that acquiring inpatient coverage was not associated with a change in hospitalization rates.
Citation: Chow JY, Nijhawan AE, Mathews WC . Hospitalization rates among persons with HIV who gained Medicaid or private insurance after the Affordable Care Act in 2014. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2021 Jun 1;87(2):776-80. doi: 10.1097/qai.0000000000002645..
Keywords: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hospitalization, Medicaid, Health Insurance, Access to Care, Policy
Shortell SM, Gottlieb DJ, Martinez Camblor P
Hospital-based health systems 20 years later: a taxonomy for policy research and analysis.
Building on the original taxonomy of hospital-based health systems from 20 years ago, the investigators developed a new taxonomy to inform emerging public policy and practice developments. The study design included a cluster analysis of the 2016 AHA Annual Survey data to derive measures of differentiation, centralization, and integration to create categories or types of hospital-based health systems.
Citation: Shortell SM, Gottlieb DJ, Martinez Camblor P . Hospital-based health systems 20 years later: a taxonomy for policy research and analysis. Health Serv Res 2021 Jun;56(3):453-63. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13621..
Keywords: Hospitals, Healthcare Systems, Health Services Research (HSR), Policy
Tedesco D, Moghavem N, Weng Y
Improvement in patient safety may precede policy changes: trends in patient safety indicators in the United States, 2000-2013.
This study’s aim was to assess changes in national patient safety trends that corresponded to U.S. pay-for-performance reforms. The study analyzed 13 patient safety indicators (PSIs) that were developed by AHRQ. PSI trends, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services payment policy changes, and Inpatient Prospective Payment System regulations and notices between 2000 and 2013 were analyzed. Twelve of the thirteen PSIs had decreasing or stable trends in the last 5 years of the study. Central-line bloodstream infections had the greatest annual decrease (-31.1 annual percent change between 2006 and 2013) whereas postoperative respiratory failure had the smallest annual percent change (-3.5 between 2005 and 2013). Significant decreases in trends preceded federal payment reform initiatives in all but postoperative hip fracture. These findings suggest that intense public discourses targeting patient safety may drive national policy reforms.
Citation: Tedesco D, Moghavem N, Weng Y . Improvement in patient safety may precede policy changes: trends in patient safety indicators in the United States, 2000-2013. J Patient Saf 2021 Jun 1;17(4):e327-e34. doi: 10.1097/pts.0000000000000615..
Keywords: Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, Quality Indicators (QIs), Quality Measures, Quality of Care, Policy
Roberts ET, James AE, Sabik LM
Modernizing Medicaid coverage for Medicare beneficiaries with low income.
Medicaid serves as a supplemental insurer for eleven million low-income Medicare beneficiaries, known as duals. For these beneficiaries, Medicaid pays for Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs, including premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. This paper examined opportunities to close these gaps in Medicaid coverage and discussed how these reforms could complement other efforts to modernize Medicaid for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
Citation: Roberts ET, James AE, Sabik LM . Modernizing Medicaid coverage for Medicare beneficiaries with low income. JAMA Health Forum 2021 Jun;2(6). doi: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.0989..
Keywords: Medicaid, Medicare, Low-Income, Health Insurance, Policy
Springs S, Baruch J
Artists on the research team: an interdisciplinary approach to team science, research rigor, and creative dialogue.
Under the stewardship of two Rhode Island state agencies, an innovative research-driven enterprise, comprising researchers, clinicians, and community artists, was brought together to integrate arts-based interventions into statewide public health policy and practice. In this paper, the investigators discussed their work with the Rhode Island Arts and Health Advisory Group as a case study to illuminate their experiences in collaborating with artists on public health policy and practice research.
Citation: Springs S, Baruch J . Artists on the research team: an interdisciplinary approach to team science, research rigor, and creative dialogue. Health Promot Pract 2021 May;22(1_suppl):83s-90s. doi: 10.1177/1524839921996301..
Keywords: Public Health, Policy
Jacobs PD, Kronick R
AHRQ Author: Jacobs PD
The effects of coding intensity in Medicare Advantage on plan benefits and finances.
The authors assessed how beneficiary premiums, expected out-of-pocket costs, and plan finances in the Medicare Advantage (MA) market are related to coding intensity. The study sample included beneficiaries enrolled in both MA and Part D from 2008-2015; Medicare claims and drug utilization data for Traditional Medicare beneficiaries were used to calibrate an independent measure of health risk. The authors found that, while coding intensity increased taxpayers' costs of the MA program, enrollees and plans both benefitted but with larger gains for plans. They concluded that the adoption of policies to adjust more completely for coding intensity would likely affect both beneficiaries and plan profits.
Citation: Jacobs PD, Kronick R . The effects of coding intensity in Medicare Advantage on plan benefits and finances. Health Serv Res 2021 Apr;56(2):178-87. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13591..
Keywords: Medicare, Health Insurance, Healthcare Costs, Policy
Anderson KE, Shugarman LR, Davenport K
Regulation of provider networks in response to COVID-19.
The authors anticipate that the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic will have 3 main effects on provider networks and their regulation: enrollment changes, changes to the provider landscape, and changes to care delivery. They suggested that telehealth will have a larger role in care delivery than in the pre-pandemic period, and that regulators will need to adapt network standards to accommodate in-person and virtual care delivery.
Citation: Anderson KE, Shugarman LR, Davenport K . Regulation of provider networks in response to COVID-19. Am J Manag Care 2021 Apr;27(4):e101-e04. doi: 10.37765/ajmc.2021.88614..
Keywords: Health Insurance, Policy, Access to Care, Healthcare Delivery, COVID-19
Malhotra NA, Nevar A, Yearby R
Medicaid's EPSDT benefit: an opportunity to improve pediatric screening for social determinants of health.
This paper discusses the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPDST) benefit which is a key component of Medicaid policy intended to define an essential set of services provided to patients age 21 and younger. This qualitative review examines the extent to which EPSDT might be used to implement structured screening to identify environmental and social factors affecting children’s health. Semistructured interviews conducted in 2017 were triangulated with a review of the recent literature to describe how states currently consider the EPSDT benefit with respect to social determinants of health (SDOH) screening. Findings suggest that with sufficient stakeholder advocacy given the evidence supporting social determinants of health as “medically necessary”, EPSDT benefits could be considered as a funding source to incentivize the incorporation of SDOH screening into the basic package of well-child care.
Citation: Malhotra NA, Nevar A, Yearby R . Medicaid's EPSDT benefit: an opportunity to improve pediatric screening for social determinants of health. Med Care Res Rev 2021 Apr;78(2):87-102. doi: 10.1177/1077558719874211..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Medicaid, Social Determinants of Health, Screening, Disparities, Policy
Chen G, Lewis VA, Gottlieb D
Estimating heterogeneous effects of a policy intervention across organizations when organization affiliation is missing for the control group: application to the evaluation of accountable care organizations.
This study looked at the effects of accountable care organizations (ACOs) on lowering health care costs and reducing the rate of hospital readmissions. The authors used Medicare fee-for-service claims data from 2009-2014 to estimate the heterogenous effects of Medicare ACO programs on hospital admissions across hospital referral regions and provider groups. The results suggested that the ACO programs reduced the rate of readmission to hospitals, and that the effect of joining an ACO varied considerably across medical groups.
Citation: Chen G, Lewis VA, Gottlieb D . Estimating heterogeneous effects of a policy intervention across organizations when organization affiliation is missing for the control group: application to the evaluation of accountable care organizations. Health Serv Outcomes Res Methodol 2021 Mar;21(1):54-68. doi: 10.1007/s10742-020-00230-8..
Keywords: Medicare, Policy, Healthcare Costs, Hospital Readmissions, Health Insurance
Bossick AS, Brown J, Hanna A
Impact of state-level reproductive health legislation on access to and use of reproductive health services and reproductive health outcomes: a systematic scoping review in the Affordable Care Act era.
This literature review looked at the association between state-level reproductive laws and reproductive health outcomes related to services such as family planning, maternity care, abortion, and prenatal care use. A PubMed search was conducted for studies published between March 10, 2010 and August 31, 2019 and focused on research conducted after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Search results returned 1,529 articles with only 56 meeting the inclusion criteria for review. After further review, only 8 were selected for inclusion. Two included all 50 states and Washington, DC; one included Oregon and Washington; and the remaining 5 studies included single states (Texas, Arizona, Ohio, and Utah). Half of the studies focused solely on restrictive abortion legislation. Restricting access to family planning and abortion services were associated with negative outcomes. Expanding maternity care through Medicaid reform and autonomous midwifery laws were associated with positive outcomes for maternal and newborn health.
Citation: Bossick AS, Brown J, Hanna A . Impact of state-level reproductive health legislation on access to and use of reproductive health services and reproductive health outcomes: a systematic scoping review in the Affordable Care Act era. Womens Health Issues 2021 Mar-Apr;31(2):114-21. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.11.005..
Keywords: Women, Policy, Maternal Care, Pregnancy
Valdez RS, Roger CC, Claypool H
Ensuring full participation of people with disabilities in an era of telehealth.
This paper discusses the benefits and drawbacks that the widespread use of telehealth resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has on people with disabilities. For some it may result in reduced barriers to care, but for others inadequate attention to the design, implementation, and policy dimensions may be detrimental.
Citation: Valdez RS, Roger CC, Claypool H . Ensuring full participation of people with disabilities in an era of telehealth. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2021 Feb 15;28(2):389-92. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocaa297..
Keywords: Disabilities, Telehealth, Health Information Technology (HIT), Access to Care, Policy, COVID-19
Vsevolozhskaya OA, Manz KC, Zephyr PM
Measurement matters: changing penalty calculations under the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) cost hospitals millions.
Since October 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has penalized 25% of U.S. hospitals with the highest rates of hospital-acquired conditions under the Hospital Acquired Conditions Reduction Program (HACRP). While early evaluations of the HACRP program reported cumulative reductions in hospital-acquired conditions, more recent studies have not found a clear association between receipt of the HACRP penalty and hospital quality of care. In this article, the authors posit that some of this disconnect may be driven by frequent scoring updates.
Citation: Vsevolozhskaya OA, Manz KC, Zephyr PM . Measurement matters: changing penalty calculations under the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) cost hospitals millions. BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Feb 10;21(1):131. doi: 10.1186/s12913-021-06108-w..
Keywords: Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), Infectious Diseases, Hospitals, Policy, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care, Patient Safety
Herb JN, Wolff RT, McDaniel PM
Travel time to radiation oncology facilities in the United States and the influence of Certificate of Need Policies.
The authors’ goal was to evaluate travel times to US radiation oncology (RO) facilities and to assess the association with Certificate of Need (CON) policies. RO facilities were identified from the 2018 National Plan and Provider Enumeration System. They found that isolated rural US census tracts, accounting for 9.4 million Americans, have nearly 1-hour longer adjusted travel time to the nearest RO facility, compared with urban tracts. CON laws had region-dependent associations with prolonged travel.
Citation: Herb JN, Wolff RT, McDaniel PM . Travel time to radiation oncology facilities in the United States and the influence of Certificate of Need Policies. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2021 Feb;109(2):344-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.08.059..
Keywords: Cancer, Rural Health, Access to Care, Policy
Zachrison KS, Boggs KM, Cash RE
Are state telemedicine parity laws associated with greater use of telemedicine in the emergency department?
Telemedicine is a valuable tool to improve access to specialty care in emergency departments (EDs), and states have passed telemedicine parity laws requiring insurers to reimburse for telemedicine visits. The objective of this study was to determine if there was an association between such laws and the use of telemedicine in an ED. The investigators concluded that telemedicine parity laws were not associated with use of telemedicine in the ED.
Citation: Zachrison KS, Boggs KM, Cash RE . Are state telemedicine parity laws associated with greater use of telemedicine in the emergency department? J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open 2021 Feb;2(1):e212359. doi: 10.1002/emp2.12359..
Keywords: Telehealth, Emergency Department, Health Information Technology (HIT), Policy, Payment
Huguet N, Schmidt T, Larson A
Prevalence of pre-existing conditions among community health center patients with COVID-19: implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Researchers described the prevalence of pre-existing conditions among community health center patients overall and those with COVID-19 by race/ethnicity. Electronic health record data from OCHIN, a network of 396 community health centers across 14 states, was used. They concluded that since the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is uncertain, and since the long-term health effects of COVID-19 are largely unknown, ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions can acquire health insurance is essential to achieving health equity.
Citation: Huguet N, Schmidt T, Larson A . Prevalence of pre-existing conditions among community health center patients with COVID-19: implications for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. J Am Board Fam Med 2021 Feb;34(Suppl):S247-s49. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2021.S1.200571..
Keywords: Community-Based Practice, COVID-19, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Policy, Healthcare Delivery
Polsky D, Wu B
Provider networks and health plan premium variation.
The purpose of this study was to examine how plan premiums are associated with physician network breadth, hospital network breadth, and hospital network quality on the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces in all 50 states and the DC in 2016. The investigators concluded that physician network breadth and hospital network breadth contributed positively to plan premiums.
Citation: Polsky D, Wu B . Provider networks and health plan premium variation. Health Serv Res 2021 Feb;56(1):16-24. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13447..
Keywords: Health Insurance, Healthcare Costs, Policy, Access to Care
Hammad Mrig E
Integrating fundamental cause theory and Bourdieu to explain pathways between socioeconomic status and health: the case of health insurance denials for genetic testing.
This paper proposes that Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital and symbolic power can be integrated with fundamental cause theory to address limitations in the latter theory, making it more useful in health disparities research. This work deepens appreciation for the durable relationship between socioeconomic status and health. Study results reveal the multiple and complex mechanisms that play a role in access to healthcare services, which has significant implications for how we think about the role of health policy in addressing health disparities.
Citation: Hammad Mrig E . Integrating fundamental cause theory and Bourdieu to explain pathways between socioeconomic status and health: the case of health insurance denials for genetic testing. Sociol Health Illn 2021 Jan;43(1):133-48. doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.13195..
Keywords: Socioeconomic Factors, Disparities, Health Insurance, Access to Care, Genetics, Policy
Fung V, Price M, Hull P
Assessment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's increase in fees for primary care and access to care for dual-eligible beneficiaries.
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fee bump and primary care visits for dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Medicare claims data from 2012 to 2016 was used. Findings showed that the ACA fee bump was not associated with increases in primary care visits for dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Additionally, visits for dual-eligible beneficiaries with primary care physicians decreased after the ACA, a decrease that was partially offset by increases in visits with nonphysician clinicians.
AHRQ-funded; HS024725; HS025378.
Citation: Fung V, Price M, Hull P . Assessment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's increase in fees for primary care and access to care for dual-eligible beneficiaries. JAMA Netw Open 2021 Jan;4(1):e2033424. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.33424..
Keywords: Access to Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Health Insurance, Healthcare Costs, Policy
Hatch B, Hoopes M, Darney BG
Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on receipt of women's preventive services in Community Health Centers in Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states.
Researchers assessed whether ACA implementation and Medicaid expansion were followed by greater receipt of recommended preventive services among women and girls in a large network of community health centers. Data was collected from electronic health records in 14 states. The researchers found that among female patients at community health centers, receipt of recommended preventive care improved after ACA implementation in both Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states, although the overall rates remained low. They recommended continued support to overcome barriers to preventive care in this population.
Citation: Hatch B, Hoopes M, Darney BG . Impacts of the Affordable Care Act on receipt of women's preventive services in Community Health Centers in Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states. Womens Health Issues 2021 Jan-Feb;31(1):9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.08.011..
Keywords: Community-Based Practice, Medicaid, Health Insurance, Uninsured, Access to Care, Policy, Cancer: Cervical Cancer, Cancer, Prevention, Women, Healthcare Utilization
Ali MM, McClellan C, West KD
AHRQ Author: McClellan C
Medical marijuana laws, marijuana use, and opioid-related outcomes among women in the United States.
This study examined whether state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) was associated with lower levels of opioid-related outcomes. Data was drawn from the 2002-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to compare opioid misuse in states with and without MMLs among all women, pregnant women, and parenting women. It also invested the impact of MMLs on marijuana use and marijuana use disorder. There was found to be no association of MMLs with opioid misuse, opioid misuse initiation, or opioid use disorder among all women, pregnant women and parenting women. However there was a positive correlation with marijuana use and marijuana use disorder among all women and women with children. MMLs were also associated with an increase in the frequency of opioid misuse in pregnant women and a decrease in the frequency of opioid misuse for parenting women.
Citation: Ali MM, McClellan C, West KD . Medical marijuana laws, marijuana use, and opioid-related outcomes among women in the United States. Womens Health Issues 2021 Jan-Feb;31(1):24-30. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.09.003..
Keywords: Women, Opioids, Substance Abuse, Medication, Policy, Practice Patterns
Myong C, Hull P, Price M
The impact of funding for federally qualified health centers on utilization and emergency department visits in Massachusetts.
This retrospective study examined the impact of funding for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) on utilization and emergency department (ED) visits in Massachusetts. The authors theorized that greater funding for FQHCs could increase the local availability of clinic-based care and reduce more costly resource use, such as ED visits. Data from the Massachusetts All Payer Claims Database (APCD) 2010-2013 was used that included enrollees in 559 Massachusetts ZIP codes (2010 numbers 6,173,563). They calculated shift-share predictions of changes in FQHC funding at the ZIP code-level for FQHCs that received Community Health Center funds in any year. They found that a standard deviation increase in prior year FQHC funding (31%) was associated with a 2.3% increase in enrollees with FQHC visits and a 1.3% decrease in enrollees at EDs. However, there were no significant changes in emergent ED visit rates.
Citation: Myong C, Hull P, Price M . The impact of funding for federally qualified health centers on utilization and emergency department visits in Massachusetts. PLoS One 2020 Dec 3;15(12):e0243279. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0243279..
Keywords: Community-Based Practice, Healthcare Utilization, Emergency Department, Healthcare Costs, Access to Care, Vulnerable Populations, Policy