197110 Enabling Services at Community Health Centers Serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders: Trends from 2004 to 2008

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hui Song, MPH, MS , Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
Rosy Chang Weir, PhD , Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
Jeffrey Caballero, MPH , Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (AA&NHOPIs), especially those that are medically underserved, face substantial financial, cultural, and linguistic barriers that prevent them from obtaining appropriate health care. Enabling services (ES), non-clinical services such as interpretation and financial counseling, aimed to increase access to health care, are believed to improve health outcomes for underserved minority patients. However, there is little evidence to support this claim, as there is currently limited data on ES, which is a crucial barrier to securing financial support for these essential services at Community Health Centers (CHCs).

This project is a collaborative effort between the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and four CHCs serving primarily AA&NHOPIs. It aims to fill this information gap by developing an ES data collection model, and examining the impact of these services on health. We will present our study analyzing ES data for the years of 2004-2008. The presentation will include ES patient demographics, encounter type, provider type and the patterns over the past five years. Results support the claim that ES play an indispensable role in improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities. The information has been useful for health centers in their efforts to document ES utilization, guide effective resource allocation, as well as to support advocacy efforts for ES reimbursement and funding. Overall, the documentation and examination of ES supports the national efforts to improve cultural and linguistic appropriate health care delivery and reduce and eliminate health disparities for underserved AA&NHOPI populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe ES utilization patterns at 4 community health centers for the years of 2004-2008 2. Assess the impact of ES utilization on reducing health disparities 3. Demonstrate the importance of ES data collection and research for community health centers

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I joined the research team of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) in January, 2008. As a Research Associate, my primary role is Program Coordinator for the Enabling Services Accountability Project (ESAP), which aims to provide a better understanding of the role of enabling services in health care access, utilization, and outcomes for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders. Raised in China, I received my Bachelorís Degree in Economics and Biology from Peking University, Beijing , China. I also hold a M.P.H. in Health Management and Policy and a M.S. in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining AAPCHO, I completed internships at Alameda County Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.