224903 A pilot project calculating the return on investment of mobile health clinics

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 8:40 AM - 8:50 AM

Anthony Vavasis, MD , Health Outreach to Teens, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York, NY
Jennifer Bennet , Family Van, Harvard Medical School, Roxbury, MA
Paul Cote , Family Van, Health Finance Consultant, Chestnut Hill, MA
Darien DeLorenzo , Mobile Health Clinics Network, San Francisco, CA
John Brownstein, DPhil , Department of Emergency Medicine/Informatics Program, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Nancy Oriol, MD , Office of Student Affairs, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Background: Mobile clinics are a distinct community of providers serving the medically disenfranchised, an invisible community of patients. These clinics typically serve those who are at high risk for disparities in health outcomes yet remain outside the reach of traditional public health research. Thus both the community served and the impact created by mobile health clinics are unaccounted for in traditional health services research. These clinics have begun to aggregate their public health information, to compare services, effectiveness and costs and to collectively capture the scope of work provided by this segment of the health care system and calculate its impact on that system. Objectives: to characterize the scope of services provided by mobile health clinics and calculate the cumulative return on investment (ROI) for this sector of the health care system. Methods; Input demographic, service and cost data from individual mobile clinics via a web-based portal into a previously described return on investment algorithm based on the published cost effectiveness data of the services provided. This measure was previously established in a study from the National Partnership for Prevention. Results: the average ROI of five broad-service urban mobile programs is 1:36. These programs collectively provided 16,266 visits and over 30,000 screenings during one year. Conclusion: Nontraditional health care programs like mobile clinics represent an untapped resource for providing cost effective prevention focused health services to populations at risk for disparities in health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the algorithm for calculating the return on investment of mobile health clinics. Indentify the programmatic characteristics that make a mobile clinic cost-effective. List the public health informatics potential of the MobileHealthMap data portal.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the Clinical Director of a program that provides mobile medical services and because I am the co-Principal Investigator on a national research project regarding mobile health outcomes.
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.