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      Integrating community health centers into organized delivery systems can improve access to subspecialty care.

      Health affairs (Project Hope)
      Community Health Centers, organization & administration, Delivery of Health Care, Integrated, Health Facility Administrators, Health Services Accessibility, Hospitals, Community, Humans, Medically Uninsured, statistics & numerical data, Models, Organizational, Qualitative Research, Referral and Consultation, Telemedicine, United States

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          The Affordable Care Act is funding the expansion of community health centers to increase access to primary care, but this approach will not ensure effective access to subspecialty services. To address this issue, we interviewed directors of twenty community health centers. Our analysis of their responses led us to identify six unique models of how community health centers access subspecialty care, which we called Tin Cup, Hospital Partnership, Buy Your Own Subspecialists, Telehealth, Teaching Community, and Integrated System. We determined that the Integrated System model appears to provide the most comprehensive and cohesive access to subspecialty care. Because Medicaid accountable care organizations encourage integrated delivery of care, they offer a promising policy solution to improve the integration of community health centers into "medical neighborhoods."

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