Capital Link, in collaboration with Health Alliance of Northern California, prepared an analysis of key financial and operational indicators for rural community health centers in a 10-county region of Northeastern California. Some of the key findings of the report include:
- Health centers in the region experienced growth in the Medi-Cal patient population, increasing from 27% of total patients in 2011 to 38% in 2014. This shift is financially significant, however the region has a relatively smaller Medi-Cal population compared to other more urban areas in the state (CA FQHCs overall had an average of 56% Medi-Cal), which puts these health centers at a comparative financial disadvantage.
- The median payer mix for health centers in the region also differs from statewide averages in terms of higher Medicare and privately insured patient populations (Medicare made up 19% of patients for Rural health centers v.s. 5% CA FQHCs overall). Medicare patients represent an older demographic, which is typically a more clinically complex and expensive population to manage.
- Health centers in the region experienced a recent improvement in patient growth of 4.3% in 2014, exceeding even the median growth rate for their statewide peers (3.6%).
- In 2014, the median operating margin for the group of rural health centers in Northern California was 1.0%, or just above a break even performance level (as compared to 2.8% for peers in CA).
View the full report on the Resources page.