Community clinics are an integral part of California’s primary care and safety-net system, especially for uninsured, underinsured, and low-income people. This report captures key measures of clinics’ financial health from 2006 to 2009. In addition to examining financial measures, the report looks at staffing and program/service models that may contribute to clinics’ financial success.
Key findings include:
Both revenues and expenses climbed each year from 2006 to 2009, with expenses growing faster than revenue. While total revenues rose by 20.7%, adjusted for inflation, total expenses went up 24.4%.
Clinic financial performance remained widely varied. The financially strongest clinics had 7.8% operating margins, while the weakest clinics had -0.7%. However, the bottom tier has improved its operating margin over time.
There was limited correlation between staffing patterns and financial performance. However, clinics with a higher mid-level-to-physician ratio appeared to have lower financial performance and productivity, which may be attributed to patient mix. Mid-level staff includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse-midwives.
A related issue brief discusses the research findings and the lessons learned from eight case studies and is available through the Related CHCF Page link below.