Implementing and Enhancing Social and Economic Needs Screening at a Federally Qualified Health Center

Lacey Johnson*, David T. Liss, Paula Carcamo, Mita Sanghavi Goel, Bridget G. Magner, Ta Yun Yang, Josephine Llaneza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Programs to screen for social and economic needs (SENs) are challenging to implement. Aim: To describe implementation of an SEN screening program for patients obtaining care at a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Setting: Large Chicago-area FQHC where many patients are Hispanic/Latino and insured through Medicaid. Program Description: In the program’s phase 1 (beginning April 2020), a prescreening question asked about patients’ interest in receiving community resources; staff then called interested patients. After several refinements (e.g., increased staffing, tailored reductions in screening frequency) to address challenges such as a large screening backlog, program phase 2 began in February 2021. In phase 2, a second prescreening question asked about patients’ preferred modality to learn about community resources (text/email versus phone calls). Program Evaluation: During phase 1, 8925 of 29,861 patients (30%) expressed interest in community resources. Only 40% of interested patients were successfully contacted and screened. In phase 2, 5781 of 21,737 patients (27%) expressed interest in resources; 84% of interested patients were successfully contacted by either text/email (43%) or phone (41%). Discussion: Under one-third of patients obtaining care at an FQHC expressed interest in community resources for SENs. After program refinements, rates of follow-up with interested patients substantially increased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • federally qualified health centers
  • primary care
  • program evaluation
  • social determinants of health
  • social needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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