Mobile Health Clinics: Improving Access to Care for the Underserved

Action Steps for Developing Your Own Mobile Clinic Program

mobile health clinics

One of the core strategies of driving ROI in risk-based contracts includes reducing unnecessary utilization by trading high-cost care for lower-cost services. For this shift to occur, patients must have access to a consistent source of care—but data shows that many vulnerable populations do not.

More than 50% of uninsured non-elderly patients lack a usual source of health care, and 25% of low-income patients miss or reschedule appointments because they lack transportation.

Others are unable to adjust work schedules to accommodate traditional clinic hours or are distrustful of the health care system at large. When strategies to connect such patients to existing care sites fail, some providers have launched mobile health clinics.

These programs may be costly, but they have a significant return on investment—with an average ROI of 12:1. To run a successful operation, provider organizations must identify the specific structural barriers in their communities and zero in on a core goal and target population.

This research report provides best practice models for employing a mobile clinic to improve access to care for vulnerable populations, including detail on national mobile health clinic trends, profiles of successful mobile health clinics with an emphasis on operational considerations such as staffing and funding, and action steps for developing a program.

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