Findings from More Recent Studies
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More recent research on CHWs in prevention and care coordination:
- Improving birth outcomes (Redding 2014)
- Improving care and reducing costs for high utilizers (Johnson 2011)
- Reducing health care costs for persons in home-and community-based care (Felix 2011)
- Reducing long-term hospital readmission rates (Kangovi 2014)
Reflecting the growing interest in more advanced models of CHW involvement in prevention and care coordination, research published between 2011 and 2014 has included some important findings on the impact of CHWs in widely varied settings.
The early accomplishments of the Community Health Access Program in Ohio in reducing infant mortality and low birthweight deliveries have received wide attention, but they were only documented in peer-reviewed literature in 2014, in the Maternal and Child Health Journal. A CHW-driven care coordination program for high utilizers of hospital and pharmacy services in New Mexico is being replicated nationally by the sponsoring managed care organization on the basis of significant cost savings.
The potential for CHWs working with mainly disabled and elderly individuals was shown in an Arkansas study in 3 rural counties; by connecting these individuals to community resources, the CHWs reduced costs to the Medicaid program significantly. And a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine documented that CHW support can significantly reduce long term hospital readmissions for individuals with certain conditions.