Calculating Return on Investment

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A CHW talking to a woman holding her baby.When calculating a return on investment, the following things must be considered:

  • What costs are you seeking to control?
    • Uncompensated care?
    • Avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions?
    • Costs due to poor provider-patient communication?


  • How can you enhance revenue?
    • Qualify more patients for coverage?
    • Bring in more patients who have coverage?
    • Reduce loss to follow-up?


We have noted that stakeholders are interested in different results depending on their type of organization and its goals. We will return to this topic in the final session, but it is important to realize that a significant return may mean different things to different people. You may want to consider different ways of calculating ROI for different stakeholders.

Some stakeholders may want to reduce uncompensated care, avoidable hospitalizations or readmissions, or other costs, such as additional diagnostic testing resulting from poor provider- patient communication.

On the other hand, increasing revenue is of interest to many providers, particularly community health centers. They may be interested in qualifying more patients for Medicaid or other coverage, attracting and keeping patients who have coverage, or reducing loss to follow-up.