Physician utilization patterns and family characteristics of participants in the Comprehensive Health Investment Project

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to characterize the CHIP family in terms of demographic information and perceived family needs and to determine the utilization patterns of CHIP participants. Descriptive data were collected from patient files on 175 families currently enrolled in CHIP. Based on these data, evaluators were able to characterize 175 CHIP families in terms of family structure, age, gender, educational level, and employment status; and extent of dependence on government assistance. The results of this study are as follows: (1) the majority of CHIP family heads are male; the average CHIP family head is 27.9 years old, has completed the eleventh grade, and is employed; (2) the average CHIP family has 2 adults in the home and has between 2-4 total family members; (3) at the time of enrollment, 19.4% of CHIP families were receiving AFDC benefits, 34.5% of CHIP families were receiving Medicaid, 62.4% of CHIP families were receiving Food Stamps, and 62.7% of CHIP families were enrolled in WIC; (4) CHIP participants see a physician on the average of 2.8 times per month; 34.2% of physician visits are for "well-child" check-ups; the average cost per service was $21.00; while average monthly cost for primary care services per child was $62.00.