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Medical and Economic Impact of a Free Student-Run Podiatric Medical Clinic

A Preliminary Analysis

Natalie T. Hua Tucson Medical Center/Midwestern University, Tucson, AZ.

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Chia-Ding Shih California School of Podiatric Medicine, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA. Dr. Shih is now with the UCLA-VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA.

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David Tran California School of Podiatric Medicine, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA. Dr. Shih is now with the UCLA-VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA.

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Background

Data from the free student-run podiatric medical clinic at Clínica Tepati at the University of California, Davis, were used to analyze medical and economic impacts on health-care delivery and to extrapolate the economic impact to the national level. Clínica Tepati also provides an excellent teaching environment and services to the uninsured Hispanic population in the Greater Sacramento area.

Methods

In this analysis, we retrospectively reviewed patient medical records for podiatric medical encounters during 15 clinic days between November 2010 and February 2012. The economic impact was evaluated by matching diagnoses and treatments with Medicare reimbursement rates using International Classification of Diseases codes, Current Procedural Terminology codes, and the prevailing Medicare reimbursement rates.

Results

Sixty-three podiatric medical patients made 101 visits during this period. Twenty patients returned to the clinic for at least one follow-up visit or for a new medical concern. Thirty-nine different diagnoses were identified, and treatments were provided for all 101 patient encounters/visits. Treatments were limited to those within the clinic's resources. This analysis estimates that $17,332.13 worth of services were rendered during this period.

Conclusions

These results suggest that the free student-run podiatric medical clinic at Clínica Tepati had a significant medical and economic impact on the delivery of health care at the regional level, and when extrapolated, nationally as well. These student-run clinics also play an important role in medical education settings.

Corresponding author: David Tran, DPM, MS, Department of Podiatric Medicine, California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University, 3100 Telegraph Ave, #1000, Oakland, CA 94609. (E-mail: DTran@samuelmerritt.edu)