Introduction: Although several studies have linked population size to the cost of service delivery in local health departments, none have looked at the network position of the LHD. This study expands the understanding of how the position of an LHD in Ohio’s local health department network affects its expenditures in providing core, or nonclinical, services.
Methods: In 2014, 44% (55 of 124 eligible) of Ohio’s health officers responded to the PARTNER survey, a web-based network analysis program, with the analysis completed by the spring of 2015. Network data were then included in a regression analysis of the Core Plus-Scale model developed by Bernet and Singh using the 2008 and 2010 National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Profile of LHDs, Ohio’s 2011 Annual Financial Report of LHDs, and the 2010 U.S. Census.
Results: The results demonstrated that higher levels of network interaction are associated with higher expenditures in the delivery of core services. A linear regression was conducted to predict core expenditures based on closeness centrality. A significant regression was found F(1,116) = 21.557, p <0.001 with an R2 = 0.157.
Implications: While population size of a jurisdiction remained the best predictor of expenditures on core services, the addition of closeness centrality and value caused a significant increase in the adjusted R2 of the entire model. The results suggested that the more central a local health department was within its own peer network, the greater its resources and expenditures on core services.
Orcena JE, Petros M, Bernet PM. Impact of organizational networks on the cost of core services in Ohio’s local health departments. Front Public Health Serv Sys Res 2015; 4(4):7–12. DOI: 10.13023/FPHSSR.0404.02.