An article released yesterday on Newswise about two George Washington University reports covered two very important things – health center expansion and Medicaid’s role in strengthening health center operations.
The past few weeks, we have been asking health center patients, community supporters, and YOU (our online community) to sign a petition supporting community health center expansion and continued funding for Medicaid.
(You can believe our reaction when seeing this article now, can’t you?)
If you want to get a good take on the who, what, when, where, why and how of community health centers, then the article titled – “Community Health Centers: The Challenge of Growing to Meet the Need for Primary Care in Medically Underserved Communities” is a great start.
The two most important findings (both on page 8.) reported in this article are…
- “Patients receiving a majority of their ambulatory care in CHC settings had 25 percent lower ambulatory care expenditures, and 24 percent lower total annual medical expenditures, compared with patients who receive most of their care in other primary care settings.
- “Economic analyses indicate that, in terms of the employment and the economic activity they generate, health centers produce an 8:1 return on investment”
The second article, titled – “Medicaid and Community Health Centers: the Relationship between Coverage for Adults and Primary Care Capacity in Medically Underserved Communities” – compares the status of community health centers in states with expanded Medicaid coverage to health centers in states with limited coverage.
Three takeaways from this article?
- “Health centers in expansion states had more patient care sites and saw more patients than health centers in more limited states.”
- “Health centers in expansion states received more total revenue and a greater proportion of revenue from Medicaid than health centers in more limited states.”
- “Health centers in expansion states employ more medical staff, across almost all specialties, than health centers in more limited states.”
But, we can’t just leave you with that. You could’ve had read that yourself. (and we really appreciate the studies done by those at George Washington University).
From the studies done, health centers ARE cost-effective. Health centers do save individuals money because of the preventative and wide array of care they receive. Health centers do have a great economic impact on the neighborhoods where they are located.
But, health centers are more than that. Health centers are run BY the community. In case you didn’t read the first article yet, in order to be a Federally Qualified Health Center, you need 51% of your board to be made up of patients from your health center. In most cases, the entire reason a community health center is built is because community groups see a need in their OWN neighborhood.
So, not only do health centers save the country money, generate money for the community and individuals, but they also take on the personality of the community and are there for the residents in any situation that occurs in their life.
Help to save community health centers. Sign our petition asking our legislators to not only prevent cuts in funding but increase the appropriated funds for community health centers as well as prevent ANY cuts in Medicaid, the key to strengthening the capacity and operations of community health centers.
(and don’t forget to ask your friends and family to join you in signing! Share this on your Facebook and Twitter pages)