Funding for Community Health Centers Drives Expanded Services, Jobs
Community health centers can help to fill gaps in the U.S. health care system for relatively minimal cost, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs, Reuters reports.
According to the researchers -- led by Anthony Lo Sasso of the University of Illinois-Chicago -- a $500,000 increase in funding for the centers would allow for treatment for an additional 540 uninsured patients.
The researchers wrote, "Community health centers play a vital role in providing primary care and other services to those who cannot afford it or cannot access care," adding, "Roughly 25% of the nation's 3.4 million low-income uninsured children receive care at such a center."
Researchers analyzed data on community centers from 1996 to 2006, which were funded by state or local governments or through private foundations, and found increases in federal grant support over the years.
The researchers found that funding for federally qualified health centers during that period "clearly translated into an increase in services available to patients, including mental health and substance abuse treatment and counseling and staffing."
Effect on Jobs
The study also found that each additional $1 million increase in federal grant support resulted in the hiring of about eight more full-time employees, five of whom were medical care providers.According to the study, every $1 million in state grants also led to about five more full-time employees, while private grants of $1 million produced nine new employees (Reuters, 2/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.