The Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) is spreading the word about how health centers are saving tax payer dollars. Teresa Rios-Bishop, from the OACHC, writes in a soon to be published letter to the editor: “As Ohio examines programs that are effective and save taxpayer dollars, it is a perfect opportunity to highlight Ohio’s Community Health Centers. The Community Health Center Program is rated EFFECTIVE by the Office of Management and Budget (the highest possible rating a program can receive) and it is considered the best program within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (http://www.expectmore.gov/ ). We should take advantage of this untapped resource and invest in Ohio’s Community Health Centers which currently provide care to over 300,000 Ohioans but less than 10% of Ohio’s Medicaid eligible population.
“Ohio’s Community Health Centers control costs by providing primary care and prevention services, thereby reducing the need for more costly hospital care down the road. Several studies found that community health centers save Medicaid programs as much as 33% in annual spending for health center patients due to reduced specialty care referrals and fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits. In addition, community health center management of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes have improved patient outcomes, generating significantly lower costs when compared to other Medicaid providers. Ohio’s Community Health Centers improve access to care for Ohio’s most medically underserved and do so at a significant savings to the state. Ohio should take advantage of and expand this valuable health care delivery system.”
Keep checking the pages of the Columbus Post-Dispatch for Teresa’s letter.