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IL: New York Times spotlights Erie Family Health Center

By: Beau Boughamer

In case you missed it over the weekend — the New York Times, via its Chicago News Cooperative, included Erie Family Health Center in a piece about the health care safety net.

This is a terrific piece and I hope you’ll take a look.

My multiple visits underscore how committed professionals help privately run Erie provide high-quality, inexpensive services tailored to the needs of their patients: H.I.V., prenatal care, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and, most intriguingly, dental care. The latter is perhaps the most significant unmet health need for American children, and one largely absent from the debate in Washington over health care reform.

For sure, the issue is relevant at Erie. About 36 percent of its 30,000 patients at nine Chicago locations, mostly on the West and North Sides, are uninsured. If they meet the legislation’s proposed income guidelines (less than twice the federal poverty level for a family of four, or roughly $44,000), the charge for a medical visit is $30. If patients return for care within 30 days, it is $10. If they can’t pay, they are not turned away.

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