Question from Senator Harkin:
How would health centers get both operational money and expansion money? How do we structure health reform to make sure: 1) our health centers grow and expand to provide additional services AND 2) we expand the National Health Service Corps?
You’re the experts, how would you structure it?
Panelist Dan Hawkins:
Last year, health centers pulled down $3 billion from the Medicaid program and sent back more than $6.5 billion to the government for care provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. Health centers need ongoing and increasing investment and we’ll generate the return.
Sen. Harkin commits to health center reimbursement:
Any proposal that we will consider in this reform effort has to include fair and reliable reimbursement for health centers, under all payers, under every plan.
Sen. Harkin also says…maybe every health center would have an arrangement with a public school in its community… but (at the Senator’s suggestion) that’s a discussion for another time…
Question from Senator Sanders:
On Dental Care & Health Care – how does bringing health care and dental care together improve kids’ lives?
Panelist Lisa Nichols on the new UT Dental/School Project:
In UT, her health center just recently opened a school based health center this April, so there is not a lot feedback to relay – yet. But the health center was opened because the local emergency department was seeing a lot of kids coming through that could have avoided an ER visit if they had access to primary care services within reach.
Panelist Dr. John Matthew on VT Dental/School Collaborations:
In Vermont, they have a dental health center housed inside a middle school to see kids in an accessible setting. His health center will also be starting up a new dental van to drive around Vermont, stopping for up to a month in several underserved communities statewide, to treat kids with unmet dental needs.
Panelist Dan Hawkins discusses transitioning Health-Professionals-In-Training to health centers:
Health centers have been partnering with medical and dental schools for several years now, and we work in concert with universities to produce classes of dentists and primary care doctors to go into residency and practice in health centers.
These are the partnerships we need to cultivate. We need to target the doctors who will serve our underserved communities, and who will provide primary care.
“I can think of no better way for us to put prevention at the center of this fight [for health reform] than through Community Health Centers” — Rep. Clyburn