As we close out the week there are a few news highlights worth mentioning. First of all, an article co-authored by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies reveals how health center patients disproportionately suffer more from mental illness and substance abuse than the general population. The article, published in BMC Health Services Research, highlights the importance of behavioral health services at Community Health Centers, a majority of which have onsite mental health or substance abuse staff according to the most recent data available from 2010. Depression was the most frequent primary diagnosis after hypertension and diabetes, according to the authors. You can read the full text of the article by visiting this link.
The Baltimore Sun recently focused on the influx of patients expected to visit Community Health Centers as health reform moves forward. The article notes, “Maryland health centers — which last year served nearly 300,000 patients, many needy and uninsured — are bracing for an influx of new clients who will now have access to insurance. The centers also predict existing patients will come on a more consistent basis, rather than just for emergencies or major illnesses, once they are insured.” Read full text of article.
And how health centers and hospitals will work together under health reform was the topic of another article by DotMed Daily News. “When it comes to hospitals and community health centers, there is “absolutely no competition,” Jan Emerson-Shea, vice president, external affairs, California Hospital Association, tells reporter Diana Bradley. “It’s not us vs. them… We all have a role in the health care system.”
Community Health Centers’ role in managing chronic disease is the focus of a recently published op-ed by NACHC Senior Vice President for Partnerships and Resource Development, Malvise Scott and Eileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. Published in the Huffington Post, the authors write “through affordable health care services, health centers provide solutions, and without them, chronic diseases will continue to impact the lives of millions of people nationwide and cost our health care system trillions of dollars every year.”