By Maureen Groppe / Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON — Indiana’s experience with community health centers could point the way toward helping more Americans get health care coverage while holding down costs, according to a report released this week.

Care at Indiana’s community health centers cost about $1,529 per patient each year, compared with $2,924 at other types of outpatient centers, according to the report released Wednesday.

“The experience in Indiana highlights the importance of health centers to health reform,” said Julio Bellber, president and CEO of RCHN Community Health Foundation.

The report was produced by The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and paid for by the Indiana State Department of Health and the foundation, which supports community health centers. The public, nonprofit centers provide primary and preventive care to the medically underserved, regardless of ability to pay. They are funded by a variety of sources, including state and federal dollars, private donations, payments from private insurers and patient fees.