A new policy research brief titled “The Health Care Access and Cost Consequences of Reducing Health Center Funding,” by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative, evaluates the consequences of proposed health center funding cuts for access and cost savings. Given their locations and emphasis on comprehensive patient-centered health care, community health centers have had a documented positive impact on outcomes, while also reducing costs. Without access to health center services, millions of patients with ongoing health needs are likely to forgo or delay care, and ultimately seek care in more costly settings. The authors estimate that the $1.3 billion reduction for FY 2011 proposed in the House bill would result in a loss of approximately $15 billion in cost savings. Although the spending bill was rejected by the U.S. Senate, final funding measures for health centers are yet to be determined. Our panel will discuss the impact of potential funding reductions to community health centers and the patients and communities they serve, and also review findings from the recent report “Who Are the Health Center Patients Who Risk Losing Care Under the House of Representatives’ Proposed FY 2011 Spending Reductions?,” the federal budget debate and prospects for funding reductions in the coming years and ongoing research on the challenges facing CHCs and underserved communities.
- Peter Shin, Ph.D., M.P.H. Associate Professor Director, Geiger Gibson Program (GGP) in Community Health Policy RCHN CHF Collaborative Research Director Department of Health Policy, George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services
- Katherine Hayes, J.D., Associate Research Professor Department of Health Policy, George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services
For the archived recording and slides please click here.