WASHINGTON and NEW YORK – An analysis of provisions to expand health insurance coverage now under consideration in the Senate has been released by The Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “Using Primary Care to Bend the Cost Curve: The Potential Impact of Health Center Expansion in Senate Reforms” supplements earlier analyses of the impact of Medicaid expansions and increased federal funding for community health centers under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Two important pieces of legislation are currently under consideration in the Senate. Draft health reform legislation passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee includes provisions to substantially expand federal health center funding (S. 1679) while the current Senate Finance Committee bill would also institute a number of reforms to expand health insurance coverage. As the two measures are merged, we found that one plausible scenario is a consolidated measure that follows the Senate Finance Committee’s insurance reforms while including the Senate HELP Committee’s provisions that address prevention and wellness, and expand health center funding. We found that the combination of expanded health insurance coverage and investments in the expansion of community health centers can produce substantial savings of $369 billion for the overall health care system and $105 billion for the federal portion of Medicaid over the next decade. By expanding health centers, the two principal goals of health reform – reducing the number of uninsured and creating a more efficient system of health care that improves quality of care while “bending the curve” of future health care expenditures – can be achieved.

Using Primary Care to Bend the Cost Curve: The Potential Impact of Health Center Expansion in Senate Reforms is available here.

About the RCHN Community Health Foundation
The RCHN Community Health Foundation (RCHN CHF) is a New York-based not-for-profit operating foundation dedicated to supporting and benefiting community health centers (CHCs) in New York state and nationally. The Foundation develops and supports programmatic and business initiatives related to community health center access, pharmacy and health information technology through strategic investment, research, outreach, education, and coalition building. For more information about RCHN CHF, contact Chief Operating Officer / EVP Feygele Jacobs at (212) 246-1122, ext. 712, or visit www.rchnfoundation.org.

About The George Washington University Medical Center
The George Washington University Medical Center is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary academic health center that has consistently provided high-quality medical care in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area for 176 years. The Medical Center comprises the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the 11th oldest medical school in the country; the School of Public Health and Health Services, the only such school in the nation’s capital; GW Hospital, jointly owned and operated by a partnership between The George Washington University and Universal Health Services, Inc.; and the GW Medical Faculty Associates, an independent faculty practice plan. For more information on GWUMC, visit www.gwumc.edu.