WASHINGTON – Some worry that health reform proposals now before Congress would not change the health care system to reduce rising health care expenditures. A new study from George Washington University finds that expanding community health centers to reach an additional 20 million patients as part of national health reform would result in overall health care savings of over $212 billion over the ten-year period, including federal Medicaid savings of $59 billion. The dollar value of these expected savings far exceeds the cost of the health center investment of $38.8 billion called for in the July 14 version of the House health reform bill. These findings are contained in a new study entitled “Using Primary Care to Bend the Curve: Estimating the Impact of a Health Center Expansion on Health Care Costs,” conducted by faculty and staff at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and funded through the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.

Please join this Media Teleconference call and learn about the findings of this report and have an opportunity to ask authors questions about their findings.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
11 a.m. ET

WHAT: The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative will host a Media teleconference call to explain and answer questions about the link between national health reform proposals and community health centers. Experts will explain the estimated cost saving that would be realized by making important investments in non-profit health centers as an element of national health reform.

WHO: Dr. Leighton Ku, Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research at GW;
Feygele Jacobs, MPH, MSUP, Chief Operating Officer of the RCHN Community Health Foundation;
Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Research for the National Association of Community Health Centers

CONFERENCE CALL DIAL IN INFORMATION: Participants, Toll free: 888-487-0350

If you are interested in attending this call, please RSVP to Anne Banner at mcmacb@gwumc.edu or you can call 202-994-2261.

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, 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.