Community Health Centers in Massachusetts have been working hard to meet the need for health care that they see in their communities. And the Boston Globe recently published an article highlighting their significant achievements over the past several years, and lauding the importance they have in supporting our health care system.
The Community Health Centers are an especially critical part of our network in these difficult economic times. As people struggle to make ends meet, the health centers provide crucial services that they may not be able to access elsewhere. New dental patients are a significant portion of these new patients- when MassHealth eliminated preventive services such as root canals, fillings, and dentures for adults, the health centers stepped in to provide these services through the Health Safety Net.
The article also examines the importance the health centers have within the overall system of care in the Commonwealth: “The state’s federally funded health centers treated nearly 40,000 additional patients in 2007, the year after Massachusetts became the first state to place insurance cards in the hands of most of its residents. Many observers expect a similar surge under the federal health care law.”
Additionally, the health centers generate significant cost savings for the state. A recent study by the George Washington University concluded that “in 2006, Americans who relied on community health centers had yearly savings of about $1,000 per person compared with those who frequented hospitals.”