Press Release – Capital Link Report Emphasizes Value of Community Health Centers
-PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –
Capital Link report emphasizes the value + impact of community health centers nationally and locally
SIERRA VISTA, AZ (June 16, 2017) – Capital Link, a national, non-profit organization that has worked with hundreds of health centers and Primary Care Associations, conducted a study on the economic value and impact community health centers have nationally and published data on the impact community centers have locally. In Arizona, 23 federally qualified health centers provide care to residents across the state. The study found the total economic impact of Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. to total $30,697,125.
On the Capital Link website, the report announcement states, “For more than 50 years, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) have delivered comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. With revenues exceeding $21 billion in 2015, FQHCs constitute the largest network of primary care providers in the U.S. and the second largest nonprofit health system, behind only Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.”
The report highlighted the specific areas of value and impact as: access to care for vulnerable populations, savings to the health care system as a whole, jobs and economic stimulus to their communities, and in providing state-of-the-art comprehensive coordinated care, with a focus on chronic disease management and quality health outcomes.
Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation said, “In rural Arizona, access to healthcare is essential to a healthy economy. More than just providing services to residents of our communities, hospitals and clinics drive the economy by playing a vital role in attracting and retaining industry and workforce in the region.”
Arizona’s unique approach to value-based care is important. Health centers strive to keep patients out of the emergency room with a focus on preventative medicine and quality care. Nationally, the value-based and preventative focus approach to health care has lowered health system costs by 24 percent for health center Medicaid patients. In Arizona, the statewide savings is $771 million.
The report on the economic impact of Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. in Cochise County measures the economic impact using the integrated economic modeling software, which measures direct, community and induced community economic impacts. Factors for the economic impact value of Chiricahua include: the 339 total health center jobs, $17 million in direct health center spending in Cochise County, $13 million in community spending, and $3.7 million annually in tax revenues.
Jonathan Melk, MD chief executive officer of Chiricahua said, “The mission of Chiricahua is to not only provide access to quality health care to all, but also to strengthen our communities through full-time employment and excellent benefits. We are proud to have just recently surpassed 300 employees from all corners of the county.”
Perhaps the most important impact studied in the report was the increase in access to care for vulnerable populations. Statewide, health centers experienced a 15 percent patient growth over the previous three-year period. From 2012 to 2015, the uninsured patient rate a health centers dropped 19 percent statewide. At Chiricahua, 91 percent of the patient population is identified as low-income, with a known income that falls 200 percent below the federal poverty level.
The Capital Link report was created using 2015 health center audited financial statements and Uniform Data System information. The Economic impact was measured using 2015 IMPLAN online. For more information, or for the full report, please visit www.caplink.org.
Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. is a mission-driven Federally Qualified Health Center and is a tax exempt not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was founded as a grassroots community effort in 1996 as a makeshift clinic in Elfrida’s small community center and has since grown to be the largest primary care organization in southeastern Arizona. Chiricahua Community Health Centers currently has seven clinics in Bisbee, Douglas, Elfrida and Sierra Vista and four mobile medical and dental units that serve rural Cochise County.
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