Shared by Peter Prizzio, The Daily Planet:
A new report from the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative examines the impact of health reform on community health centers and their patients. “Assessing the Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Uninsured Community Health Center Patients: A Nationwide and State-by-State Analysis,” estimates that more than 5 million health center patients would have gained coverage had all states participated in a sweeping Medicaid expansion. However, with nearly half of all CHCs located in states that have opted out of the expansion, a million uninsured CHC patients who would have been covered under a nationwide expansion will likely be left without the protection of health insurance. Further, the health centers in these states stand to lose over $555 million in revenue they would have received had their states expanded Medicaid.
Health centers in these opt-out states, many of which are located in the south, already face especially deep challenges as they continue to care for patients in the nation’s most medically underserved communities. States that have rejected the Medicaid expansion might reconsider and decide to expand coverage. In the near-term, however, health centers in these states can be expected to fall further behind those in expansion states, and struggle with more significant growth challenges, more limited service capacity, and more limited ability to invest in those important programs and systems that improve quality and efficiency.