Michigan Health Center representatives from Health Delivery, Inc. and MidMichigan Community Health Services met with Congressman Dave Camp on January 28, 2013, in his district office in Midland to discuss the value of Health Centers and the programs critical to them and their patients.
“Congressman Camp has been a long-time supporter of Health Centers and we greatly appreciate the time he took to meet with us to talk about how Health Centers provide quality, affordable, cost-effective primary and preventive health care in communities in his district, across the state, and nationwide,” said Doug Paterson, Michigan Primary Care Association’s director of state policy, who also attended the meeting.
“What makes Health Centers unique is that they deliver comprehensive care— medical, dental, and behavioral health, for example—to individuals with private insurance, Medicaid beneficiaries, and the uninsured,” said Paterson. “And they do it while saving the health care system approximately $24 billion a year, mainly by keeping patients out of costlier health care settings, such as emergency rooms.”
During the meeting Brenda Coughlin, chief executive officer at Health Delivery, Inc., and Darrell Milner, executive director, and Jim Raschke, finance director at MidMichigan Community Health Services, explained the critical need for adequate funding to ensure Health Centers can continue providing care to the 22 million-plus people across the country—including over 600,000 Michigan residents—who rely on them for care.
They also discussed the critical role that Medicaid plays in the financial viability of most Health Centers and the care they provide to their patients. Medicaid is essential health insurance coverage for hard-working, low-income individuals and families, as benefits are designed to ensure they can get the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford without facing insurmountable medical bills. Health Centers are a provider of choice for Medicaid beneficiaries because they are significantly more likely than other providers to accept new Medicaid patients.
“The reimbursement Health Centers receive from Medicaid ensures the funding they receive from the federal government can be dedicated to providing care for the uninsured rather than subsidizing care for Medicaid patients,” said Paterson.
Michigan Health Centers currently care for 12 percent of the state’s Medicaid beneficiaries for just 1.2 percent of the state’s Medicaid expenditures.