Community Health Centers Support State Budget
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Posted by: Samantha Porter
Community Health Centers Support State Budget
OACHC supports the final state budget which will improve birth outcomeS and provide a stronger primary care workforce
For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie DiRossi-King, COO | (614) 507-7805
July 1, 2015 (COLUMBUS) – Ohio’s Community Health Centers commend Governor John Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly for the commitment and reauthorization of the Ohio Medicaid Program, the prioritization of Ohio’s infant mortality crisis and the support of the FQHC Primary Care Workforce Initiative.
“As more Ohioans are able to gain health coverage through the reauthorization of the Medicaid program, Ohio’s Community Health Centers are simultaneously building additional capacity with more locations and providers,” says Randy Runyon, President and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC). “These healthcare homes offer better patient-to-clinician ratios, shorter wait times and more comprehensive care like oral, pharmacy, and behavioral health services all under one roof.”
Ohio’s Community Health Centers are honored to work with the Administration and the Ohio General Assembly to continue to make access to affordable, high-quality health care a possibility for all Ohioans.
“We look forward to working with the Administration on their waiver request to the federal government for the Medicaid program,” says Runyon. “Ensuring continuity of care is important to us all.”
OACHC applauds Governor Kasich, State Senators Shannon Jones and Charleta Tavares, and all members of the Ohio General Assembly for their unified front to combat infant mortality. “This allegiance will ensure that pregnant women earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level continue to receive Medicaid health coverage. Early entry into care is associated with better birth outcomes which we all want, and health insurance coverage is an important and essential tool in getting women into care as soon as possible. Improved birth outcomes translate into substantial cost savings, because the costs associated with preterm births are estimated to be 10 times greater than those for full-term births,” said DiRossi-King. “The Ohio legislature and Governor Kasich got it 100% right.”
“From supporting enhanced care management for women in high need areas to the "Moms Quit for Two" grant program, Ohio’s Community Health Centers enthusiastically stand ready to utilize these strategies to make an impact on the health of both mom-to-be and child,” adds DiRossi-King.
Ohio Primary Care Workforce Initiative
The FQHC Ohio Primary Care Workforce Initiative (OPCWI) was also supported in Ohio’s budget. Across the nation, and in Ohio, there is a primary care workforce shortage that is compounded by a misdistribution of primary care providers, leaving underserved areas with unmet healthcare needs. This is further threatened by an escalating lack of high quality clinical training sites to accommodate many of our learners. The OPCWI will help address these challenges and expose students to advanced primary care provided in Community Health Center practices.
“The FQHC Ohio Primary Care Workforce Initiative will provide structured clinical experiences in our modern primary care sites located in some of Ohio’s most underserved neighborhoods,” says Chief Medical Officer Ted Wymyslo MD. “With this support, Ohio’s Community Health Centers look forward to teaching, inspiring and providing meaningful clinical experiences for the next generation of primary care providers.”
About Ohio’s Community Health Centers
Federally Qualified Health Centers and FQHC Look-Alikes, more commonly referred to as Community Health Centers (CHCs), are non-profit health care providers that deliver affordable, high-quality and comprehensive primary care to medically underserved populations, regardless of insurance status. CHCs provide integrated whole person care, oftentimes providing onsite dental, behavioral, pharmacy, vision and other needed supplemental services under one roof. While each CHC is distinct, they share one common purpose: to provide primary health care services that are coordinated, culturally and linguistically competent and community directed.
The Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) is a not-for-profit professional association representing Ohio's Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs, or community health centers). OACHC's Mission is to ensure access to high-quality affordable health care for all Ohioans through the growth and development of Ohio's Community Health Centers. OACHC represents Ohio's 45 Community Health Centers at over 232 locations in 55 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Please visit www.ohiochc.org for more information.