With Reform, Community Health Centers Will See Federal Funds Double

The Wall Street Journal reports that the health overhaul bill signed by President Barack Obama will increase spending "by $10 billion over five years for [some] clinics, known as community health centers. An additional $2.5 billion is included in a package of changes to that bill, which is expected to get final approval in Congress as soon as this week."  

The clinics "are an anchor of primary care for many immigrants and residents of inner cities and rural areas. Patients walk in and are charged based on their ability to pay." Staff are salaried rather than paid per prodecure, reducing incentives to order more tests.  They "offer no-frills care such as basic blood and dental work to 20 million patients in hundreds of locations across the U.S. They are bursting at the seams, with long waiting lists for care at some urban clinics" (Favole, 3/25).

Related, earlier Kaiser Health News story: Community Health Centers Strained By Recession, Face Bigger Caseloads Under Reform (Villegas, 8/7/2009)

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.