YOUR CURRENT COUNTY:
South Carolina continues to face significant public health challenges in the backdrop of of continuing fiscal upheaval. Meanwhile, we are in the midst of facilitating major changes to our health care system. While we recognize the many challenges our state policymakers face, Community Health Centers (CHCs) are not also immune to the pressure as we must provide services to increasing numbers of patients with limited resources. CHCs stand ready to work with partners and legislators, as we seek innovative solutions for health system transformation.
Recurring state funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs) is needed for CHCs to provide health care services to nearly 102,000 uninsured patients in South Carolina. Funding for CHCs saves state dollars by reducing the number of patients utilizing costly hospital emergency rooms for primary care services. These funds also save on future health care costs by promoting preventive care. CHCs are an important part of the economy in South Carolina employing more than 3,000 physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, mental/behavioral health professionals and administrative staff.
CHCs Save the State Dollars: Funding for CHCs will save state dollars by reducing the number of patients utilizing costly hospital emergency rooms for primary care services.These funds will also save on future health care costs by promoting preventive care.
CHCs Are Open to All: By law, CHCs must serve everyone regardless of their ability to pay. CHCs are also required to be located in federally designated medically underserved areas.
Economic Impact: CHCs are an important part of the economy in South Carolina employing in excess of 1,960 physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, mental/behavioral health professionals and administrative staff. In 2016, a study estimated that the total direct and indirect economic impact of community health centers in the state was $473.4 million.
The Affordable Care Act outlines and requires opportunities for states to implement changes to programs administered by the state. Medicaid expansion and the establishment of Health Insurance Exchanges are examples of programs that will affect South Carolinians through the health reform legislation. Access to health insurance coverage is critical to SC CHCs and their patients. Advocating for health center priorities as these changes are being planned and implemented are imperative to assure expanded access to care.