Letter: Primary care saves money
Updated: September 10, 2012 12:50PM
Primary care saves money
With increasing numbers of persons experiencing unaffordable and fragmented health care, “value” in health care should focus on the quality of care delivered to patients as well as how far each health-care dollar goes. The debate needs to include the growing evidence that increasing access to patient-centered primary care sites can address both quality and costs.
Studies show illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and asthma account for a significant portion of the skyrocketing costs for families and the health-care system unless they are appropriately managed or prevented. In a patient-centered home, teams of providers work closely with patients to prevent or manage costly chronic diseases. Community Nurse is proud to be newly designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center because such patient-centered sites have proven to be an effective way to improve health and contain costs for local communities.
The health center model saves the health-care system, including and taxpayers, $24 billion annually by keeping patients out of costlier settings such as emergency rooms. Health centers are local nonprofit entities directed by patient majority boards, which ensures each center is accountable and responsive to its community. Health centers provide a health-care home to over 20 million people at 8,000 sites nationwide. Presidents and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have long-recognized the value of health centers and supported their expansion.
National Health Center Week is Aug. 5-11, a great time to celebrate Community Nurse’s new designation, and the quality and cost values we provide in our community. Visit www.communitynurse.org .
chief executive officer