A special federal fund to support community health centers expires after September 2015, creating a funding cliff for primary care clinics located in medically underserved areas. A Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University study that analyzed the impact of government funding decisions on community health center capacity in the coming years found that without federal funding and expanded Medicaid, the number of patients served by community health centers will drop from 25.6 million in 2014 to 18.8 million by 2020. This is a decrease of more than 25 percent, or about seven million patients, which is equivalent to the population of the state of Arizona or the combined populations of Los Angeles and Houston. Alternatively, under a scenario in which Congress maintains higher direct funding for health centers and all states expand Medicaid, the number of patients served can be expected to rise to 36.5 million by 2020, as health centers continue to add community sites, services and staff.
The research, conducted by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute SPH, was led by Dr. Leighton Ku, a professor of health policy and director of the Center for Health Policy Research at Milken Institute SPH.
Read more about the report on the Milken Institute SPH website.