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Community Health Centers Plan for Expansion Due to Federal Health Law

August 19, 2010

MIAMI, Fla. - Community Health Centers are often referred to as the "family doctors." They've been around for over 45 years, but now they are set to expand their quality and cost-effective care to more communities - thanks to the federal health care reform law.

Brodes Hartley, Jr., president and CEO of Community Health of South Florida, says it means more people will have access to health services all under one roof, with more choices and a regular place where they can go for care.

"When we have a home to take care of your social needs, you need that medical home to take care of all your health care needs. With a medical home, you become a part of a family; this is your home."

Community Health Centers are not only going to be key in health reform for their services, but because the model saves money. Hartley explains that treating people before they get so ill they require hospital care is expected to save the U.S. health care system up to $300 million over the next 10 years.

"For those persons receiving health services through our community health centers, the total cost of health care is significantly lower, because they use fewer emergency-room and hospital services."

Community Health Centers accept patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. More than $1 billion is going to centers nationwide this fall so they can expand facilities and staff to help meet primary care needs as more people enter the health system under federal reform.

Gina Presson , Public News Service - FL