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News & Press: MPCA News

MPCA Asks Congress to Save the Safety Net

Wednesday, May 13, 2020  
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LANSING, Mich. — Today, the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) is launching a statewide “Save the Safety Net” campaign to draw attention to the fiscal apocalypse Michigan’s 45 community health centers (CHCs) are facing as they fight the novel coronavirus.

 

“We’re calling on everyone who recognizes the vital role health centers play in caring for 709,000 Michiganders to contact their members of Congress and demand emergency funding,” said Dennis Litos, MPCA’s interim chief executive officer. “In the coming months, health centers in Michigan will lose $84 million, and many will not be able to recover.”

 

Even after funding provided to CHCs under the CARES Act, CHCs are feeling the effects of tightening funds due to the postponement of procedures and appointments unrelated to COVID-19. Without immediate assistance from Congress more than 4,800 people will lose jobs in Michigan communities. Over 80,000 patients in the state’s most vulnerable communities, both rural and urban, will lose access to care. And, based on the ripple effect of health center closures, local economies will lose an additional $93 million of economic impact.

 

As the backbone of the health care safety net, CHCs are the “shock absorbers” for the nation’s hospitals — and for the entire health care system. They help stabilize people with chronic conditions and care for those who may need medical attention but do not meet the criteria for hospitalization. They triage and screen patients. They serve the state’s most vulnerable communities, such as Flint and Detroit, that have been hardest hit by this virus. And in Michigan and many other states, they’re standing up drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities for the general public, without any promise of funding or support.

 

“Community health centers have enjoyed strong bipartisan support for more than 50 years, and it’s time for our elected officials to renew their commitment to community health,” Litos said. “Now, more than ever, it is essential that community health centers have the necessary funds and equipment to ensure they can provide care to all who need it — during this crisis and beyond.”

 

Community health centers are local health care organizations serving more than 30 million people nationwide that provide care to people who live in medically underserved areas, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or their ability to pay. Sixty-six percent of health center patients are Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries, and 15 percent are uninsured.

 

To learn more about how community health centers are responding to COVID-19, visit bit.ly/CHCResponse. To show your support for the services health centers provide in your community, visit https://www.mpca.net/page/takeaction and take action now.


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