Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Published May 12 2018
Updated May 16 2018

Florida’s Community Health Centers

Health centers are a great deal

If you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citizens — and it is indeed pretty fantastic.

For more than 50 years, Florida’s Community Health Centers have been meeting our state’s health care needs by providing community-focused, team-based comprehensive primary care to those who need it the most. Community Health Centers are the lifeline for medically underserved communities, consistently providing the most efficient and cost-effective health care in the state and nation.

A new study documents just how valuable Florida’s Community Health Centers are — delivering a record-breaking $2 billion economic impact for Florida in 2017 while boosting our state’s physical and fiscal well-being.

In Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, Community Health Centers delivered more than $243.4 million in economic impact, creating 2,300 jobs in the process. This is an exceptional economic benefit for the Tampa Bay area, which saw the biggest benefit numbers in the state.

Community Health Centers merit funding from federal, state and local government and from private funders. As a testament to the great value of the services they provide, they have consistently raised the local matching dollars needed to draw down their share of the available Low Income Pool (LIP) funding the federal government generally commits on an annual basis.

By diverting patients from more costly emergency rooms and boosting preventive care, Community Health Centers save Florida taxpayers money and help reduce costs for Florida’s health system as a whole, with benefits to Florida’s employers and private payers. Between generating significant savings and creating jobs in local communities around the state, Florida benefits from the return on every dollar invested in Florida’s Community Health Centers.

Andrew Behrman

The writer is president and CEO of the Florida Association of Community Health Centers.

I don’t quote enough women | May 15, column

Find women and quote them

Kudos to columnist David Leonhardt for showcasing the under-reporting of women’s opinions in the media. This has also been shown to be true in publishing women’s pieces in professional journals, specifically medical journals in my field. This is a symptom of the larger ills in this society, which persists in marginalizing women in academic disciplines and as leaders and experts. Beyond Leonhardt’s ideas, my added prescription is to ask all journalists to seek women experts and quote them. Those who are on journal editorial boards should solicit women contributors to right the balance.

Dr. Jill Karatinos, Tampa

As U.S. opens embassy, 58 protesters
die in Gaza | May 15

Why was Scott there?

Why did Gov. Rick Scott join jubilant faces at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem as Israeli soldiers killed 58 Palestinian demonstrators and wounded 2,200 at the Gaza border? Since when do sophisticated countries control crowds with live fire? We don’t need politicians who support apartheid-like policies.

Karen Knop, St. Pete Beach