Study Finds Georgia’s Charitable Clinics Are A Great Investment
There is “strong economic evidence to support investment” in Georgia’s charitable clinics, according to a new study conducted by the Economic Evaluation Research Group at the University of Georgia College of Public Health.
The study, commissioned by the Georgia Charitable Care Network with support from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, revealed significant positive returns on investment and savings in three distinct areas.
1.) Direct costs of treatment compared to other payers. Treating hypertensive patients in GCCN clinics is significantly more cost effective than other payers. For the same care delivered in GCCN clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers were found to be almost 2 times as expensive; Medicaid was 2.5 times as expensive and out of pocket/uninsured costs were 4 times as expensive.
2.) Cost avoidance in the reduction of emergency room visits. For every 100 patients that visit a GCCN clinic annually, $50,000 is saved in avoided visits to emergency rooms.
3.) Cost avoidance in the treatment of chronic disease patients. Management of chronic disease patients in GCCN clinics reduces the need for treatment of coronary heart events and stroke. For every $1 spent by GCCN clinics, there is an average savings of $1.60.
GCCN clinics’ record for achieving significant positive returns on investment – in terms of direct savings, cost avoidance, more efficient use of resources and health improvement – confirm their value for patients, policy makers and taxpayers.
Because the study did not take into account the indirect economic benefits derived from reduced unemployment, lost work hours and productivity, the findings make an even stronger case for future funding of this important part of the healthcare safety net system.
About the Georgia Charitable Care Network
Providers of charitable care are uniquely benevolent. When GCCN was founded in 2003 as the Georgia Free Clinic Network, the leaders envisioned a network of compassionate care givers brought together to create a voice more powerful than could be realized in a local community, which ultimately would create a high performing safety net in Georgia. GCCN advocates on behalf of its members on all issues affecting them. We provide timely networking opportunities. We work with communities interested in starting a clinic. We solicit funding sources to distribute to members. We connect donated medications and goods between the donors and clinics. We investigate new technology issues, such as the most effective software for clinic needs. We conduct conferences and meetings for clinic staff and volunteers—all to help our members serve their patients in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Charity Clinics Part of Serving the Uninsured
From the Atlanta Journal Constitution
In the early days of our nation’s history, the Founding Fathers wrote a constitution and created a system of government with limited powers. The poor would be cared for by charities or religious organizations — groups established as safety nets for those in need.