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Highmark Foundation Reports Status of Safety Net Providers as They Strive to Meet the Needs of the Uninsured

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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PITTSBURGH, Aug. 23 Efforts made from a four-year, $4.1 million investment to help safety net providers meet the health care needs of the uninsured are documented in a recent Highmark Foundation report.

In Pennsylvania, 36 community health centers (CHCs) operate through 206 delivery sites across the state, providing services to approximately 521,194 patients. Currently, 9.8 percent of Pennsylvania's population is uninsured (1.2 million people). These community health centers have become the primary source of low-cost health care in the United States, serving an estimated 40 percent of those who are uninsured and 35 percent who have Medicaid coverage.

The Highmark Foundation has provided funding to support programs that reduce chronic disease, increase access to preventive care and improve health outcomes to oral health and dental care for underserved populations.

"Despite the private and public funding, many of these providers struggle to meet the rising demand for specific care needs, but we're beginning to see a change," said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. The Highmark Foundation is committed to building the capacity of safety net providers so they can provide access to affordable health care and services, and these safety nets are seeing many positive results."

The report, "Safety Net Providers: Filling the Gap, Increasing Access and Improving Health Outcomes," offers insight into 10 of the health centers/clinics that have experienced positive outcomes in their ability to delivery quality care to an increasing number of patients.

Through the Highmark Foundation grants, safety net providers were able to have additional primary care physicians and dentists as well as offer increased awareness opportunities about the management and prevention of chronic diseases. Most importantly, an increased number of uninsured and underinsured individuals are receiving appropriate health care and services they need to remain healthy. The vitality of the community begins with the health of its members and CHCs are the first step in addressing that need.

To learn more about the community health centers and the Highmark Foundations' efforts to address health care needs, read the complete report on the Highmark Foundation page at www.highmark.com.

SOURCE Highmark Foundation
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