Community health centers provide update to legislators on patient-centered initiatives

5-11-11 Feature Story:

State House, Boston, MA - Representatives from more than 35 community health centers converged at the State House last week to promote the accessible, high quality and cost-effective care they provide to nearly 800,000 state residents. Representative Steven M. Walsh, Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, helped kick off the League's sixteenth annual Outreach and Information Day at the State House by introducing a roundtable discussion focused on a range of innovative community health center initiatives, including:

  • Health care workforce recruitment and retention programs aimed at attracting primary care physicians, medical students and health professionals to careers at community health centers;
  • A Patient Centered Medical Home partnership between 33 community health center sites and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services charged with developing practice standards for all of the state's primary care providers; and
  • Technology development focused on measuring improvements to the health status of community health center patients.

In addition, the discussion emphasized the role health centers are playing in both state and national health reform, as major providers of dental care to residents who lost coverage under last year's Medicaid cuts, as economic engines in the communities they serve and as models for how primary care will be delivered and paid for under future payment reform policies.

The discussion was followed by an exhibit fair of 27 community health centers from across the state and a speaking program that included Representative Walsh, Representative Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) and Neighborhood Health Plan CEO Deborah Enos.


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