Community Health Centers Celebrate Decades of Service

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 7, 2013

The lessons learned about population health management and the value of medical homes and coordinated care come straight from the nation's community health centers, which celebrate nearly 50 years of providing healthcare access.

Lindsay C. Farrell

Lindsay C. Farrell, President/CEO
Open Door Family Medical Center

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then next week we should forgive the healthcare professionals serving the working poor and vulnerable populations at the 1,128 or so community health centers across the nation who might suffer a well-deserved swell of pride for the job they do.

August 11 marks the start of National Health Center Week 2013. After nearly 50 years of providing access to care for a generally sicker demographic of lower-income people in often medically underserved areas, the lessons learned at community health centers about population health management, and the value of medical homes and their coordinated and follow-up care are being replicated across the nation as other provider venues serving more-affluent patients cope with the move towards value-based reimbursements and a post-fee-for-service world.

"I have to say that we really have some capabilities that the marketplace really needs now and will need into the future. We were doing population health 10 years ago," says Lindsay C. Farrell, president/CEO of Open Door Family Medical Center. The nonprofit center has a $34 million annual budget and operates five clinics and five school-based programs that serve about 40,000 people in the Ossining, NY area.

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