Where Does the Money Come From?
As many have discovered in recent years, having a health insurance card alone does not guarantee that people will have a place to go to get the health care services they need.
Community Health Centers like Columbia Basin Health Association (CBHA) have been the solution to that problem for millions of Americans for nearly 50 years. Located in communities all over the country, Community Health Centers provide doctors and other health professionals where they are most needed. The better proximity and quality of care has greatly improved health outcomes in the communities served.
America’s Health Centers owe their existence to a remarkable turn of events in U.S. history, and to many determined community health and civil rights activists who fought more than 50 years ago to improve the lives of Americans living in medically underserved communities in desperate need of healthcare.
WHO DO THEY SERVE?
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), more than 62 million Americans lack access to primary care because of a variety of factors, including long distances from health care facilities, affordability of care and a shortage of available doctors and other providers. People from all walks of life are affected. Nearly half (42%) are lowincome and 28% live in rural communities.
A large majority of the people without access to primary care have insurance but have few or no options in terms of where they can get care. Health experts predict the problem will escalate as fewer providers choose careers in primary care; demand is expected to climb by as much as 14 percent. Nationwide, health centers serve more than 23 million patients -- that’s one in 15 people living in the U.S., including more than 260,000 veterans.
We’re here to help close that gap. At CBHA, we are open to all, regardless of ability to pay. Our doors are open at 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, with a range of services that include not just primary care, but dental care, mental health, optical care, imaging, audiology, and an in-house pharmacy. By making care more accessible and easier to navigate, we not only improve our patients' wellbeing, but also reduce unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms, saving money without adding to the nation’s health care costs and overall debt.
Demand for primary care is rising, and there is universal recognition of the need to reduce healthcare costs. Health centers like ours are part of the solution. Aided in small part by federal investments, health centers have expanded capacity to serve more people and communities, while reducing costs and saving the system billions every year.
HOW IS CBHA FUNDED?
Originally, the funds to operate health centers like CBHA came from federal and state subsidies. Today, the majority of our funds come from patients’ insurance companies. Federal grants now account for a total of no more than 16 percent of total revenue, with only four additional percent from other grant sources.
DO CBHA CLINICS AFFECT MY TAXES?
It has no impact; nothing has changed. CBHA receives funding from insurance reimbursement, and only a small portion of government funding grants. Your local property taxes do not contribute to CBHA. When you receive your property tax statement for 2017, review the back to see a breakout of local property tax expenditures.
You will see that your local property tax contributions are divided between these entities:
• City of Othello
• Othello Current Expense
• Local Schools
• Other Junior Taxing Districts
• Parks-Rec-District, Port District
• State Schools