Over 75 people in support of Community Health Centers gathered at the capitol building in Baton Rouge May 17 in solidarity.
The meeting was held as a part of the Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) annual Legislative Day. This provided representatives of Community Health Centers with a platform to discuss the economic impact.
The impact on the state includes preventative care and steering patients away from the emergency room, which drives down the cost of healthcare.
Currently there are 34 Federally Qualified Health Center organizations in Louisiana (FQHCs). Statistically, these places served over 344,000 patients for 2015. This totals to $434.9 million for the state at $1,263 saved per patient.
"We give the best care to those in the country in most need," Anthony Luczak, from NP Pediatrics at Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center, said. "It's part of my job to be part of the solution."
Here in Ascension, the St Elizabeth Community Clinic located at 1024 E Ascension Complex Blvd in Gonzalesis currently undergoing a renovation. They currently share a space with the EA Health Unit. The renovation will include a new waiting area and other benefits, creating from space in the Health Unit that has been underutilized.
The LPCA is calling the annual Legislative Day a success, but the numbers just make sense. Louisiana’s FQHCs generated 4,032 jobs in 2015 (2,300 direct jobs and an additional 1,732 non-direct jobs). In fact, in some rural communities across Louisiana, the local FQHC is the largest employer. Moreover, FQHCs generated $48.7 million in federal tax revenue and $9 million in state tax revenue.