A new report by the Florida Association of Community Health Centers shows the centers provided care to more than 1.4 million patients last year, and made a $2 billion economic impact, returning $1.78 for every state-invested dollar.
Andrew Behrman, the president and CEO of FACHC, said the more than 11,000 employees live and work in their communities, and help divert people away from more costly emergency room care.
"You have all of that, that literally puts a footprint in a community, but it also has an, obviously, a $2 billion dollar footprint in the state of Florida and that helps drive the economics of the state,” Behrman said.
Community health centers at over 500 locations throughout Florida’s 67 counties provide care to mostly uninsured patients. They also serve nearly 15 percent of Florida’s Medicaid population, but receive only two percent of the state’s Medicaid funding.
"If you're looking at this and going, 'well, why does this matter to me?' Number one, this is a local place to get comprehensive, quality primary care and the people that are there are probably your neighbors,” Behrman said.
Last year, Community Health Centers accounted for more than 17,700 jobs, directly employing 11,100 individuals and indirectly creating an additional 6,600 jobs, the FACHC study found.
“Thanks to the continued support of our communities, Community Health Centers will remain a major source of job creation, and most importantly, a medical home for millions of Floridians who need us,” Behrman said.