Health care reform promises to change the way Ocean State citizens access and pay for health services. But it also is going to change dramatically Rhode Island’s delivery infrastructure.
With more people being brought into the health care system through the individual insurance-coverage mandate, community health centers are going to see their patient volume jump, with some centers expecting to see twice as many patients within a few years.
The state has been fortunate to win nearly $100 million from the federal government to prepare for the implementation of health reform. Setting up the health-benefits exchange has taken the lion’s share of that funding, but a number of community health centers have been making capital improvements to their facilities in anticipation of increased volume. They are also hiring more people to care for the expected patient increases.
So far, at least, it sounds like a double win for the state – more jobs in the health care sector and a healthier population. •