Let’s face it – healthcare reform is bittersweet for physicians and hospitals alike.
Private practice physicians have expressed that their frustrations stem from feeling like the healthcare reform has backed them in to a corner, while hospitals struggle to determine whether to fill their institutions’ physician employment opportunities with in-house resources or with the help of companies that specialize in outsourced physician services and physician staffing.
However, for at least one group of individuals, healthcare reform is welcomed; students enrolled at Belmont High School in suburban Los Angeles are a testament of such groups, in which it positive impacts are plentiful in terms of patient care. Without funding from the healthcare reform, improvements and additions of school-based health centers would not be possible at this time.
BHS, like scores of other educational institutions in America, joined the network of school-based health centers. These facilities provide free or reduced-rate physician services for students as well as their families, as reported in the health section of last Sunday’s “Los Angeles Times.”
Because the healthcare reform law donated fiscal boosts directly to support this cause, successful efforts to promote medical safety in schools are currently underway.
The “Los Angeles Times” noted that the healthcare reform law allocated “$200 million nationwide for school health centers and California won $14 million in grants to open new clinics and expand existing ones. Los Angeles County received about $4.3 million of that funding.”
The California School Health Centers Association found that in 2004 there were 121 school health centers in California. In just seven years, that number climbed to 183, with 12 more school-based health centers scheduled to open next year. Centers are typically located in low-income communities with most, doctors and nurse practitioners treat illness and injury in patients.
With so much negative talk on healthcare reform, it is refreshing to hear that it brought about something so positive.