Study: FL could save $700M/year by boosting primary care access

A new research paper prepared on behalf of the Florida legislature concludes that the state could save as much as $700 million a year on healthcare by making sure its citizens had adequate access to primary care.

The researchers, who are affiliated with The George Washington University, noted that 3.8 million Floridians currently don't have insurance, and 8 million don't have access to a regular source of primary care. However, if such patients received more basic screenings and more preventative care, they'd be far less likely to need expensive trips to the emergency department, the researchers said.

Florida planners will have some help meeting this goal from the Obama administration, which is handing out $10 million to the state for building up community health centers. Meanwhile, Florida's association for community health centers plans to use the study to argue that the legislature should double funding for public clinics next year, from$15.3 million to $31 million, possibly to be funded by a $1 per pack increase in cigarette taxes.

Find out more about this study:
- read this Miami Herald piece

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