A new report by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative provides an examination of data on how COVID-19 has affected the operational capacity of community health centers. This report is part of a weekly series.
The current report underscores health centers’ role as frontline providers in the most medically underserved communities. Researchers analyzed data from the Health Resources and Service Administration’s weekly survey of the nation’s community health centers and found that these safety-net providers have reported nearly 2,000 site closures. This analysis also indicates that eight weeks into the pandemic, the percentage of staff unable to work because of COVID-19 or family obligations stands at about 10 percent, which translates to approximately 23,000 health center staff members nationwide.
Weekly visits to health centers have also declined dramatically, according to the report. For the week of May 22nd alone, visits to community health centers were down by 38 percent, a figure that translates into huge revenue losses, ranging from $90 million a week in California to an estimated $3.2 billion nationwide from April until June 2020.
The report notes that these weekly HRSA updates raise critical questions that must be addressed if community health centers are to be utilized as efficiently as possible to combat COVID-19 and respond to ongoing community need.
The report is titled Key Updates from the Health Center COVID-19 Survey and was authored by Peter Shin, Sara Rosenbaum, and colleagues. It is part of a series prepared with ongoing support from the RCHN Community Health Foundation.
For the full set of weekly updates on the new HRSA data on community health centers and COVID-19, click here.
Contact: Feygele Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.