With nearly 1,400 facilities across the country, community health centers play a crucial role in bringing affordable care to more than 28 million people across urban, suburban and rural communities. As a main source of healthcare for their patients, these centers offer a broad spectrum of services, ranging from preventive medical and dental care to advanced treatment for serious physical and behavioral health conditions.
By improving access to timely, holistic care, community clinics can help to lower overall healthcare costs by reducing costly hospitalizations. Since these facilities depend on funding from Medicaid and various federal grants, however, delivering cost-effective, high-quality care is often a difficult balancing act. This challenge is especially apparent in behavioral healthcare, where recruiting and retaining on-site clinicians can be difficult and cost prohibitive. As part of our ongoing series on telepsychiatry for various healthcare sectors, here’s how telemental health is helping community clinics meet the needs of their patients in a financially sustainable way.