Mar 6, 2024

Could Federal Funding Help Curb Medical Malpractice?

community health

Medical malpractice can result from medical errors that occur in a variety of treatment settings, including an overcrowded hospital. One way that hospital overcrowding can be addressed is with the presence of community health centers, which serve as a pressure-release for larger facilities. The Park DuValle Community Health Center here in Louisville can serve such a purpose, and thanks to a recent $1 million grant from the federal government it will continue to serve in its noble role.

Park DuValle will receive a $1 million share of $4 million that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocated to four medical centers in the area. The money is intended to be used for facility renovations, including expansion and construction, according to DHHS head Sylvia Burwell.

Community health centers can benefit greatly from federal funding to help with their mission, and thankfully the money is available. The grant for Park DuValle comes from the Community Health Center Fund, which was set up as a part of the Affordable Care Act. Last year, Burwell announced that $101 million would be allocated from the federal government to 164 health care centers across 33 states. The money is intended to boost access to about 65,000 patients nationwide.

This money is important for community health centers like Park DuValle, which provides services ranging from pediatrics, X-ray scanning, dental care, and counseling. These types of services are standard for small community centers and much less robust than the full range of services that are offered by hospitals. However, these centers are important for the community. Recent findings in the 2016 County Health Rankings for Kentucky show that much of the state is ranked poorly for health outcomes of citizens, which takes clinical care and the physical environment into consideration. Community health centers are often able to treat patients with minor ailments, thus taking a partial load off of hospital resources.

Given that medical errors are the third-most likely cause of death in the U.S., having properly funded community health centers is key.

If these facilities are lacking in proper funding, that could cause an influx of patients who would normally have sought care in their local health centers to instead seek medical care at their nearest hospital, according to news reports. Overcrowding of hospitals can cause medical errors and eventually result in medical malpractice suits.

For more information on medical errors and what medical malpractice is, check out our Louisville medical malpractice guide.