Today, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) released the 2023 Data Report. The Data Report includes insights from 775 free and charitable clinics across the United States to determine the status, demand, and needs of healthcare in communities across the country.
In total, there were 5.8 million patient visits at free and charitable clinics in 2022. Of these visits, 93% of the patients were without insurance. Of the small percentage of patients that did have insurance, almost 50% noted that despite their insured status, they were still unable to afford care. This population is referred to as the underinsured.
Last year, 628,000 new patients were seen. In fact, 73% of NAFC member organizations reported seeing an increase in patients inquiring about care in the past year, an increase from 68% in 2021.
These numbers are of particular importance this year as the public health emergency put into place by covid ends. In 2022, 64% of clinics report not being at capacity, 20% report currently being at capacity for certain services and having a waiting list, and 16% report currently being at general capacity for patients and having a waiting list. As Medicaid unwinds, an additional 5-18 million people will be without health insurance, creating the potential for patient visits to triple over the next year.
“The insights from the 2022 Data Report underscore the crucial role that free and charitable clinics play in America’s healthcare system,” shared NAFC President and CEO, Nicole Lamoreux. “Our clinics are volunteer and donation-based operations, and additional support and legislative change will be required for them to be able to address the approaching millions in need of access to affordable care.”
The work of these clinics would not be possible without the force of qualified and passionate volunteers. Across the country, 93% of the workforce at free and charitable clinics are volunteers. The total number of volunteers in 2022 was 175,000, up from 133,000 in 2021. 66,000 of these individuals are medical volunteers, consisting of medical, dental, and mental health providers, nurses, pharmacists, students, and community health workers.
Insights from the data report are leveraged in a variety of avenues, including but not limited to informing partnership activities, highlighting areas in need of investment, and magnifying ongoing trends in the healthcare safety net, specifically with those that are uninsured and underinsured.
About the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the uninsured and underinsured throughout the nation and the more than 1,400 Free and Charitable Clinics and Pharmacies that serve them. The NAFC has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working towards healthy communities for all through quality, equitable, accessible healthcare. For more information about the NAFC, please visit www.nafcclinics.org.
View the source version by visiting: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/04/26/2655159/0/en/Free-and-Charitable-Clinics-Served-5-8-million-People-in-2022.html
To view the Infographics and 2023 Data Report, visit: https://nafcclinics.org/infographics-reports/