Nearly 12-percent of the state’s population is uninsured. At a forum today in Terre Haute, physicians and health care providers asked state officials about their plans to improve that statistic.
The average cost of an inpatient hospital procedure is more than $1,800 before insurance. The State Health Commissioner, Dr. Gregory Larkin, says it’s difficult to speculate about the future of affordable health care because many things will be decided after the 2012 election. But Larkin says there are two that need immediate attention.
“One is if we’d have a fully insured population that all have insured access to primary care providers, we don’t have enough primary care providers today,” Larkin said. “The system will be quite challenged to provide the care for which people allegedly have access to.”
There are also community health clinics in Indiana that use grant funding to help patients in need.
“The second is depending on which part of the affordable care act is approved, there may be more federally qualified clinics to go in the under-served areas throughout the country including Indiana,” he said.
With the issues of funding cuts for health programs such as Medicaid, immunization policies, and Indiana’s alarmingly high obesity rate, Dr. Larkin felt it was critical to address the most important concerns for Indiana residents.
“Whatever we can do for Hoosiers to make them make good choices over bad choices,” he said, “be it under dietary selections, under tobacco usage, under exercise habits, those are the things that are very challenging in Indiana for most statistics when you compare us to other states, we aren’t doing as well as we should.”
As the nation continues to remain in an economic slump, the Indiana State Department of Health hopes that what’s left of public health funding will remain untouched.
Larkin says the state currently has grant funding which helps run community clinics and vaccinations.