Bucking the Trend on Rising Health Care Costs

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We Put the Buck in Bucking the Trend

Earlier this month, our President and CEO, Raul Garza, shared exciting news coming out of the latest report on health center cost and quality. Looking at the data for calendar year 2021Aunt Martha’s now has the lowest cost of care among Illinois’ 45 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

But what does that mean, exactly? How far have we come? How low can we go?

Only time will tell, but for now…

What’s happening with health care costs at Illinois health centers?

Over the past seven years, health centers nationally (there are almost 1,400) have seen their Cost Per Patient rise, on average, by 47% – from $827 per patient in 2015 to $1,219 per patient in 2021.

In Illinois, health center costs have skyrocketed at an even greater rate, from $629 in 2015 to $977 per patient last year. That’s an average increase of 53%.

What’s happening with health care costs at Aunt Martha’s?

Since 2015, the cost of care has increased – on average – by $392 nationally and $338 per patient in Illinois. That’s happening at community health centers with a target population that includes those with little and often no income.

Something’s not right.

Then there’s Aunt Martha’s.

At Aunt Martha’s, we made it a strategic priority to drive down the cost of care.

How’d we do? We think the infographic below speaks for itself, but here’s a quick summary:

Since 2019, we’ve lowered our costs by $112 per patient. Aunt Martha’s Cost Per Patient is 41% lower than health centers in Illinois.

Since 2015 – while the cost of care at safety net clinics has gone up by nearly 50% – Aunt Martha’s has achieved its goal of driving down the cost of care by almost 20%.

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