June 15, 2010; Source: Medscape Today | How much is the nonprofit sector involved in delivering health care? Take a look at the network of free nonprofit clinics in the U.S. and be impressed. According to a new survey of 1,007 free clinics (with a response rate of three-fourths), free clinics serve an average of 1.8 million people making 3.5 million medical and dental visits in the U.S. every year. They reported serving an average of 747 new patients each year and 1,796 unduplicated patients. Free clinics sometimes operate intermittently, open on average 18 hours a week. Their budgets are small, averaging $287,810, and more than half receive no government funding. Because so many people will be left without health insurance despite the health care reform legislation, the need for free clinics will undoubtedly continue.—Rick Cohen
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