HHS Designates $8 Million to Advance Community Health Centers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that approximately $8 million in federal funding will be made available to community health centers that have cooperative agreements to provide training and technical assistance to local organizations. The agency’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) noted that the funding is courtesy of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The health centers will use the funding to promote community development, plan expansions, create patient-centered medical homes and support the adoption of electronic health records.  Additionally, the Affordable Care Act will invest $11 billion to fund the operation, expansion and construction of community health centers across the country.  Of that, $9.5 billion will be used to construct community health centers in regions that are medically underserved.

“These Health Center Cooperative Agreements help build on the Affordable Care Act’s investments in community health centers,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/11/20101119b.html “These funds will provide assistance to community health centers to help them improve access to healthcare services, especially for those who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.”

Community health centers serve nearly 19 million patients, approximately 40 percent of whom lack health insurance.  These centers deliver preventive and primary care services at more than 7,900 service delivery sites around the country to, regardless of patients’ ability to pay.  Charges for services are set according to income.

“The funding the Secretary announced will ensure that health centers who need it have the ability to plan for their futures,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.  “Community health centers provide high quality health care to anyone who needs it, these funds make continuing that care possible.”

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