Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the availability of up to $300 million under the Affordable Care Act to help the nation’s community health centers expand service hours, hire more medical providers, and add oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, and vision services.
“Health centers are key to the Affordable Care Act’s goal of expanding access to health care,” said Secretary Sebelius. “They are critical providers of care and have also been instrumental in linking people to coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Health centers provided enrollment assistance to more than 4.7 million people since last fall.”
Today, nearly 1,300 health centers operate more than 9,000 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. The health center program is administered by HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).;
“These funds will allow health centers to expand health services to better serve newly insured patients,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
Health center grantees requesting expanded services funds must demonstrate how these funds will be used to expand primary care medical capacity and services to underserved populations in their communities.