Funding creates an estimated 4,750 new jobs; Helps newly insured access care
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today $295 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 1,195 health centers in every U.S. State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin to expand primary care services.
Today’s awards enable health centers to increase access to comprehensive primary health care services by hiring an estimated 4,750 new staff including new health care providers, staying open for longer hours, and expanding the care they provide to include new services such as oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, and vision services. These investments will help health centers reach an estimated 1.5 million new patients nationwide, including over 137,000 oral health patients and more than 38,000 mental and substance abuse patients.
“Health centers are a key part of how the Affordable Care Act is working to improve access to care for millions of Americans,” said Secretary Burwell. “These funds will enable health centers to provide high-quality primary health care to more people including the newly insured, many of whom may be accessing primary care for the first time.”
Health centers are helping to implement the Affordable Care Act, not only as providers of care but also by linking individuals to coverage through outreach and enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Recent statistics show that health centers provided enrollment assistance to more than 6 million people over the last year. “Health centers provide comprehensive primary and preventive services in their communities” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “Today’s awards will be used to expand access to care, to the people that need it most.” Today, nearly 1,300 health centers operate more than 9,200 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21.7 million patients. Since the start of this Administration, health centers have increased the number of patients served by health centers by more than 4.5 million people.