HHS Earmarks $335M for Community Health Center Access
The Department of Health and Human Services said it will make available up to $335 million in Expanded Services grants for community health centers to boost access to preventive and primary healthcare.
The Affordable Care Act grant program is the second of two major initiatives announced this month totaling more than $1 billion for community health centers. On Oct. 11, HHS said it would provide $727 million to 143 community health centers across the country for construction, expansion, and renovation projects.
The funds are specifically intended to increase access to preventive and primary health care, including dental health and behavioral health. Patients are increasingly turning to primary care providers for mental health services, even as the ranks of primary care physicians are stretched thin.
Community health centers serve nearly 19 million patients each year—about 40% of whom have no health insurance. Health centers deliver preventive and primary care services at more than 7,900 service delivery sites around the country to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Charges for services are set according to income, HHS said.