- HHS announced Wednesday a total of more than $260 million in funding granted to 290 health centers across 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for building construction, expansion or renovation.
- The funding is intended to help health centers increase their patient capacity and bolster their provision of comprehensive primary and preventive health care to medically underserved communities.
- HHS notes that since 2009, nearly 1,400 health centers operating 9,800 service delivery sites have absorbed an additional 6 million patients to serve almost 23 million every year.
With some rural health centers closing and the uprise in the insured, some hospitals have noted that it may be hard to deal with an uptick in admissions and HHS is noting that physicial space to handle the increase is important.
Helping health centers improve and expand their clinical space will make it possible for them to serve more than 800,000 new patients nationwide, HHS says, noting the investment builds on a previous $150 million awarded to 160 health centers for building and renovation in September 2015. In addition to serving more people, the expanded health centers will be able to provide more services in one location to provide better value to their communities.
“Health centers are cornerstones of the communities they serve,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a prepared statement. “Today’s awards will empower health centers to build more capacity and provide needed healthcare to hundreds of thousands of additional individuals and their families.”
The funding is made possible through the Affordable Care Act’s Community Health Center (CHC) Fund, which got an extension through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015.
The list of award winners can be viewed here.