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MA receives $3.5 million in ACA funding to support new federal health center sites; Funding will create primary care access for 24,500 more residents

11-8-14 Feature Story:

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday announced $150 million in awards under the Affordable Care Act to support 236 new health center sites across the country, including $3.5 million for six sites in Massachusetts which are estimated to create access for more than 24,000 state residents.

"We are committed to providing more people across the country with the quality patient-centered care they deserve," said Secretary Sebelius. "Health centers are key partners in improving access to quality, affordable health care services for those who need it most. With new, affordable health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act, community health centers are also key partners in helping uninsured residents sign up for health coverage – many of whom have been locked out of the health insurance market for years."

The awards for Massachusetts target communities in need of primary care access, including Springfield, Southbridge, Plymouth, Raynham, Martha's Vineyard and Boston's South End. "These grants will go far in ensuring that people who gain new coverage under the Affordable Care Act also have access to ongoing, high-quality primary care right in their communities," said James W. Hunt, Jr., president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

In Massachusetts, 50 health centers provide care to some 850,000 residents, offering a broad range of health care and social services through more than 285 sites statewide. The state’s health centers are also on the front lines of helping uninsured r esidents enroll in new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act, through expanded access to Medicaid and new private health insurance options and tax credits.

Nationally, the $150 million will support 236 new health center sites and help care for approximately 1.25 million additional patients. Today, approximately 1,200 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.

"We are thrilled to be able to provide additional Affordable Care Act resources to health centers to establish new sites," said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “With these new funds, health centers will provide more individuals and families across the country with access to high quality affordable health care."

Click here to view a list of the New Access Point grants.

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