Community health centers will receive $129 million to expand their operations, HHS announced.
The latest round of health center funding authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will go to 219 facilities that serve 1.25 million patients in 41 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas.
The 2010 federal healthcare overhaul established the Community Health Center Fund to provide $11 billion over five years to fund health center operations, expansions and construction. Wednesday's funding announcement followed more than $1.7 billion in health center funding provided by the healthcare law in fiscal 2011, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“The healthcare law is making our community health centers stronger and ensuring more Americans get the care they need,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release announcing the grants
The nation's 1,100 health centers serve about 20 million low-income patients nationwide in areas that are designated as medically underserved.
HHS estimates the new grants will add about 5,640 positions to the more than 138,000 the centers already employ. In announcing the latest grants, federal officials emphasized not only the positions that they would directly fund but also the tangential financial benefits those positions are expected to bring to each community.
The states receiving the most health center funding were California ($15 million), New York ($10.5 million) and Florida ($8.9 million), according to an online listing of the grants