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HHS Awards $100 Million to Improve Health Center Quality

August 19, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded more than $100 million in grants to 1,304 health centers to invest in healthcare quality improvement efforts that engages patients and improves care coordination.

Health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the five U.S. territories and the three Freely Associated States will divide up the funds and invest in expanding current quality improvement systems and infrastructure and to improve primary care service delivery in the communities they serve.

“Millions of Americans rely on health centers to provide them with quality health care,” Mary Wakefield, M.D., HHS acting deputy secretary, said in a prepared statement. “These quality improvement awards will support health centers to continue to deliver superior health care that engages patients, improves care coordination and bridges overall access to care.”

Health centers are receiving these funds based upon high levels of performance in one or more of the following categories—improving quality of care, advancing health equity, maintaining patient-centered medical home (PCMH) recognition, enhancing access to care, and delivering value, according to an HHS press release. This funding comes from the Affordable Care Act’s Community Health Center (CHC) Fund, which was extended with bipartisan support in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015.

“Health centers are evaluated on a set of performance measures emphasizing health outcomes and the value of care delivered,” Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) acting administrator Jim Macrae, said in a statement. “These measures provide a balanced, comprehensive look at services to manage conditions among the vulnerable populations served by health centers.”

Nearly 1,400 health centers operating over 9,800 sites provide care to more than 24 million people across the country.

 

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