Health Care In The States

Community Health Centers – In Every State – Get Obamacare Outreach Funds

By Phil Galewitz

July 10th, 2013, 9:04 AM

The nation’s community health centers — which treat the poor and uninsured– apparently know a good deal when they see one.

Nearly all 1,200 federally funded community health centers applied for and will be getting a piece of $150 million in federal health law money to enroll patients in new online health insurance marketplaces starting Oct.1.

Federal health officials on Wednesday said 1,159 centers will be getting the new money offered in May to provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation.  The centers, which operate nearly 9,000 service delivery sites nationwide and serve approximately 21 million patients each year, will each get from $59,000 to $500,000. Health centers in every state, even those that have governors opposing the health law, will be getting some of the funding. The money will allow health centers to hire an additional 2,900 outreach and eligibility assistance workers to assist millions of people nationwide with enrollment into the exchanges.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the funding will help the centers enroll 3.7 million people into the Obamacare exchanges as well as Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurace Program.

Among activities planned:

-In Florida, a health center is hosting learning sessions at local libraries, churches and civic organizations.

–In Washington State, health centers are coordinating with local schools and libraries to let families know that they may be eligible for new insurance options.

–A health center in Michigan is coordinating with a coalition of over 30 African American churches to get the word out and help sign people up.

In New Mexico and South Dakota, health centers will be reaching individuals at summer and fall county fairs and rodeos to make sure they know about and sign up for the opportunities they qualify for in the new marketplace.

Health centers have long helped patients sign up for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Now, they’ll also be helping patients sign up for coverage and apply for the subsidies available to individuals and families earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level to buy private health insurance coverage on the exchanges.

About 60 percent of the patients who visit health centers are minorities, who are much more likely  to be uninsured. Many  are healthy and come to the centers for primary and preventive care. Officials are eager to get these people to join the insurance risk pools to help keep premiums low in the exchanges.

The new funds will double the resources available to community health centers for enrollment efforts.  There are currently 4,000 community health center employees nationwide focused on enrollment. HHS hopes to nearly double that.

With these new funds, health centers will be able to hire new staff, train existing staff, and conduct community outreach events and other educational activities.  Health center staff will provide consumers information about the new health insurance marketplaces and help them understand their coverage options so they can enroll in a plan. They can also answer questions about Medicaid and CHIP.

For a list of health centers receiving this funding, visit: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/

 

6 Responses to “Community Health Centers – In Every State – Get Obamacare Outreach Funds”

  1. Cecil says:

    Community Health Centers is the future of healthcare for most people. Today’s providers have ruined our healthcare system with their greed. Hospitals and doctors keep whining and crying that Medicaid and Medicare does not pay enough. The simple truth is, they have always whined and cried about that! It doesn’t matter what Congress approves, today’s providers will never be satisfied. They will always say it’s not enough. It’s time to do things differently. It’s time to promote community health centers, patient centered homes and the team approach that we see in the ACO model. Today’s providers have milked the cow dry. If they don’t think Medicaid and Medicare pays enough, then they should stop accepting those patients! However, we need to tell our members of Congress to pass laws that say, once a provider refuses a Medicare or Medicaid patient, they can never participate in Medicare or Medicaid again. Medicare and Medicaid patients need incentives to use ACO’s. Medicare and Medicaid patients need incentives to use community health centers. Medicare and Medicaid patients need incentives to use patient centered homes. Medicare and Medicaid patients need incentives to stop using fee-for-service providers. There is only one way to deal with corrupt and greedy providers and that is to encourage Medicare and Medicaid patients to go elsewhere. Obamacare has started the process and has exposed the corruption. Obamacare may not be perfect but it’s a start.

  2. Sharon says:

    It’s time that we change the traditional model of healthcare delivery. It’s completely broken! It’s time for Congress and for each state to rethink the role of nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other medical providers in healthcare delivery. PA’s, NP’s, RN’s, IPPE’s, APPE’s and other non-physician professions need to be trusted to practice at the top of their profession and without the supervision of a physician.

    http://www.allhealth.org/event_reg.asp?bi=294

  3. Grannie Cool says:

    Great, except that rural areas & most Red states don’t have any !

  4. Izzy says:

    Rural areas and red states don’t have any community health centers? Gee, that’s hard to believe. Then again, isn’t that where the politicians spike the drinking water with something during elections so that the residents get real sick and can’t get to the polls to vote? Is that how they always seem to keep the elderly, the poor and minorities away from the polls during elections? Aren’t those the folks most in need of community health centers? Is that why old white males in these places always drink bottled water during elections?

  5. money says:

    Cameleers from across Australia have converged on Alice Springs for the annual Camel Cup drawn by the offer of $20000 in prize money Event organiser Ian

  6. Community Health Centers presently provider quality, comprehensive primary care for over 23,000,000 million patients from over 1,800 health care delivery site in designated medically underserved areas (MUAs) and areas designated as having medically underserved populations (MUPs). Multiple studies have shown that they provide high quality care; save substantial amounts of global health care expenditures (Over 20%); and they virtually eliminate health disparities. This is done by providing accessible, quality team-based care located in the neighborhood and towns of great need and providing the services needed to improve the health status of those they serve. The provide medical, dental, behavioral health services, and those that enable their patients to access care and effectively manage their health. They have proven to be among the most effect systems of improving population health and reducing healthcare expenditures, yet the amount of funds provided is minimal compared to the expenditures provided to fund secondary and tertiary care. Perhaps it would be helpful for Congress to review its funding priorities and consider substantially increasing their distribution of healthcare funding to improve the health status of the nation by providing the funding necessary to significantly expand community health centers, and to improve policies to provide training and incentives to assure adequate primary care providers are allocated to Health Provider Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Existing literature indicates such appropriate investments would better meet the health needs of this nation; increase health status, and substantially reduce expenditures.

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