HHS Approves $60M in New Funds To Expand Health Centers
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Tuesday announced more than $60 million in new funds to allow health centers in rural and inner-city areas in 30 states to provide care to more patients. The funds include 66 grants, which total about $25.1 million, to help health centers provide care for an additional 300,000 patients. In addition, HHS will provide $35 million to help more than 750 health centers cover costs related to increased demand for services. HHS announced the funds as part of the five-year Health Centers Initiative, a program launched last year that seeks to add 1,200 new and expanded health centers nationwide and to raise the number of patients that the centers treat each year from about 11 million to 16 million by 2006. Health centers provide preventive and primary care regardless of whether patients can afford to pay; about 40% of patients at the centers lack health insurance, and many others lack adequate coverage. Thompson said, "With today's grants, we move closer to ... shoring up the finances of existing centers so they can continue to provide community services to those in need" (HHS release, 7/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.