HHS.gov -- Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a series of initiatives that will help over 900 community health centers and community-based organizations to enhance the quality and coordination of health care services across the country. A total of $47 million, made available by the Affordable Care Act (the health care law passed in 2010), was awarded in every state and will help improve quality and access to services for millions of Americans. They will also support better primary care and behavioral health services for people with mental and substance abuse disorders.
"These programs play a crucial role in the national effort to build high quality, comprehensive health care for those who need it most," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "With these investments, health centers and other community-based organizations can expand on their efforts to ensure they are able to serve patients in their communities."
Both the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) are releasing awards today in an effort to better coordinate care across the health care spectrum. HRSA will be releasing $32 million to 904 community health centers nationwide. These resources will provide upfront assistance to existing health centers as they try to achieve recognition as a patient-centered medical home. Activities will include care planning, support for team-based models of service delivery, and system upgrades.
"We are excited to support our grantees as they transform their practices, coordinate care and partner with patients to achieve better health outcomes," said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D, R.N.
SAMHSA is announcing $15 million in grants to support and promote better primary care and behavioral health services for individuals with mental and substance use disorders. These grants are funded by the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund to improve health status by improving the coordination of healthcare services delivered in publicly funded community-based behavioral health settings, including community mental health centers and public health departments in cities from Anchorage, Alaska to Norfolk, Virginia.
"These grants will make an enormous difference in delivering both behavioral health care and overall health services," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. "By providing effective routine health promotion activities, primary care screening, monitoring, treatment and care management, we can go a long way to combating preventable disease and improving the health and well being of many Americans."
Together, these announcements will help provide quality, patient-centered primary care to some of our country's most vulnerable populations in every State across the country..