FL Health Centers Get $13.4M

Sep 13, 2014

Four dozen health centers around the state that provide a medical home for uninsured low-income Floridians and for those who are newly insured through the Affordable Care Act will get a share of $13.4 million in federal funds, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday afternoon.

Most of the grants fell into the range of $150,000 to $400,000, but a few of them were for more:

·         Community Health of South Florida in Miami, about $507,000.

·         Manatee County Rural Health Services in Palmetto, about $499,000.

·         Tampa Family Health Centers, about $460,000.

·         Health Care District of Palm Beach County, $434,500.

The complete list of Florida grants can be found here, on the website of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

In a press release, HHS said the funds should increase primary care by enabling the centers to hire about 215 new staff, stay open longer hours, and add new services such as dental, vision, mental health, or pharmacy.

 HHS estimates that the grants will enable to help centers care for more than 69,000 new patients in Florida. The 50 health centers in the state serve about 1.1 million patients, the agency estimated.

The centers have played a large role in carrying out the ACA by helping uninsured patients sign up for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Healthcare.gov). In Florida, which has not expanded Medicaid coverage as called for by the ACA, assistance has been limited to those who have incomes just above the federal poverty level.

--Health News Florida is part of WUSF Public Media. Contact Carol Gentry at cgentry@wusf.org. For more health news, visit HealthNewsFlorida.org.