The federal Health Resources and Services Administration this year awarded $125 million total based on each Community Health Center’s performance in six categories: expanding access to comprehensive care; improving care quality and outcomes; increasing comprehensive care delivery in a cost-effective way; addressing health disparities; advancing the use of health information technology; and delivering patient-centered care.
Andrew Behrman, the president and CEO of the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, said these grants recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide - as well as those that have made significant improvements.
“It's not just a 'hey, here's a good award for you people because you've done good things’,” Behrman said. “It's meeting specific criteria that shows improvements in numbers."
The money will be used to enhance or create various programs for mostly low-income patients. About 35 percent of their patients are uninsured, 43 percent are enrolled in Medicaid, and 90 percent report income below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
“The whole point of this is to do two things: guarantee access to care for every single person who needs it, and ensure that that care is quality care; it's comprehensive,” Behrman said.
These centers serve more than 1.4 million Floridians at more than 500 locations in all 67 counties. For a breakdown of the money Florida was awarded, check the HRSA website.