Health Centers and the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act: The Essential Role of Community Health Centers
Health centers have played an essential role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and continue to be a critical element of the nation’s health system. Health centers are a vital source of primary care for millions of insured and medically underserved patients seeking a quality source of care in every state, territory and in the District of Columbia.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Community Health Center Fund that provided $11 billion over a 5-year period for the operation, expansion, and construction of health centers throughout the Nation.
- $9.5 billion was targeted to:
- Support ongoing health center operations.
- Create new health center sites in medically underserved areas.
- Expand preventive and primary health care services, including oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, and/or enabling services, at existing health center sites.
- $1.5 billion supported major construction and renovation projects at community health centers nationwide.
Over the last five years, Affordable Care Act funding has supported:
- More than 950 new access points/health center service delivery sites,
- Nearly 700 capital development and immediate facility improvement grants for the expansion and improvement of primary care service sites,
- Quality improvement awards to more than 1,100 health centers to recognize health center achievements at the highest levels of clinical quality performance and improvement,
- Awards to support more than 900 health centers recognized as Patient Centered Medical Homes and increasing team-based models of care,
- More than 290 expanded HIV treatment and care grants,
- Outreach and enrollment activities in over 1,200 health centers nationwide,
- More than 40 health center controlled networks to promote health information technology and EHR adoption,
- Ongoing health center operations in more than 1,300 health centers nationwide