Washington Health Centers Get Federal Cash Infusion

Community Health Centers serve patients regardless of their ability to pay. Tom Van Coverden, who heads the National Association of Community Health Centers, says lawmakers know the system is jammed, and the effort has bipartisan support.

“I think policymakers on both sides realize even if you’re fortunate enough to have a insurance card, you need a place to go – and if there’s a medical home, a place that really is helping them to stay healthy, that there would be a long-range benefit in cost savings for everybody.”

Bucknum says his facility has seen increases of 5 percent to 7 percent per year in the number of patients they see.

“A little over 80 percent of our patients are what we consider an underserved population, and 92 percent of our patients are below 200 percent of the poverty level. And so for them, access to affordable medications is a priority.”

Nationwide, the money will fund almost 400 construction and remodeling projects during the next two years.

A list of grantees by state and more information about the program is online at hhs.gov.

– Chris Thomas