By: Beau Boughamer
This week a couple of the health care industry’s most widely read media outlets took a closer look at President Obama’s December 9 health center press conference, which covered Facility Investment Program (FIP) funding as well as health information technology for Health Center Controlled Networks and medical home concept demonstration funding.
American Medical News published a story on FIP funding that cited NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden…
President Obama announced Dec. 9 that 85 federally qualified community health centers will share $508.5 million in stimulus act funding to upgrade and expand their facilities. “The new resources announced today will assist health centers to serve another 500,000 people who would otherwise have no place to seek care but at a hospital emergency room,” said Tom Van Coverden, president and CEO of the National Assn. of Community Health Centers.
For instance, each day in recent months, several patients have been waiting for California’s Vista Community Clinics’ main branch to open when company spokeswoman Jenny Jones arrives at 7:30 a.m. “I didn’t notice that a year ago,” she said. The center also is seeing many patients who had never visited one of the organization’s five clinics before. An $11.5 million stimulus act grant will allow Vista Clinics to nearly double the size of its main branch to 54,000 square feet, and complete other projects.
…while AAFP News Now reported on support for the medical home concept demonstration project, quoting NACHC’s Dan Hawkins.
AAFP President Lori Heim, M.D., of Vass, N. C., who attended the press conference, said, “There is no doubt in my mind the president understands the value of the medical home. The president can articulate the value of primary care, and he can articulate the value of the medical home because he understands it and he believes in it.”
Hawkins, of NACHC, said most CHCs already serve as PCMHs by their inherent role. “We believe the vast majority of CHCs already exhibit many or most of the features of a medical home,” said Hawkins. “The centers provide continuous care even through changes in health or insurance coverage status, and they take steps to make sure care is accessible.”