The Biden administration publicly announced that the US Department of Health and Human Services will award almost $1 billion to community health centers around the country.
The fund will be used for all covid related needs. The money will come from American Rescue Mission financing and will go to around 1,300 health facilities across the country that offer treatment to medically disadvantaged populations, according to the government.
HSS To Donate 1 Billion Dollars To Community Health Centres
People of color and low-income areas have been disproportionately affected by the epidemic, and they make up the bulk of community health center patients. Most are also disproportionately unregistered or rely on government programs for coverage.
As per a report from the National Association of Community Health Centers, patients at health care facilities have a higher rate of chronic conditions, putting them at risk for COVID-19 complications. According to the association, patients 65 and older are the fastest-growing age group among health center patients. Community health centers, according to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, are “lifelines” for the vulnerable.
In a news release, he stated, “We’re upgrading facilities around the country to better handle the most critical public health problems connected with COVID-19.”
According to Capital Link research, federally certified health centers would require an additional $17 billion in property and equipment investments over the next five years to satisfy expected patient demands of 38 million.
According to a recent poll conducted by the organization, the top capital projects planned are connected to medical, mental health, and dental services. New equipment, extending or remodeling a business, and acquiring a new location were among the short-term financial requirements.
About a quarter of the more than 300 health facilities polled indicated their initiatives would cost $5 million or more. According to a 2020 NACHC study based on 2015 research, over three-quarters of health facilities indicated financial shortages for planned upgrades.
To accommodate a fast-expanding patient base, Dr. Basim Khan, a physician and executive director of Neighborhood Health, a network of 11 community clinics across Virginia, said they require dental care facilities and new exam spaces.
During the epidemic, the number of patients at Neighborhood Health increased to 40,000. The clinics serviced 29,000 patients in 2019. People lost their jobs and insurance, forcing them to seek treatment in clinics, according to Khan.
The level of need outnumbers the available resources. One of the challenges we have in expanding our capacity is a lack of space.
The facilities will also require supplies and plumbing to equip the exam rooms, in addition to the additional exam rooms.
About half of the population is Hispanic, and a fifth is black. The centers serve a high number of immigrants and frequently offer pop-up services in low-income housing complexes or collaborate with churches to give services to specific populations.