Indiana has been awarded 16 million dollars in grant money to construct and renovate community health centers through the federal Affordable Care Act. The health centers went through a competitive application process with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reviewing committee. The clinics that scored the highest based on their proposal and funding were given the grant. Associate Administrator for the Bureau of Primary Health Care Jim Macrae says the grant will help improve facilities and efficiency.
“It will help patients by creating more space for them to be able to sit in the waiting rooms to actually, providing more exam rooms, and basically making their experience more electronic and we hope more efficient and effective,” Macre said.
Neighborhood Health Clinic in Fort Wayne is getting $6.7 million. Riggs Community Health Center, Inc. in Lafayette is getting $3.5 million and Open Door/BMH Health Center in Muncie is receiving about $6 million.
Although the grant is mainly there to better facilities, Macrae says there is an opportunity it will help lower health care costs for patients.
“In a lot of cases these health centers are exceeding environmental standards,” Macrae said. “They’re actually going to be able to reduce their cost in teams of their admin and their overhead, so this should not contribute at all to increase cost. In fact we hope it will reduce cost at the patient level.”
The Affordable Care Act contributed $11 billion to community health programs nationwide. That money is being used to fund 143 health center projects across the country.