Wednesday, December 14, 2011

School-based health centers receive more funding via ACA

First our nation's young were allowed to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26. Now, the younger set is seeing another advantage from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has just announced that more than $14 million ($14,552,020, to be exact) has been awarded to 45 American school-based health centers (SBHCs). SBHCs are typically open every school day and staffed by a team of health providers. The HRSA oversees the School-Based Health Center Capital Program.

A total of $200 million in funding from 2010 – 2013, created by the ACA via the School-Based Health Center Capital Program, is available to improve delivery and support expansion of services at SBHCs. Clinics that are recipients of the awards already serve 112,000 children, and the HHS estimates that the $14 million in grants just awarded (the second in a series of awards that will be made available to SBHCs) will allow them to treat an estimated additional 53,000 children in 29 States, by expanding their capacity and modernizing their facilities. In fiscal year 2011, $95 million was awarded to 278 SBHCs.

The HHS is anticipating that the additional funds awarded will allow employers to hire more employees, aside from more healthcare workers, to meet the SBHCs' increasing needs. SBHCs are expected to require additional construction, renovation and new equipment.

An SBHC is often operated as a partnership between the school and a community health organization, such as a community health center, hospital, or local health department that serves as the sponsoring facility for the SBHC. Services, which are a combination of primary care, mental health care, substance abuse counseling, case management, dental health, nutrition education, health education and health promotion, are determined locally through a collaborative approach between the families and students, the community, the school district, and associated health providers. The focus of SBHCs is said to be on prevention and early intervention.

The recipients of these latest grants are in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

For more information. For a comprehensive analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


Post a Comment