Health care law helps HealthNet renovate facilities, serve more patients
HealthNet is one of three recipients in Indiana to receive funding made possible by the new health care law that will help build, expand and improve community health centers nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced today the funding of more than $728 million to support 398 renovation and construction projects, boosting health centers’ ability to care for additional patients and creating jobs.
HealthNet received a $155,000 grant to renovate a portion of HealthNet Southeast Health & Dental Center, located at 901 Shelby St. in Fountain Square Center, to enable the health center to serve more patients. Funds will be used to convert space previously used for medical records storage and office space into three new exam rooms and space for behavioral health services, enabling the center to serve an additional 1,150 patients annually. The 44-year-old community health center provides more than 35,000 patient visits each year.
The awards are part of a series of capital investments that are made available to community health centers under the Affordable Care Act, which provides $9.5 billion to expand services over five years and $1.5 billion to support major construction and renovation projects at community health centers.
According to a new report released today, the health care law has supported 190 construction and renovation projects at health centers and the creation of 67 new health center sites across the country, and will support more than 485 new health center construction and renovation projects and the creation of 245 new community health center sites over the next two years.
Overall, since the beginning of 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent. And, through the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, community health centers are serving nearly 3 million additional patients today and will serve an additional 1.3 million additional new patients in the next two years.
The announcement made today is for awards from two capital programs for community health centers. One will provide approximately $629 million to 171 existing health centers across the country for longer-term projects to expand their facilities, improve existing services, and serve more patients. This program will expand access to an additional 860,000 patients. The second set of awards will provide approximately $99.3 million to 227 existing health centers to address pressing facility and equipment needs.
Health centers improve the health of the nation’s underserved communities by ensuring access to primary health care services. Currently, more than 8,500 service delivery sites around the country deliver care to more than 20 million patients regardless of their ability to pay.
Since 1968, HealthNet (http://www.indyhealthnet.org) has been a mainstay in the Indianapolis community. Through its network of community-based health centers, an OB/GYN care center, a pediatric and adolescent care center, a maternal-fetal medicine center and eight school-based clinics, HealthNet annually serves over 51,500 individuals and families. Many of them are uninsured or underinsured and live below the federal poverty level. HealthNet services include: primary and preventive health care; OB-GYN support and coaching for expectant mothers; Healthy Families and Better Indy Babies; dental services; Homeless Initiative Program; counseling, outreach and social service programs. HealthNet’s health centers include Barrington Health & Dental Center, Eastside Health Center, Martindale-Brightwood Health & Dental Center, People’s Health & Dental Center, Southeast Health & Dental Center, Southwest Health & Dental Center, the Care Center at the Tower, the Pediatric and Adolescent Care Center and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center. HealthNet is Indiana’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center and is an affiliate of IU Health.