The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary announced Tuesday that it will provide more than $2.4 million in Affordable Care Act funding for four new health center sites to help primary health care services in Springdale, Mena, Augusta and West Memphis.
“The Affordable Care Act has led to unprecedented increases in access to health insurance. Part of building on that progress is connecting people to the care they need,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Health centers are keystones of the communities they serve in Arkansas. Today’s awards will enable more individuals and families in Arkansas to have access to the affordable, quality health care that health centers provide. That includes the preventive and primary care services that will keep them healthy.”
There are 12 health centers in Arkansas that operate more than 106 service delivery sites and provide care to nearly 163,797 patients in Arkansas. Besides the four communities that received new awards, the other Arkansas health centers are located in Ratcliff, Clarendon, Portland, Marianna, Pine Bluff, Corning, Hampton and Marshall. The new health centers in Arkansas are projected to increase access to health care services for nearly 9,509 patients, HHS officials said.
Nationally, the federal agency awarded more than $100 million to 164 new health center sites in 33 states and two U.S. territories to increase access to health care services for nearly 650,000 patients, HHS officials said. Altogether, this new investment will add to the more than 550 new health center sites that have opened in the last four years as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Federal officials also said that health centers have also been critical in helping Arkansans sign up for health insurance through the Marketplace. Since 2013, health centers assisted more than 82,296 Arkansans in their efforts to become insured.