Senator Murray and Rep. Green Introduce Companion Community Health Access Coalition Legislation
March 19, 2009
Washington, DC - Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Gene Green (D-TX) joined by Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), today introduced the Community Coalitions for Access and Quality Improvement Act in the U.S. House and Senate that will build on the success of previous federal investments in 250 Healthy Community Access Programs (HCAP) over the last decade and uses their best practices to improve the quality of health care across the country.
“Community health centers typically compete with each other for grant funding, so getting all of them to work together is a challenge,” said Green. “HCAP funding allows centers, like the Gateway to Care Center in Houston, to coordinate and collaborate with all of our community health centers so that they best serve their communities,”
HCAP, grantees leveraged $6 for every federal dollar invested and provided access to health care to an additional 6.2 million individuals while generating $2 billion a year in savings for health care purchasers nationwide. The new legislation improves efficiency and coordination among providers, assists local communities in developing programs targeted toward preventing and managing chronic diseases, and expands and enhances services currently provided.
"I am pleased to join in introducing this critical legislation. Especially at a time when so many Americans are struggling, we should be doing all we can to reduce costs while providing access to quality care," Murray said. “By investing in a national network of local community healthcare access coalitions, we can provide healthcare to more people and actually save money."
The legislation states that funding can only be used by a grantee to direct expenses associated with achieving greater integration of a health care delivery system to directly provide a broad range of culturally competent services and for direct patient care and service expansions to fill identified or documented gaps within an integrated delivery system.
“Healthy Community Access Programs will use this funding to implement their best practices in order to reduce inappropriate emergency room, support the primary care provided by Community Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics, maximize access to free and reduced-price prescription drugs, and to overall improve the health status of low-income consumers of health care,” said Rep. Green.
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