Advancing Primary Care
16 grants totaling $1.6 millionDOWNLOAD FULL REPORT
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), NYSHealth recognized that successful implementation of federal health reform would require expanded primary care capacity to both care for the influx of newly insured people and ensure a strong safety net for those who remained uninsured.
It was estimated that 1.2 million more New Yorkers statewide would gain coverage as a result of the ACA, whereas up to 1.4 million could remain uninsured—many of whom would rely on community health centers (CHCs) for their primary care needs. Those providers that are federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are meeting high standards in quality of care and services offered, including primary care and dental, behavioral health, and preventive care services. CHCs were a cornerstone of the ACA’s plan to develop primary care capacity; the law allocated $11 billion over five years to double CHC capacity nationally. But as the new health care law went into effect, many CHCs were already laboring with low margins and limited funding. The growing demand expected under the roll-out of the ACA would add to these struggles if CHCs did not take measures to grow their services, staff, or physical capacity.
To meet this growing need for access to primary care services, NYSHealth issued two Requests for Proposals (RFPs), “Promoting and Managing Growth at Primary Care Centers,” to support CHCs in New York State to take practical steps to care for more patients, expand existing sites, establish new sites, and/or increase the range of services provided, including behavioral health, dental, optometry, and pharmacy. Through these RFPs, grants of up to $100,000 were made available to FQHCs, FQHC look-alikes (organizations that meet all of the requirements for, but do not yet receive, federal grant funding), and comprehensive diagnostic and treatment centers in medically underserved regions of the State. Through both RFPs, NYSHealth awarded 16 grants totaling $1.6 million to CHCs statewide.