State

Feds award $300,703 to County health centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Aug. 15 announced $1,447,920 in quality improvement grant awards to 18 Maine health centers. Three of those are in Aroostook County and will receive a total of $300,703.

For Fish River Rural Health of Eagle Lake, that means an award of $109,604. Patten-based Katahdin Valley Health Center will receive $136,099, while Pines Health Services of Caribou will receive $55,000.

According to a DHHS press statement, the health centers will use the grants, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, to continue to improve quality, efficiency and the effectiveness of healthcare delivery in the communities they serve.

HRSA’s quality improvement grant awards promote continued community health center improvements in the following categories: Expanding access to comprehensive care, improving care quality and outcomes, increasing comprehensive care delivery in a cost-effective way, addressing health disparities, advancing the use of health information technology, and delivering patient-centered care.

Both KVHC and FRRH earned the health center quality leader designation, given to the top 30 percent of community health centers that achieve the best overall clinical performance. Three other centers in Maine received that designation.

This announcement comes during National Health Center Week, the annual celebration that highlights the critical role community health centers play in providing high-quality, affordable, primary healthcare.

“Community health centers provide coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered care to millions of Americans,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “They have a track record of delivering quality care at significantly lower cost, and are vital partners in our movement toward a health system that delivers quality, affordable, value-based health care for all Americans.”

“Quality, value-based care is a priority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HRSA-funded health centers serve as leaders in quality healthcare in the U.S.,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “Nearly all HRSA-funded health centers demonstrated improvement in one or more clinical quality measures from the year prior, and these funds will support health centers’ work to improve the quality of care they deliver every day in their communities around the country.”

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