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Federal grants go to community health centers
Monday November 19, 2012


Newly announced federal grants will improve the quality of care at community health centers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grants will help 810 community health centers become patient-centered medical homes and increase their rates of cervical cancer screening. "Our health centers are committed to providing high-quality healthcare services, and [the] awards help continue these efforts," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release.

The awards will provide assistance to 810 health centers as they make the practice changes, such as improved care coordination and management, that are necessary to become patient-centered medical homes.

The awards also will support health centers’ efforts to increase the percentage of women screened for cervical cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths will occur nationwide in 2012. Patients who receive their healthcare in a patient-centered practice have been shown to receive a higher rate of preventive services, including cervical cancer screening.

The patient-centered medical home is a care delivery model designed to improve quality of care through better coordination, treating multiple conditions at once, increasing access and empowering the patient to be a partner in his or her own care.

According to a 2012 report by the Commonwealth Fund, among the changes a practice must make to become a PCMH are linking each patient to a provider to create continuous, trusting relationships; deploying organized care teams; identifying high-risk patients and ensuring they receive appropriate, evidence-based care and case management services; coordinating care by linking patients with community resources; following up with patients after an ED visit or hospital discharge; and communicating test results and care plans to patients. •

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Monday November 19, 2012
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