Less than three weeks after announcing new funding for 147 health centers for construction and renovation to support patient-centered medical homes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on September 12 an additional $295 million in awards to health centers to expand primary care services.

The new funding is being provided under the Affordable Care Act to 1,195 health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin.  The funds will enable health centers to increase access to primary health care services by hiring an estimated 4,750 new staff, stay open for longer hours, and begin providing new healthcare services including dental, vision, mental health and pharmacy services.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said, “These funds will enable health centers to provide high-quality primary health care to more people including the newly insured, many of whom may be accessing primary care for the first time.”