WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that nine community health centers in Maryland will receive funding over a three-year period to improve the coordination and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The funding for centers in Maryland is part of the $42 million Advanced Primary Care Practice demonstration project involving 500 community health centers in 44 states, which was contained in the Affordable Care Act.
Under this Advanced Primary Care Practice demonstration project, Medicare will pay community health centers based on the quality of care they deliver. This improved payment system will reward clinics for helping patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In addition, health centers can use this funding to expand their hours, make same-day appointments, and accommodate more patients with urgent care needs.
“Maryland is known nationally for its outstanding health care services and community health centers play an important role in ensuring that all our residents have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Senator Cardin. “This Affordable Care Act initiative will ensure that Marylanders relying on community centers receive the highest quality care possible, tailored to their individual health needs. It will also reduce emergency room use, save taxpayer dollars, and promote a healthier Maryland.”
“Saving and strengthening Medicare was one of my main goals as we worked on the Affordable Care Act,” Senator Mikulski said. “These funds will ensure that community centers across the state will continue to provide Marylanders with the best possible healthcare. I will continue to fight to make sure seniors have access to affordable, quality preventive care and screening.”
The following Maryland health centers will receive additional payments of $6 per month for each senior who receives primary care services:
- Choptank Community Health System, St Michael’s
- Choptank Community Health System, Cambridge
- Choptank Community Health System, Federalsburg
- Choptank Community Health System, Goldsboro
- Choptank Community Health System, Hurlock
- Greater Baden Medical Service, Inc., Brandywine
- Park West Medical Center, Inc., Baltimore
- Three Lower Counties Community, Princess Anne
- Total Health Care, Inc., Baltimore
The demonstration will be conducted from November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2014. Participating health centers will be paid a monthly fee for each eligible person with Medicare that receives primary care services. The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) will provide technical assistance to help participating community health centers throughout the demonstration.