New law improves access to health services in rural and underserved communities
Washington, D.C – US Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) welcomed the news that President Biden has signed their bicameral bicameral agreement Maximizing Outcomes Through Better Investments In Life Saving Equipment For (MOBILE) Health Care Act into the law. The legislation gives community health centers the flexibility to use federal funds to establish new, mobile health care centers to improve access to health services in rural and underserved communities.
“Community Health Centers in Maine and across the country play an essential role in ensuring that rural and underserved communities receive affordable, quality health care,” said Senator Collins. “The MOBILE Health Care Act will help community health centers expand their reach into the most rural parts of our state by giving them more flexibility and allowing them to bring clinics even closer to the patients they serve.”
“I am proud to have worked bipartisanly to develop and enact this important piece of legislation to improve access to quality healthcare throughout Nevada and our state.” said Senator Rosen. “The MOBILE Health Care Act will make it easier for community health centers to take care of themselves with mobile clinics on the go, bringing much-needed care directly to underserved and rural communities.”
“On behalf of Community Health Centers and the 30 million patients they serve, I would like to thank Sen. Jacky Rosen and Sen. Susan Collins for driving this important legislation to expand access to quality primary care to rural communities through an expansion of mobile expand clinics. ” said Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, interim president and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). “Almost half of the health centers are in rural and border communities, but we know the need is still unmet. Additional mobile health clinics have the potential to leverage the reach of health centers and provide comprehensive care to hard-to-reach patients across the country.”
Community health centers provide affordable care to more than 29 million patients nationwide, including 376,000 veterans and one in eight children. Currently, in Maine and across the country, there are small and rural communities that do not have the population base to support full-time health centers and therefore lack consistent access to primary care services.
The purpose of funding Health Center Program New Access Points (NAP) is to improve the health of the nation’s underserved communities and vulnerable populations by expanding access to affordable, accessible, quality, and low-cost primary health services. The MOBILE Health Care Act states that community health centers can receive funding to establish a new, mobile delivery location, regardless of whether they propose to establish a new permanent, full-time location.