Clinics Serving Poor Get Affordabale Care Act Funds to Expand

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As the ACA has expanded insurance coverage through Medicaid and state exchanges, demand for medical services in poor neighborhoods is increasing. So the law also provides funding for clinics in needy areas to expand.

Facilities in Northeast Ohio have just received grants of around $200,000 to $300,000 dollars each.

"This time next year, we will have doubled in the number of patients served, in the number of employees, and in our total budget," said Chief Administrative Officer Kate Nagel.

Nagel said previous federal money helped Care Alliance build a new facility and renovate an existing one. The latest ACA grant will pay for the doctors and nurses to work in them.

Neighborhood Family Practice runs several clinics on Cleveland’s near west side, and reaches out to non-English-speakers and the mentally ill. President and CEO Jean Polster said her organization, too, plans to add medical staff after earlier ACA funding helped it to open new offices.

She said clinics like hers are playing a big role in the expansion of health care under the law.

"The federal government really viewed us as being on the front lines of being able to provide additional access to people who are now converting from uninsured to insured," Polster said.

This is the fourth round in five years of funding the Affordable Care Act provides to expand medical care in underserved communities.

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