Bureau of Primary Health Care

The Bureau of Primary Health Care is a part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Overview

HRSA’s Primary Health Care Programs have provided access to primary health care for medically underserved populations for over 40 years. The Migrant Health Act of 1962 and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 established funding for the first Health Centers, forming the basis for today’s Health Center Program. The National Hansen’s Disease Program, formerly the National Leprosarium, was established in 1921. More recently, the Free Clinics Medical Malpractice Program was established in 2004.

Key facts

*For more than 40 years, HRSA-supported health centers have provided high-quality preventive and primary health care to medically underserved residents in inner cities and isolated rural areas. More than half of health center grantees serve rural populations.
*Over 1,000 Health Center grantees operate more than 4,000 service delivery sites in every State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. More than half serve rural populations.
*Health Centers treated more than 15 million patients in 2006. Approximately two-thirds of these patients were minorities. Four in 10 were without health insurance.
*In 2001, President George W. Bush announced a Health Centers Initiative to increase access to primary health care in 1,200 communities through new or expanded health center sites. To date, HRSA has awarded over 1,200 grants that have created new or expanded health center sites and the number of patients served has increased by 46 percent.
*The National Hansen’s Disease Program is the major source of direct patient care, health care provider education, and research in the United States in the field of Hansen’s Disease and related conditions.
*The Free Clinics Medical Malpractice Program encourages health care providers to volunteer by providing medical malpractice protection at sponsoring free clinics, thus expanding the capacity of the health care safety net.

Areas of responsibility

#Aging
#Pneumoconiosis (Black Lung)
#Clinical Quality
#Community Health Centers
#Federal Tort Claims Act and Health Centers
#Hansen's Disease
#Health Care for the Homeless
#Health Center Data
#Health Center Technical Assistance
#Migrant and Farmworker Health
#Primary Care Associations and Primary Care Offices
#Public Housing Primary Care

Health Center Program

Health Centers are community-based and consumer-run organizations that serve populations with limited access to health care. These include low-income populations, the uninsured, those with limited English proficiency, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and those living in public housing. Health Centers provide comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services to a diverse patient population. This includes pharmacy, mental health, substance abuse, and oral health services as well as supportive services (education, translation and transportation, etc.) that promote access to health care.

Health Centers must meet certain requirements including being located in or serving a high-need community (medically underserved area or population) and making their services available to all with fees adjusted based on ability to pay. Health Centers are also governed by a community board composed of a majority (51 percent or more) of health center patients who represent the population served.

National Hansen’s Disease Program

The National Hansen’s Disease Program has been providing care and treatment for Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) and related conditions since 1921.

The program provides medical care to any patient living in the United States or Puerto Rico through direct patient care at its facilities in Louisiana, through grants to an inpatient program in Hawaii and by contracting with 11 regional outpatient clinics. The program also provides training to health professionals and conducts scientific research at the world’s largest and most comprehensive laboratory dedicated to Hansen’s Disease.

The National Hansen’s Disease Program is the only dedicated provider of expert Hansen's Disease treatment services in the United States and is a crucial source of continuing education for providers dealing with the identification and treatment of Hansen's Disease in the United States.

Free Clinics Medical Malpractice Program

Free clinics play a significant role in many communities in meeting the health care needs of the uninsured, particularly at a time when private physicians may be less likely to provide free care in their offices.

Most free clinics are small organizations with annual budgets of less than $250,000, making the growing cost of malpractice coverage a major barrier to providers who would otherwise be willing to volunteer at free clinics.

The Free Clinics Program encourages health care providers to volunteer by providing medical malpractice protection at sponsoring free clinics, thus expanding the capacity of the health care safety net. To date, over 2,000 volunteer health care providers have been given Federal malpractice coverage through the program.

External links

* [http://bphc.hrsa.gov/ Official website]


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