In Commemoration Of National Health Centers Week, Menendez Recognizes The Importance Of Centers In Providing Access To Affordable, Quality Health Care

In Commemoration Of National Health Centers Week, Menendez Recognizes The Importance Of Centers In Providing Access To Affordable, Quality Health Care

NJ Senator has introduced resolution to recognize the importance of health safety-net providers, such as community health centers, and ensure they are supported in the health insurance reform process

Washington - This week, health centers and medical practitioners nationwide celebrate National Health Centers week, which every year honors the services and contributions of health centers to increase access to quality healthcare for underserved people in the United States. This year's commemoration centers on the national "ACCESS for All America" plan to serve 30 million people by 2015.
Joining in the recognition, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) applauded the daily efforts of these health providers and contributions to underserved population. Senator Menendez, member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is drafting a significant portion of the system's reform process, also emphad the importance of supporting community health centers in the health care reform process.
"Health safety-net providers, such as community health centers, are vital to ensuring that quality and affordable health care is widely accessible. They deserve our acknowledgement and applause for their service to America's most vulnerable populations," said Senator Menendez. "These centers provide important health services for underserved families, which is not only a moral imperative, but also helps drives down health care costs and reduces strain on hospitals' emergency services. As we look to reform the health insurance system, we must ensure these centers are a key part of the reform process with adequate funding, and a fair reimbursement system."
Earlier this year, Senator Menendez introduced a piece of legislation co-sponsored with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to recognize the importance of health safety-net providers, such as community health centers, in the reform process.
The piece of legislation would put Congress on the record in support of the following sentiments:
• All individuals should have the choice of a community health center as their health care home and every health center should be appropriately reimbursed for the high-value preventive and primary care they provide;
• Health care reform should include measures to expand community health centers in order to reach more individuals who need a health care home;
• The current payment mechanisms for Federally-qualified health centers through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program are essential to ensuring access to affordable and high-quality preventive and primary care services for beneficiaries of such programs; and
• Any expansion of private insurance must include mechanisms to ensure the full participation of, and appropriate reimbursement to, federally-qualified health centers and other safety net providers in order to ensure adequate access to care for those individuals who are medically underserved or disenfranchised.
• Ensuring access to all safety net providers - including Federally-qualified health centers - will be vital to ensuring that health care reform is successful in expanding access, improving quality, and reducing cost.
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