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Affordable Care Act Will Help Expand Family Health Centers

Family Health Centers in Louisville will expand under provisions in the federal healthcare overhaul law.The Affordable Care Act includes funding for grants to community health centers. Family Health Centers will receive $5.3 million dollars under the act to treat more patients. The bulk of the funds will be used to move an east Broadway clinic and expand it to three times its current size. A portion of the money will also be used to renovate a clinic that cares for the homeless.The money can only be used on facility improvements, and Family Health Centers doesn't currently have the staff to handle larger clinics and higher demand. But executive director Bill Wagner says the ACA could help with that, too.“We're hoping that with the combination of the insurance coverage expansions under health reform and other funding, that we can fully staff the expanded facility to see an additional 10,000 patients," says executive director Bill Wagner. “We hope that many of the patients we currently see who are uninsured will be able to take advantage of the expansion of Medicaid coverage as well as the opportunity to purchase insurance through the exchanges.”Wagner says demand for treatment has grown significantly over the last few years. He expects the new clinics will help take some of the burden for primary care off of emergency rooms, where many uninsured patients often go for their medical needs.