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Health Care Reform

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In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the comprehensive health reform, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which becomes effective January 2014. The law makes health care more accessible and affordable for millions of Americans. Certain provisions are included in the ACA that aims to promote integration of primary care and behavioral health care services. These provisions provide support and incentives for health care providers and States to adopt integrated health care services.


Health Homes

Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH's), or "Health Homes," and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's) are  models of health care delivery in which a patient's care is coordinated by a group of health care professionals. The ACA supports these strategies as a way to improve outcomes and carry on with integrated health care efforts



Four types of Health Centers (FQHC) are funded under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. In order to receive funding health center must:

  • Provide comprehensive primary health, oral, and mental health/substance abuse services, as well as supportive services such as translation and transportation services that promote access to health care, to everyone in the community in all stages of the life cycle
  • Be located in or serve a Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA or MUP) as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration; these are areas where health care is needed but scarce
  • Operate under a patient-majority board of directors
  • Charge uninsured patients for services on a sliding-fee scale that is based on patients


FQHC Look-A-likes

Some organizations meet the same requirements as the Health Centers previously described but do not receive Section 330 funding. They are known as Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) "Look-Alikes". This certification makes them, like Health Centers, eligible for enhanced Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement and participation in the 340B federal drug pricing program, and assists in recruiting and retaining providers through the National Health Service Corps and the State Loan Repayment program.