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August 28. 2014 10:02PM

Health centers in Somersworth, Raymond using Obamacare funds to streamline service

SOMERSWORTH — Two Seacoast health centers have received federal funding to improve facilities and care.

On Tuesday, Sylvia M. Burwell, U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, announced that two health centers — Goodwin Community Health in Somersworth and Lamprey Health Care in Raymond – would receive a total of $444,899 in federal funding from the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — to assist with improvements to the facilities or care for area residents.

More than $35.7 million in federal funding was provided to help cover the costs of 21 new construction projects and 126 renovations at 147 patient-centered health centers across the nation, according to the release.

Lamprey Health Care received $250,000 in federal funding to improve access at their facility along Route 27 in Raymond for bariatric patients, children and patients with disabilities; make check-out workstations handicapped accessible; and create a centralized touch-down station to assist departing patients, according to Elizabeth Senerchia of the federal Health & Resources Service Administration (HRSA).

Meanwhile, Goodwin Community Health, which received $194,899, plans to renovate existing non-clinical space into a 767-square foot pharmacy with a waiting area. As a result, the new pharmacy will allow up to four employees to serve patients, according to Senerchia.

Senerchia did not say when the renovations would occur.

In 2013, Lamprey Health Care provided medical, dental, substance abuse, vision and “enabling” services to a total of 16,283 patients from their two facilities in Newmarket and Raymond.

Goodwin Community Health — which is based in Somersworth and Dover — provides a variety of care, such as medical, dental, mental health, substance abuse and “enabling” services, to 8,322 patients from along the New Hampshire-Maine border in 2013, according to HRSA’s website: http://bphc.hrsa.gov.

Senerchia said both facilities applied for the funding, which is awarded following a review process based on the applications.

Burwell wrote in the release that the investments will allow the centers to “provide even higher quality services to the patients that rely upon them.”

“Health Centers provide access to quality health care for New Hampshire residents regardless of their ability to pay,” Burwell wrote in the release.

Currently, “nearly 11 health centers” operate more than 51 service delivery sites and serve about 71,000 patients in New Hampshire enrolled in Affordable Care Act – Obamacare, according to the HRSA.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurance provider available to New Hampshire residents — at 16 of the state’s 26 hospitals — via the federal marketplace.

In November, residents will be able to enroll in other options — including Assurant Health, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, Minuteman Health and Maine Community Health. Three of these plans will provide coverage to all hospital networks in the state in 2015.

To learn more about Community Health Centers, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/healthcenterfactsheet.pdf.



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