West Hawaii Community Health Center Inc. is one of the four health centers in Hawaii to receive Affordable Care Act funding for behavioral health services. The Kailua-Kona facility will get $250,000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said $1 million will be given to support the four health centers in Hawaii to establish or expand behavioral health services for 3,421 residents.
Nationally, the department awarded $54.6 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 221 health centers in 47 states and Puerto Rico to establish or expand behavioral health services for over 450,000 people. Health centers will use these new funds for efforts such as hiring new mental health professionals, adding mental health and substance use disorder health services, and employing integrated models of primary care.
The Affordable Care Act expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits for approximately 60 million Americans nationwide, including 228,361 Hawaii residents. Today’s funding announcement gives those with newly expanded health coverage additional opportunities to access high quality care.
“These Affordable Care Act funds will enable community health centers to better meet the needs of people with mental health conditions in communities across Hawaii,” said Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator Mary Wakefield.
Today, nearly 14 health centers operate more than 76 service delivery sites that provide care to over 144,427 patients in Hawaii. In 2013, Hawaii health centers saw over 12,419 behavioral health patients. Nationally, nearly 1,300 health centers operate more than 9,200 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21.7 million patients in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. In 2013, health centers saw over 1.2 million behavioral health patients nationwide.