Hudson Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Expand Access to Mobile Health Units and Community Health Centers
September 7, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), along with Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV), Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), introduced the bipartisan MOBILE Health Care Act last week. This bill would allow Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to use New Access Point (NAP) grants for establishing mobile health units, building renovation, and acquisition and construction costs to increase access to affordable, quality health care in rural and underserved communities.
"Federal Qualified Health Centers are critical for millions of veterans and families, especially in rural communities throughout North Carolina and our country," said Rep. Richard Hudson. "I'm proud to introduce the bipartisan MOBILE Health Care Act to ensure these centers have the flexibility they need to further expand access to health care. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this bill."
Across the country, one in 11 Americans, including 400,000 veterans, rely on FQHCs for health care. Currently, FQHCs cannot use NAP grants for mobile health units or construction costs. This means that many small and rural communities across the country that do not have the population base to support full-time health centers are missing out on critical health care that mobile health centers could provide. This bill would expand allowable use criteria in the NAP program to include creating new mobile delivery sites that serve medically underserved populations and renovating existing community health center buildings.
"When it comes to providing access to affordable, quality healthcare, Federally-Qualified Health Centers are often the only option for thousands of Nevada families," said primary bill sponsor Rep. Susie Lee. "With this bill, we'll be able to help community health centers expand into communities that have traditionally been hard to reach. It will ensure that all Nevadans, no matter where they live, will receive the health care they deserve."
You can learn more about the MOBILE Health Care Act here.
Endorsing Organizations Include:
- National Association of Community Health Centers
- National Rural Health Association
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council
- North Carolina Community Health Center Association
- Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers, Inc. (North Carolina)
- Community Free Clinic (North Carolina)
"The North Carolina Community Health Center Association supports the MOBILE Health Care Act because it would provide flexibility for our Community Health Centers to expand access to comprehensive primary care services for rural and underserved communities of our great state. By supporting the use of mobile health care units, this bill would strengthen our Community Health Centers' capacity to reach additional communities with unmet health care needs. For example, they can offer medical services to an underserved community to develop a patient base with mobile units as a bridge before planning a permanent expansion, or they can provide dental care services in areas which cannot yet sustain a brick-and-mortar location. Currently, North Carolina's Community Health Centers care for over 685,000 patients, and they stand eager and ready to expand their services to meet North Carolinians' unique needs; the MOBILE Health Care Act will equip North Carolina's Community Health Centers to do just that." – Chris Shank, President & CEO of North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA)
"Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers, Inc. supports the MOBILE Health Care Act as a way to increase access to care into communities with special populations who need our services, especially in rural areas due to limited patient population. Our organization provides comprehensive primary care, behavioral health, dental, and many other services to more than 12,000 residents per year, including over 2,000 public housing, 200 homeless, and 50 migrant patients that would be best served by mobile health units being able to bridge the gap to care in the communities we serve. The ability to expand the reach of Community Health Centers to service our communities via this opportunity will be essential to expanding access to care for all, while improving the quality of healthcare in the communities we serve regardless of geographic area." – Don Holloman, CEO of Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers, Inc. (CRCHC)
"Improving the resources available to our low-income, uninsured residents is vital to maintaining a strong Healthcare Safety Net. As a private, non-profit free clinic we value all resources made available to addressing our mission of healthcare to the uninsured. Our partnership with Cabarrus County's Federally Qualified Health Center (CRCHC) ensures that healthcare resources are available to those who do not qualify for our services due to income." – Community Free Clinic (CFC)
"NACHC thanks Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV), Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) for introducing the MOBILE Health Care Act. By including mobile medical equipment and vehicles as part of the allowable use criteria in the New Access Point Grant program, this legislation will give health centers the flexibility to expand access to care to millions of patients in medically underserved and rural areas," said Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO, National Association of Community Health Centers. "The bill will allow our health centers to build on the success of using mobile clinics to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and enable clinics to expand services to hard-to-reach populations, including those experiencing homelessness, older adults, and those in rural communities. NACHC urges Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation."