This week, a bipartisan bill to help bring more mobile health clinics and rural health centers to Georgia was signed into law.
The MOBILE Health Care Act will bring more mobile health clinics and rural health centers to Georgia to help families access vital health care services and increase access to life-saving care in rural and underserved communities.
Specifically, the measure creates flexibility for community health centers to establish mobile health options in communities across the state. 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.
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.
The bill had the support of Georgia’s U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff. In the House, Congressman Jody Hice was one of seven representatives to vote against the bill.
“We worked together as Democrats and Republicans to create more opportunities for Georgia families to access health care through mobile clinics coming soon to your community,” Sen. Ossoff said. His office says he has “worked relentlessly” to make health care more accessible for all Georgia families, touting work earlier this year securing $300 million to upgrade the Grady Health and Augusta University Health Systems.
- National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
- National Rural Health Association (NRHA)
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC)