Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), both members of the Senate Health Committee, introduced the Maximizing Outcomes through Better Investments in Lifesaving Equipment for (MOBILE) Health Care Act. This bipartisan legislation would expand the allowable use criteria in the New Access Points Grant program to include part-time mobile clinics and renovation, acquisition, and new construction of health centers within the program to increase access to affordable, accessible, quality health care services in rural and underserved communities. The bill would allow for greater flexibility of use of the grants awarded to community health centers so each health center can use funds to meet their own specific needs and improve care delivery for those in their communities.
“Community health centers in Maine and across the country play an indispensable role in ensuring that rural and underserved communities receive affordable and quality health care, particularly as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Collins. “The MOBILE Health Care Act would help community health centers further expand their reach to the most rural parts of our state by giving them greater flexibility and allowing them to bring clinics even closer to the patients they serve.”
“Mobile clinics will help increase Nevadans’ access to health care no matter where they live – from underserved urban communities to remote rural areas. Alongside our community health centers, they will be able to provide care to the Silver State’s most vulnerable communities, something Nevada’s health centers have been doing throughout the pandemic,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to invest in mobile clinics and provide health centers greater funding, flexibility, and resources to community health centers, as well as ensure that our small and rural communities are not left behind during this public health crisis. I will continue working to provide access to quality, affordable health care to Nevadans in all corners of the state.”
Community health centers provide affordable care to more than 29 million patients, including 385,000 veterans and 8.7 million children nationwide. Currently, there are small and rural communities in Maine and Nevada that do not have the population base to support full-time health centers and therefore do not have consistent access to primary care services.
The bipartisan MOBILE Health Care Act would expand the allowable use criteria in the New Access Points Grant program, run by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to include acquiring, leasing, expanding, or renovating mobile medical equipment or vehicles to establish a new delivery site for providing health services to medically underserved populations to expand access to care in small and rural communities; leasing, expanding, or renovating an existing community health center building; or constructing a new health center building.
The MOBILE Health Care Act is endorsed by the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Nevada Primary Care Association.