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The new law will also establish a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, effective January 2011, to oversee and test these and other innovative payment methods. Priority will be given to models that both improve quality and reduce costs, such as medical homes, accountable care organizations that assume responsibility for quality and cost across the continuum of patient care, funding for care coordination, and bundled payment for hospital acute and post-acute care.

By increasing primary care payment rates, and making low-interest student loans more available, the Affordable Care Act also aims to increase the supply of primary care physicians and advanced practice nurses, making it easier for patients to find a primary care provider.

Better access to community health centers able to serve more patients.
Federally qualified health centers provide comprehensive primary care and mental health services to some of our nation's most vulnerable individuals and families. Recent Commonwealth Fund analysis shows that of the 16 million patients who received care from health centers in 2007, 90 percent were at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, 45 percent had public insurance, and 40 percent had no insurance at all.

The Affordable Care Act expands funding to community health centers by $11 billion over five years beginning in 2010; provides state grants for health care providers that serve a large percentage of medically underserved populations; and provides for a Medicaid global payment system demonstration project that allows up to five states to make global capitation payments—covering all services provided to a patient during an episode of care—to safety-net hospitals from 2010 to 2012. It also provides grants to assist in development of community-based collaborative care networks, or integrated health care delivery systems, to serve low-income…...

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