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Fourth time is the charm for Pa. clinic legislation

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A bill to create a grant program to foster community-based health care clinics in Pennsylvania has been signed by Gov. Tom Corbett after attempts to get legislation enacted in three previous sessions failed.

Senate Bill 5 is now Act 10 of 2013 and establishes within the state Department of Health a grant program to help fund such clinics, including nurse-managed, volunteer and hospital-based operations providing primary and preventive care, according to a news release from state Sen. Ted Erickson, R-Chester and Delaware counties.

The clinics provide quality and cost-effective care regardless of insurance coverage or a patient’s ability to pay, and help to reduce expensive emergency room visits and avoidable hospital admissions, the release stated.

Erickson said in the release that Corbett and his staff were “instrumental” in getting the bill passed, and the governor has proposed $4 million for the grant program for the 2013-14 budget year.

Additional federal funding to augment state money for clinics would help even more to increase these resources for both reducing health care costs and increasing access to primary care, according to the release.

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