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42 U.S. Code § 280g–12 - Primary Care Extension Program

(a) Establishment, purpose and definition
(1) In general

The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, shall establish a Primary Care Extension Program.

(2) Purpose

The Primary Care Extension Program shall provide support and assistance to primary care providers to educate providers about preventive medicine, health promotion, chronic disease management, mental and behavioral health services (including substance abuse prevention and treatment services), and evidence-based and evidence-informed therapies and techniques, in order to enable providers to incorporate such matters into their practice and to improve community health by working with community-based health connectors (referred to in this section as “Health Extension Agents”).

(3) DefinitionsIn this section:
(A) Health Extension Agent

The term “Health Extension Agent” means any local, community-based health worker who facilitates and provides assistance to primary care practices by implementing quality improvement or system redesign, incorporating the principles of the patient-centered medical home to provide high-quality, effective, efficient, and safe primary care and to provide guidance to patients in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways, and linking practices to diverse health system resources.

(B) Primary care provider

The term “primary care provider” means a clinician who provides integrated, accessible health care services and who is accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, including providing preventive and health promotion services for men, women, and children of all ages, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community, as recognized by a State licensing or regulatory authority, unless otherwise specified in this section.

(b) Grants to establish State Hubs and local Primary Care Extension Agencies
(1) Grants

The Secretary shall award competitive grants to States for the establishment of State- or multistate-level primary care Primary Care Extension Program State Hubs (referred to in this section as “Hubs”).

(2) Composition of HubsA Hub established by a State pursuant to paragraph (1)—
shall consist of, at a minimum, the State health department, the entity responsible for administering the State Medicaid program (if other than the State health department), the State-level entity administering the Medicare program, and the departments that train providers in primary care in 1 or more health professions schools in the State; and
may include entities such as hospital associations, primary care practice-based research networks, health professional societies, State primary care associations, State licensing boards, organizations with a contract with the Secretary under section 1320c–2 of this title, consumer groups, and other appropriate entities.
(c) State and local activities
(1) Hub activitiesHubs established under a grant under subsection (b) shall—
submit to the Secretary a plan to coordinate functions with quality improvement organizations and area health education centers if such entities are members of the Hub not described in subsection (b)(2)(A);
contract with a county- or local-level entity that shall serve as the Primary Care Extension Agency to administer the services described in paragraph (2);
organize and administer grant funds to county- or local-level Primary Care Extension Agencies that serve a catchment area, as determined by the State; and
organize State-wide or multistate networks of local-level Primary Care Extension Agencies to share and disseminate information and practices.
(2) Local Primary Care Extension Agency activities
(A) Required activitiesPrimary Care Extension Agencies established by a Hub under paragraph (1) shall—
assist primary care providers to implement a patient-centered medical home to improve the accessibility, quality, and efficiency of primary care services, including health homes;
develop and support primary care learning communities to enhance the dissemination of research findings for evidence-based practice, assess implementation of practice improvement, share best practices, and involve community clinicians in the generation of new knowledge and identification of important questions for research;
participate in a national network of Primary Care Extension Hubs and propose how the Primary Care Extension Agency will share and disseminate lessons learned and best practices; and
develop a plan for financial sustainability involving State, local, and private contributions, to provide for the reduction in Federal funds that is expected after an initial 6-year period of program establishment, infrastructure development, and planning.
(B) Discretionary activitiesPrimary Care Extension Agencies established by a Hub under paragraph (1) may—
provide technical assistance, training, and organizational support for community health teams established under section 256a–1[1] of this title;
collect data and provision of primary care provider feedback from standardized measurements of processes and outcomes to aid in continuous performance improvement;
collaborate with local health departments, community health centers, tribes and tribal entities, and other community agencies to identify community health priorities and local health workforce needs, and participate in community-based efforts to address the social and primary determinants of health, strengthen the local primary care workforce, and eliminate health disparities;
develop measures to monitor the impact of the proposed program on the health of practice enrollees and of the wider community served; and
participate in other activities, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.
(d) Federal program administration
(1) Grants; typesGrants awarded under subsection (b) shall be—
program grants, that are awarded to State or multistate entities that submit fully-developed plans for the implementation of a Hub, for a period of 6 years; or
planning grants, that are awarded to State or multistate entities with the goal of developing a plan for a Hub, for a period of 2 years.
(2) Applications

To be eligible for a grant under subsection (b), a State or multistate entity shall submit to the Secretary an application, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(3) Evaluation

A State that receives a grant under subsection (b) shall be evaluated at the end of the grant period by an evaluation panel appointed by the Secretary.

(4) Continuing support

After the sixth year in which assistance is provided to a State under a grant awarded under subsection (b), the State may receive additional support under this section if the State program has received satisfactory evaluations with respect to program performance and the merits of the State sustainability plan, as determined by the Secretary.

(5) Limitation

A State shall not use in excess of 10 percent of the amount received under a grant to carry out administrative activities under this section. Funds awarded pursuant to this section shall not be used for funding direct patient care.

(e) Requirements on the Secretary

In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall consult with the heads of other Federal agencies with demonstrated experience and expertise in health care and preventive medicine, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Indian Health Service, the Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service of the Department of Agriculture, and other entities, as the Secretary determines appropriate.

(f) Authorization of appropriations

To awards grants as provided in subsection (d), there are authorized to be appropriated $120,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2014.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, § 399V–1, formerly § 399W, as added, amended, and renumbered § 399V–1, Pub. L. 111–148, title V, § 5405, title X, § 10501(f)(1), (2), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 649, 996.)

[1]  See References in Text note below.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

Section 256a–1 of this title, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(B)(i), was in the original “section 3602 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, and was translated as meaning section 3502 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. 111–148, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.


2010—Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 111–148, § 10501(f)(2), substituted “and the departments that train providers in primary care in 1 or more health professions schools in the State” for “and the departments of 1 or more health professions schools in the State that train providers in primary care”.