The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted United Community and Family Services a coveted federal designation as a “federally qualified heath center.” Now, UCFS will see $1.1 million in funding that will be used to hire new staff, accommodate an increase of over one-third in patients and pay for a health center at Montville High School.
The non-profit health center in Norwich was approved in 2002 as a “look-alike” facility. This allowed them to seek reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare services. This “look alike” status was something the center tried to get rid of in the past six years. Three times it attempted to become federally qualified. There were five other centers that received the same designation in Connecticut.
UCFS will be able to save $200,000 in medical malpractice insurance costs. With this new designation, the center is now covered though the Federal Tort Claims Act. This means that private parties can sue the U.S. in court, because the people working at UCFS are working on behalf of the U.S. government. The health centers and their employees do not have any liability in any judgments or settlements that are made. When necessary, the U.S. government is responsible for making payment. There are currently 956 health centers with the federal designation and they cover about 15,000 people.
If you have been injured at a facility with this federal designation, you will still have a chance to seek compensation, just not through a typical civil lawsuit.
An attorney can provide you with additional information on how to proceeds with a tort claim.
Source: The Bulletin, “UCFS official: The sky is the limit now,” Adam Benson, Aug. 11, 2015