WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest private insurer in the Washington area is announcing $8.5 million in grants to a dozen health clinics in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to help them coordinate treatment for vulnerable patients.

The Washington Post reports CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is announcing grants Tuesday that will be given over three years and could treat 66,000 patients with chronic illnesses. The initiative is meant to expand a patient-centered
preventive and ongoing care approach as part of the nation’s health care overhaul.

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CareFirst is providing grants to help clinics start programs to coordinate care for uninsured and low-income patients.

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Recipients include the Arlington Free Clinic, Mary’s Center and Unity Health Care in Washington, the Spanish Catholic Center in D.C. and Maryland, and Community Clinic Inc. in suburban Maryland.

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