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N.J. community health centers lag national standards, study finds

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New Jersey's community clinics are behind their counterparts in delivering the care expected under the Affordable Care Act, according to a survey of quality metrics across the nation's federally qualified health centers by Kaiser Health News.

The state's clinics performed worse than neighboring states and the national average in categories like controlling blood sugar in diabetics and the number of infants with born under a healthy weight.

According to the analysis, 70 percent of expecting mothers received early prenatal care at FQHCs across the country. In New York, 76.2 percent of expecting patients received the prenatal care, compared to 71.8 percent in Pennsylvania and 66.7 percent in New Jersey.

Other categories where New Jersey's clinics were found to be behind were controlling high blood pressure in patients with hypertension and the number of children under the age of 2 that receive all of the federally recommended immunizations.

The care provided at the community clinics is an important part of health care reform. Community clinics will continue to serve the poor, uninsured and underinsured, and under the health reform law, FQHCs will receive $11 billion to expand facilities beginning in 2014.

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