Highlights of State and Federal Legislation
The State Legislature passed its FY2010 budget last week and the programs/funding we fought for on behalf of our patients was preserved. CHCs answered the calls to action and we were heard! Highlights of the approved budget include:
- Maintains Basic Health enrollment at 65,000 to help working people access affordable health coverage (with the possibility of 4,000 more people being covered if our federal waiver is approved)
- Maintains GA-U funding (now called Disability Lifeline)
- Maintains CHS grant funding to help community clinics care for the uninsured
- Maintains funding for basic dental care and maternity support services for very low-income adults
- Maintains funding for 16,000 children on Apple Health for Kids
The passage of Federal Health Care Reform will help us improve the health of our patients and of our communities. The health care reform bill contains provisions that address health centers directly, as well as those that will indirectly strengthen them.
- Health insurance coverage will be extended to more than 32 million Americans who are uninsured today - many of whom are our patients.
- Over the next five years, the new law contains...
- $11 billion in new funding for CHCs to expand care. It is estimated that this will double the number of health centers over the next five years!
- substantial funding increases for the National Health Service Corps to help hire and/or teach 15,000-17,000 new primary care providers
- a guaranteed role for Community Health Centers in private insurer networks
- improved Medicare and private insurance reimbursement for FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Centers such as HealthPoint).
So what does this all mean for HealthPoint? It is an unprecedented opportunity to create healthier communities, and Community Health Centers like ours will play a central role in providing a health care home for the newly insured. There will likely be opportunities to expand programs and to add clinic sites. We will know more about these opportunities later this year.
If you have questions about the work that we do or how health care reform will affect HealthPoint, please give us a call. We welcome the opportunity to share what we're doing.