|Primary Care Funding Cliff|
2017 Primary Care Funding Cliff
Over the past decade Congressional leadership from both parties has recognized the cost-effective care Federally Qualified Health Centers (also known as Community Health Centers) provide locally in communities across the country.
•George W. Bush doubled the Community Health Center program during his administration.
•Congress invested in expanding health centers to meet the demand for primary and prevent care through the Affordable care Act from FY 2011-FY2015.
•In 2015, Congress showed its continued commitment to the health center program by maintaining mandatory funding through the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
•Unless further action is taken, that mandatory funding of $3.6 billion is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2017.
Today, the Community Health Centers Program faces a 70% loss of federal funding equal to $3.6 Billion. (see Table 1, above).
•A loss of $69 million in federal funding to North Carolina Community Health Centers
•More than 20% reduction in the number of patients we could serve – more than 100,0000 patients will lose access to care.
•More than 1,000 jobs lost at community health centers in North Carolina
•Potential loss of additional private funding because CHCs use federal funds to leverage funding from other sources.
North Carolina’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (also known as community health centers, or CHCs) are private, nonprofit, community-based organizations that provide primary care – regardless of ability to pay – to 483,000 patients. Community health centers are led by majority consumer boards, serve medically underserved populations, and address the needs of their local communities. Sixty-nine percent of North Carolina CHC patients earn less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines ($23,540 for an individual) and 41% are uninsured. In addition to the uninsured, they serve Medicaid (26%), Medicare (13%), private pay patients (15%).
This has happened before: Read about the 2015 Funding Cliff below.