Section: Spotlight Articles, March 2018
From the CEO's Desk
Kathy Wood-Dobbins, CEOCommunity Health Centers are an important foundation of the U.S. health care system. Every state depends on these organizations to make primary health care accessible to their neediest citizens. Across the country, health centers serve 27 million patients each year. In fact, Community Health Centers form the country’s largest primary care safety net for uninsured, Medicaid, and CHIP-insured patients, as well as other vulnerable, low-income individuals. 

The nationwide system of Community Health Centers is supported by two important pillars – federal grant funding and Medicaid. The federal grant funds help make it possible for health centers to serve uninsured patients and deliver comprehensive care. Health centers do not provide medical care alone. Their services include integrated behavioral health care, dental services, labs, access to affordable medications, care coordination, and other supports to address the social factors that affect patients’ health. The advocacy of many has helped to secure these vital federal grants.

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Congress Passes Bipartisan Budget Plan with Health Center Funding
(from the National Association of Community Health Centers)

Congress passed a bipartisan spending package in February that included an additional two years of funding for Community Health Centers, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. To add to the good news, health center funding will increase by $600 million over the two year period; specifically, the Community Health Center Fund will increase from $3.6 billion per year to $3.8 billion in FY18 and $4.0 billion in FY19.

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Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2018
The U.S. government has released its 2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines, which are used to determine financial eligibility for certain federal programs. Health centers utilize this information to recalculate sliding fee discount programs and other programs where eligibility is based on percentage of the guideline.

Click here to review the 2018 guidelines.