Community Health Center Federal Priorities
|This week, community health centers will gather in Washington, D.C. to advocate for health center priorities with Members of Congress during the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum. Read on to learn more about the important issues facing health centers.|
|Community Health Center Funding|
|Federal funding for community health centers will expire at the end of the fiscal year, September 2023, without Congressional action. Health centers receive federal funding through the annual appropriations process in Congress each year, and through the Community Health Center Fund, which has been reauthorized several times since its inception in 2010.
Discretionary funding reached $1.8 8B in FY23, after holding steady at $1.7B.1 The Community Health Center fund was last reauthorized in 2020 at $4B for 3 years.2 Investments in community health centers through each of these funding streams will ensure community health centers can continue caring for more than 30 million patients across the country and provide them with the highest possible quality of care that addresses the full spectrum of health care needs.
|Community health centers were on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities, while ensuring patients could still access comprehensive primary care services. Although community health centers rose to the challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic also caused significant strain on the workforce.
A robust community health center workforce is critical to ensuring health centers can continue to care for a record 30 million patients. Programs such as the National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program support the community health center workforce by connecting providers to underserved areas and growing residency programs.3 Strengthening the health center workforce is critical to ensuring health centers not only have an adequate number of staff but that they are able to recruit and retain a wide array of provider types to successfully deliver comprehensive, integrated care.
|340B Drug Pricing Program|
|The 340B Drug Pricing Program allows community health centers, and other eligible providers to purchase outpatient medications at a discount and invest the savings into patient care. The program has been under increasing strain as third parties have engaged in actions to undermine the savings retained by health centers. Drug manufacturers have also implemented restrictions on the use of contract pharmacies, which affects the ability of health centers to expand access to affordable medications for their patients.
Protecting the 340B program is critical to ensuring health centers can provide affordable medications and a range of comprehensive services such as behavioral health, substance use disorder treatment, and dental care to their patients.
| Federal grant funding (2022) NACHC. NACHC. Available at: https://www.nachc.org/focus-areas/policy-matters/health-center-funding/federal-grant-funding/|
| Current state of the Health Center workforce - hcadvocacy.org (no date) hcadvocacy.org. Available at: https://www.hcadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/NACHC-2022-Workforce-Survey-Full-Report-1.pdf|