Tennessee State Budget and Community Health Centers

The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned at the end of April after passing a $56.2B budget for FY23-24. Read on to learn more about the budget and its impact on community health centers and their patients.
Summary of the FY23-24 Budget 
At the end of last month, the Tennessee General Assembly passed, and Governor Lee signed a $56.3B budget for FY23-24.

View a budget summary here.
The budget includes significant investments in priorities such as infrastructure and school safety:
  • $3.3B for infrastructure plus $300M for local road projects through the Transportation Modernization Act 
  • $1.1B for the Tennessee public school funding formula  
  • $1B for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology to complete the TCAT Master Plan to update, expand, and add new TCAT facilities 
  • $288M three-consecutive-month grocery tax holiday (August-October) 
  • $250M for the Rainy-Day Fund, bringing the total Rainy-Day funding to more than $2B 
  • Funding for enhanced school safety measures 
    • $140M for public school resource officers in public schools  
    • $40M for public school security upgrades and $14M for private school security upgrades 
    • $30M for Homeland Security agents 
    • $7M grant program for school resource officers in private schools 
    • $8M for behavioral health initiatives 
TennCare Coverage Expansions 
Thirty-one percent of Tennessee's 437,000 health center patients are covered by TennCare, the state's Medicaid program.1 Several provisions in the TennCare budget will expand access to coverage for enrollees including $30M in state funding as part of the Tennessee Strong Families Initiative to:  
  • Permanently provide expanded postpartum coverage for an estimated 3,000 mothers each year 
  • Increase the income eligibility threshold for pregnant women to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), serving an additional 2,400 mothers each year  
  • Increase the income eligibility threshold to 100% for parents and caregivers to support an additional 8,100 individuals each year 
  • Provide 12-month continuous eligibility for children, allowing an estimated 10,000 children to stay enrolled 
  • Cover diapers for the first two years of a baby's life for mothers with TennCare coverage 
Tennessee Department of Health Care Safety Net Funding 
The FY23-24 budget passed by the General Assembly included an additional $7M in recurring funding for the Health Care Safety Net, bringing total recurring Safety Net Funding to slightly more than $31M, the highest amount ever allocated to the fund. An estimated 10.1% of adult Tennesseans are uninsured and the Health Care Safety Net partially offsets the cost of providing care for these patients through community health centers and charitable and faith-based clinics.2  

In 2021, Tennessee's health centers served more than 437,000 patients, 30% of whom are uninsured.3 Community health centers provided more than 240,600 medical visits and saw a 9% increase in patients served, caring for 110,363 patients through the Safety Net in 2021.4  Robust investments in the Health Care Safety Net Fund ensure community health centers can continue to provide care to the most vulnerable and underserved Tennesseans. Safety Net funding will be even more critical over the next several months as TennCare undertakes the process of redetermining eligibility for folks with coverage, and more Tennesseans become uninsured.  
[1]  Tennessee Health Center Program Uniform Data System Data (2022). HRSA. Retrieved from
[2]  021 Uninsured Adult Healthcare Safety Net Annual Report (2022) Tennessee Department of Health Publications. Tennessee Department of Health. Retrieved from: 
[3]  Tennessee Health Center Program Uniform Data System Data (2022). HRSA. Retrieved from 
[4]  2021 Uninsured Adult Healthcare Safety Net Annual Report (2022) Tennessee Department of Health Publications. Tennessee Department of Health. Retrieved from:  



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