(Bethesda, Maryland, Friday, March 27, 2020) – Community Health Centers are the best investment Congress can make to ensure the health and strength of communities. For every $1 of federal funds, an average of $5.73 is generated in local communities.
Community Health Centers are often the main employer and sole health care provider in communities across the country – serving 29 million patients and employing 300,000 people in 12,000 Community Health Center service sites.
The emergency supplemental must address immediate and long-term funding for Community Health Centers.
- Increasing expenses due to COVID-19 response and decreased revenue as a result of non-essential services, e.g. dental and routine preventive care, being shut down is making a perilous situation even worse.
- Community Health Centers and Essential Workforce Programs must be stabilized for five years. After the COVID-19 emergency, there will be more people who are unemployed and uninsured.
Telemedicine is playing a central role in the COVID-19 response to safely assess patients while containing the spread of infection in health care settings. Legislation is necessary to allow health centers to be included as an “eligible provider” and gain the ability to bill as “distant sites” through Medicare.
In order to provide access to quality care to more patients, health centers need to boost infrastructure, expand telehealth capabilities, upgrade equipment and Information Technology and support capital costs associated with expanding or adding Substance Use Disorder services.
The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) was founded in 1971 to promote efficient, high quality, comprehensive health care that is accessible, culturally and linguistically competent, community directed, and patient centered for all.