Contact: Amy Simmons Farber, Director of Communications, 301 347-0400
On behalf of the country’s more than 1400 health centers and the 27 million patients they serve, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) deeply appreciates Congress’ continued investments in the Community Health Center Program as included in the FY18 omnibus legislation.
The bill signed into law today builds upon Congress’ historic commitments to health centers by providing $1.626 billion in discretionary federal grant funding to support and expand primary care access in over 10,000 rural and urban communities in the U.S. Combined with last month’s extension of the mandatory Community Health Center Fund, this brings the total funding for community health centers in FY18 to $5.4 billion; an increase of more than $300 million to support the essential work of health centers across the country.
We are additionally grateful for Congress’ acknowledgement of the critical role health centers play in combatting the opioid epidemic by directing some of this funding toward quality improvement or service expansion grants to support behavioral health, mental health, or substance abuse disorder services. These investments, along with additional support for the National Health Service Corps, and the replenishment of both the Health Center Loan Guarantee Program and the Federal Tort Claims Act judgment fund, will ensure that health centers can continue to provide access to high quality, affordable health care for underserved communities in every state and territory.