Health Center Partners is the region’s preeminent authority and health care policy advocate for community health centers, serving as the trusted voice for our members, who serve the health needs of communities throughout Southern California in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Health Center Partners ensures our members’ voices are heard, putting the issues confronting community health centers and their patients in front of lawmakers at the local, state and national levels to advance policies that expand access to care and improve health outcomes for Californians.
We partner with our state and national advocacy networks:
2019 STATE Supported Policies & Sponsored Legislation
Senate Bill 66 (Atkins and McGuire) Same Day Billing
In partnership with the Steinberg Institute, Advocates has moved forward with reintroducing Same Day Billing legislation. With a raging opioid epidemic, a greater appreciation for the intersection of primary care and mental health services, and the need to increase access to behavioral health preventive and diagnostic services, Advocates is excited to be working with the Steinburg Institute and the California Association of Public Hospitals on this important effort. Talking Points
Assembly Bill 899 (Wood) – Streamlining Expansion of Primary Care Facilities
Assembly Bill 899 will maximize the ability of community health centers to expand access to health care for all Californians, by giving them the option to utilize an existing outpatient clinic or previously licensed primary care clinic to meet the growing demand for services. In addition, this bill will also ensure that that the Community Clinics Advisory Committee is empaneled by 2020 to provide counsel and assistance to the regulators about the function and operation of CHCs. Talking Points
Assembly Bill 1494 (Aguiar-Curry) – Declared Emergencies
Assembly Bill 1494 would ensure that communities continue to receive timely access to care when disaster strikes. AB 1494 seeks to clarify state law to ensure that health centers can provide care to patients; through telephonic visits, in a shelter or in a patients home utilizing telehealth technology during a declared state of emergency. Talking Points
Protect the savings of the 340B Program for Medi-Cal Fee For Service and Managed Care
Governor Newsom signed Executive Order (N-01-19) to create a single-purchaser system of drugs in California. The Executive Order directs the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to transition all pharmacy services for Medi-Cal managed care to Fee For Service (FFS) by January 2021, which could effectively end the savings received through the 340B program and ultimately limit services and access for California’s low-income, vulnerable communities. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates is committed to ensuring the resources health centers need, which today come from 340B savings, remain. Staff developed talking points to use when meeting with legislators and key stakeholders on this issue. Advocates' staff asks that you share with us the results of your conversations so that we can be as coordinated as possible as we seek a solution that works for the Administration, Medi-Cal, health centers and patients.
2019 FEDERAL Supported Policies & Sponsored Legislation
Health Center Advocacy Network
Strong Medicaid Program
Preserve the FQHC Prospective Payment System (PPS) methodology within a strong Medicaid Program.
340B Drug Discount Pricing Program
Community Health Centers need continued, assured access to the 340B Program to sustain their essential model of care.
Allow FQHCs to be eligible for reimbursement in Medicare as both “distant and originating sites”, and to allow for reimbursement for remote patient monitoring.
Health Center Funding, Fiscal Cliff - TAKE ACTION HERE
$7.8 billion dollars in federal grant funding for the Community Health Center program was included in the bipartisan budget deal passed by Congress on February 8, 2018. Congress recognized the growing value of health centers by including an additional $600 million dollars to further support health center operations and address unmet need in communities across the country, as well as $60 million dollars to assist health centers in areas impacted by recent natural disasters. We are also grateful for the funding extensions of the National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education program, two vital resources that support the health center workforce.
Protect Medicaid (Medi-Cal)
Adequate Medicaid payments are essential to Health Centers’ viability and ability to innovate. Each health center’s unique, per-visit Medicaid payment is intended to cover the comprehensive set of services provided by the health center and covered by the Medicaid program. In addition to primary medical care, these services typically include dental, mental health, and pharmacy, and may also include services such as care management and health education.
Health Centers care for more than 1 in 6 Medicaid beneficiaries nationally
Health Centers provide care to 17% of all Medicaid beneficiaries, but Medicaid payments to health centers make up only 1.8% of total Medicaid spending
Health Centers’ Medicaid patient population is approximately double that of the general population
Health Centers save, on average, $2,371 (or 24%) per Medicaid patient when compared to other providers
Health Centers to have lower total spending per Medicaid patient compared to non-health centers within each of the states studied.
Health Centers save the Medicaid program $6 billion annually
Health Center patients with Medicaid have lower utilization of costly hospital and emergency department-related services compared to patients at other providers, even under managed care
Medicaid payments represent 43% of health centers’ total revenue, making it their largest revenue source.
Yet, despite serving increasing numbers of Medicaid patients, the amount of Medicaid revenue collected in 2016 only covered 80% of the cost associated with caring for that population, leading to a significant and unremitting uncompensated care gap for Health Center.
Read HCP's Op-Ed
The 340B Drug Discount Program is a US federal government program created in 1992 that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations and covered entities at significantly reduced prices.
Health Centers reinvest these "savings" in underserved communities to expand services, add staff, and increase access to care for families.
Common examples include:
Extended hours of operation for Federally Qualified Health Centers;
HIV clinics offering a full range of medical and mental health services for patients;
Hepatitis C clinics that provide lifesaving, curative treatments for Medi-Cal patients;
Post-operative services including “meds to beds” programs that allow patients to be discharged from major operations, like cardiac surgeries and organ transplants, with critical medications needed for proper recovery, and to ensure patients receive necessary follow-up with pharmacists;
Specialized treatments at infusion clinics, like those provided to patients with congestive heart failure, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis and cancer;
Case workers for individuals experiencing homelessness and additional support staff to address patients’ complicated care needs;
Increased access to specialty care through expanded transportation services to patients without reliable transportation;
Expanded pharmacy access for Medi-Cal and uninsured patients; and, much, much more.
Title X, The GAG Rule
Title X Family Planning Annual Report 2017 Summary
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule dramatically revising the Title X family planning program regulations.
- Prohibits Title X projects from referring for abortion as a method of family planning;
- Requires clear financial and physical separation between Title X projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning;
- Eliminates the requirement to provide options counseling to pregnant women, but permits nondirective counseling; and
- Requires that Title X grantees include, as part of their applications, a list of subrecipients and agencies or individuals providing referral by name, location, expertise and services provided or to be provided.
The final rule becomes effective May 3, 2019; however, certain elements (e.g., financial separation requirements) will not be enforced immediately, giving programs more time to comply.
About Title X
More than four million people rely on federal Title X funding to access contraception and other essential health care. Established in 1970, Title X provides affordable birth control and reproductive health care to people with low incomes, who couldn’t otherwise afford health care services on their own. Federal Title X funding helps ensure that every person — regardless of where they live, how much money they make, their background, or whether or not they have health insurance — has access to basic, preventive reproductive health care.
More than four million people rely on affordable birth control and reproductive health care services that are funded by Title X. Many of these people don’t even know Title X exists, but without it they wouldn’t be able to access this essential care.
The basic primary and preventive health care services provided by Title X include:
- Wellness exams
- Lifesaving cervical and breast cancer screenings
- Birth control
- Contraception education
- Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV testing
Joint Statement Opposing Public Charge
The proposed public charge regulation was published on the Federal Register and the comment period ended on December 10, 2018
Public Charge is a term used in immigration law to describe an individual who is dependent on the government for financial and material support. The likelihood that a person will become a public charge is considered when the U.S. State Department Embassy or Consular officers abroad review visa applications for entrance or re-entrance into the United States, as well as when USCIS reviews applications for legal permanent resident (LPR) status in the US (i.e. applying for a green card). Public charge is NOT taken into consideration for people who have LPR status and are applying to become U.S. citizens.
When determining if a person is likely to become a public charge, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires the government to consider a variety of factors, including the person’s age, health, resources, family size, and education and skills.
The proposed rule would amend the definition of public charge and would expand the public benefit programs currently considered in the public charge determination. At the moment the only public benefit programs considered are cash assistance (like TANF) and institutionalized long term care on the government’s expense.
It is vital our patients and their families continue to access medical care and other social services without fear of adverse immigration consequences as healthy families are better able to assimilate and contribute to the U.S. economy
WE STILL NEED YOUR VOICE - Stay Loud!
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