Virginia Association of Free Clinics<br />&<br />Virginia Rural Health Association<br />
Free Clinics & Health Care Reform <br />How did free clinics fare in the Stimulus Package?<br />The President’s proposed budget and health care.<br />Congress and health care reform.<br />Where do free clinics fit in the discussion?<br />
Stimulus Package<br /><ul><li>Free Clinics were not named in the House or Senate version of the stimulus package.
NAFC encouraged members to send letters to their House and Senate representatives to change the language.
NAFC members did raise awareness of the free clinic community but no money was specifically set aside for free clinics.</li></li></ul><li>Stimulus Package<br />Community Health Centers received $2.5 billion in the Stimulus Package<br /><ul><li>NAFC encouraged members to send letters to their House and Senate representatives to change the language.
NAFC members did raise awareness of the free clinic community but no money was specifically set aside for free clinics.
There are three specific areas that MAY BE possible funding areas for free clinics</li></li></ul><li>Stimulus Package<br />HIT Regional Extension Centers. <br />Agency HHS. Amount Awarded : Not Specified. $300 million is expected for regional efforts<br /><ul><li>To provide regional technical assistance, to promote best practices, and to support efforts to accelerate adoption of HIT
Non-Profits Focus on: Public or not-for-profit hospitals or critical access hospitals; FQHCs; rural and other areas that serve medically underserved individuals; and Individual or small group practices focused on primary care
After year 2, a regional center may receive additional funding for positive results
funding can account for no more than 50% of operational and facilities funding</li></li></ul><li>Stimulus Package<br />HIT Regional State Grants. <br />Agency HHS. Amount Awarded : Not Specified. <br /><ul><li>Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the National Coordinator, to make available planning and implementation grants to a state or state-qualified entity to promote health IT.
State and “state-qualified entities,” are a not-for-profit entity with broad stakeholder representation; demonstrate that one of its principal goals is to use information technology to improve health care quality and efficiency through the authorized and secure electronic exchange and use of health information; adopt nondiscrimination and conflict of interest policies that demonstrate a commitment to open, fair, and nondiscriminatory participation by stakeholders. </li></li></ul><li>Stimulus Package<br />Rural Community Centers<br />Department of Agriculture. $130 million through grants and loans<br /><ul><li>Provides federal funding to support loans and grants for essential rural community facilities including hospitals, health clinics, health and safety vehicles and equipment, public buildings, child & elder care facilities
Public entities, such as municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, and non-profits. Funds to be used in rural areas and towns with populations up to 20,000 and will be authorized on a graduated scale; and Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants</li></li></ul><li>President’s Proposed Budget and Health Care<br />The fiscal 2010 Budget sets aside a "reserve fund" of $634 billion as a "down payment" on the costs of universal health care coverage over 10 years. <br />8 SPECIFIC POINTS TO THE PLAN<br />1. Protect Families’ Financial Health. The plan must reduce the growing premiums and other costs American citizens and businesses pay for health care. People must be protected from bankruptcy due to catastrophic illness.<br />2. Make Health Coverage Affordable. The plan must reduce high administrative costs, unnecessary tests and services, waste, and other inefficiencies that consume money with no added health benefits.<br />
President’s Proposed Budget and Health Care<br />3. Aim for Universality.The plan must put the United States on a clear path to cover all Americans. <br />4. Provide Portability of Coverage. People should not be locked into their job just to secure health coverage, and no American should be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.<br />5. Guarantee Choice.The plan should provide Americans a choice of health plans and physicians. They should have the option of keeping their employer-based health plan.<br />6. Invest in Prevention and Wellness. The plan must invest in public health measures proven to reduce cost drivers in our system-such as sedentary lifestyles and smoking- as well as guarantee access to proven preventive treatments.<br />
President’s Proposed Budget and Health Care<br />7. Improve Patient Safety and Quality Care.The plan must ensure the implementation of proven patient safety measures and provide incentives for changes in the delivery system to reduce unnecessary variability in patient care. It must support the widespread use of health information technology and the development of data on the effectiveness of medical interventions to improve the quality of care delivered.<br />8. Maintain Long-Term Fiscal Sustainability. The plan must pay for itself by reducing the level of cost growth, improving productivity, and dedicating additional sources of revenue<br />
President’s Health Care Forum and Free Clinics<br />In early March, the President brought together a Health Care Forum to discuss reforms.<br />Free Clinics were not invited.<br />NAFC started a letter writing campaign to the White House.<br />The NAFC has not heard from the White House at all.<br />If you have not written a letter please take time to do so.<br />You can use the NAFC letter, or write you own and send it to the President by visiting http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/<br />
Congress and Health Care Reform<br />The House of Representatives passed HR 3200 on Nov. 7th.<br />There was no reference to free clinics in the bill.<br />HR 3200 has no reference to expansion of FTCA, 340B pricing or inclusion of free clinics under the medical home provision in the bill<br />NAFC members asked for the inclusion of free clinics in the bill, but it did not happen.<br />The bill has been sent to the Senate for vote.<br />
Congress and Health Care Reform<br /><ul><li>The Senate has two bills that they are trying to combine for a vote on the floor of the Senate.
Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health Education Labor and Pension Committee.
In the Finance Committee bill , free clinics would like to be included as a cost savings organization.
In the HELP legislation, the free clinics are requesting inclusion under the “Essential Provider “ title.
Currently free clinics are not included in either of these bills.</li></li></ul><li>Congress and Health Care Reform<br />Free Clinics are hoping the Senate will include <br />in their legislation: <br /><ul><li>Expansion of the Federal Torts Claims Act
Funding for Health Information Technology implementation money for free clinics
Expansion of 340B pricing</li></li></ul><li>Lessons Learned<br /><ul><li>NAFC is hopeful clinics will be named in these bills to ensure free clinics will have access to grants monies (if clinics choose), and so that the public will continue to support clinics.
The question being asked most commonly is what happens to our patients if this bill goes through?
We know the legislation will not fully go into effect until 2019
We know that in 2019 there will still be 25 million uninsured
We know that our patients consider our clinics medical homes
We also know that across the country our clinics are seeing a 20% decrease in funding, which many are saying is because of health care reform.
Free clinics need to talk to their Senators to make sure clinics and their patients are protected.</li></li></ul><li>Contact: <br />Nicole Lamoureux<br />NAFC’s Executive Director<br />1800 Diagonal Road Suite 600<br />Alexandria VA 22315<br />703-647-7427<br />NLamoureux@freeclinics.us<br />