Menendez, Booker Announce $3.3M in Federal Funding for NJ Community Health Centers

Menendez, Booker Announce $3.3M in Federal Funding for NJ Community Health Centers

Vital health center funding will be cut if Congress fails to act by Sept. 30

  

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced $3,337,881 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) in New Jersey, essential funding to support their continued operation that could be cut off if Congress fails to reauthorize the National Health Center Program by Sept. 30. 

 “Our community health centers are the backbone of our health care system.  These important investments help keep our families and communities strong by providing essential preventive and primary care to those who might otherwise not have access,” said Sen. Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy.  “To let this necessary funding lapse would be a completely irresponsible assault on the health of our citizens.  The nearly half a million New Jerseyans who rely on these health centers deserve a long-term extension, not kick-the-can-down-the-road politics as usual. I will not leave vulnerable New Jerseyans behind, and I’m hopeful my colleagues will agree to come together to solve this issue.”

 “As the former Mayor of Newark, I know firsthand the incredible obstacles some of our most vulnerable families face in accessing healthcare,” said Sen. Booker. “By supporting New Jersey's federally qualified health centers, these funds will help address these health inequities by bringing high-quality, affordable health care services into some of our most underserved communities. Now more than ever, it’s imperative we remain committed to reauthorizing federal funding for FQHCs in order to help those most in need.”

 “Our health centers wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the federal funding Senators Menendez and Booker fight for every day,” said Jilian Hudspeth, President & CEO of the New Jersey Primary Care Association. “To go over the health center funding cliff would force health centers in New Jersey to cut services, make layoffs, delay expansions, and drastically hurt the nearly half a million New Jerseyans who rely on their services. Put simply: it would be a disaster.”

Unless Congress acts, the National Health Center Program faces a 70% reduction in funding by Sept. 30 when federal funding provided through the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) expires.  If left unaddressed, the funding cliff could mean the nationwide closure of 2,800 Health Center sites, cost more than 50,000 jobs and lead to the loss of access to care for more than nine million patients.

 

The following grants were awarded:

 

AtlantiCare Health Services                                                                                    

$175,700

City of Newark                                                                                                            

$175,700

Community Health Care, Inc

 

$175,700

Henry J. Austin Health Center Inc

$175,701

Horizon Health Center        

$175,279

Jewish Renaissance Medical Center                                                                        

$175,700

Lakewood Resource and Referral Center, Inc

$175,701

Metropolitan Family Health Network, Inc.      

$175,700

Monmouth Family Health Center       

$175,700

Newark Community Health Centers, Inc.              

$175,700

North Hudson Community Action Corp.  

$175,700

Ocean Health Initiatives, Inc.

$175,700

Paterson Community Health Center, Inc. 

$175,700

Project H.O.P.E., Inc

$175,700

Rutgers University                           

$175,700

Saint James Health Inc.

$175,700

Southern Jersey Family 

$175,700

Visiting Nurse Assoc. of Central Jersey Community Health Center, Inc.                   

$175,700        

 

Zufall Health Center, Inc.

$175,700

In New Jersey, 20 community health centers operate 130 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 483,113 New Jerseyans, including 221,553 Latinos and 150,813 African-Americans.

Last week, Sen. Menendez held a roundtable discussion with leaders of some of New Jersey’s leading health centers to discuss and address their concerns regarding the Health Center funding cliff.

videopost

CLICK TO WATCH FQHC ROUNDTABLE VIDEO

 

Sen. Menendez authored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that provided Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) $11 billion in mandatory funding over five years for new and existing programs and activities to expand access to primary care services. This funding technically ran out in 2015, but Congress extended the funding through the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, commonly known as MACRA. This funding is now set to expire after September 30, 2017. FQHCs also receive discretionary funding every year through the appropriations process but after the ACA, this discretionary funding has fallen making the mandatory funding critically important.

Sen. Menendez authored a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires private insurance plans on the exchange to fully reimburse FQHCs at no less than the same rate as Medicaid in order to ensure the economic vitality of community health centers and properly recognize them for the valuable role they play in the American health care system.

 

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