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Below is a selection of recent health policy and regulatory news and information relevant to health centers and PCAs. For regular updates, subscribe to Capital Link’s blog and access the following links:
FY17 Budget Proposes Funding for Health Centers through FY19
On February 9, 2016, it was announced that the President’s FY 2017 budget proposes a total of $5.1 billion in funding for Community Health Centers, including $1.35 billion in discretionary funds and $3.75 billion in mandatory funds. The budget also calls for extensions of mandatory funding for health centers for two additional years beyond the funding currently in place through FY17. Read more, including NACHC's statement on this proposal, here.
FY16 Omnibus Appropriations Legislation Includes Funding for Health Center Growth
On December 17, 2015, after long negotiations, Congress passed a $1.8 trillion spending package, which includes discretionary funding of almost $1.5 billion for the Health Center Program. This is in addition to the $3.6 billion in mandatory funding provided earlier this year through H.R. 2. The legislation specifies that no less than $150 million be spent on construction and capital improvements and no less than $200 million be spent on expansions of health center capacity, including new delivery sites and the addition of services such as dental and behavioral health. Read more here and here.
New Markets Tax Credit Program Updates
FY17 Budget Proposes to Make the NMTC Permanent at $5 Billion in Authority
February 9, 2016 – The President's fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget includes a proposal for the permanent extension of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC), which promotes investments in low-income communities, providing $5 billion in annual allocation authority. Read the more on the NMTC Coalition blog.
Five-Year NMTC Program Extension
On December 18, 2015, the House and Senate passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) for FY16, which includes a five-year extension of the NMTC Program at an allocation level of $3.5 billion annually. Read more here.
NMTC Coalition Celebrates 15th Anniversary of the NMTC
On December 21, 2000, President Bill Clinton celebrated the signing of H.R. 4577, appropriations legislation that included the provisions of the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act and the New Markets Tax Credit. Since then nearly $75 billion in capital has flowed to distressed rural and urban communities nationwide. Health centers have benefitted from almost $1 billion in financing through the NMTC program. A video of President Clinton's 2000 speech can be found here.
CMS Announces Funding Opportunity to Discover How Addressing Social Needs can Improve Health
On January 5, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new funding opportunity of up to $157 million to test whether screening for health-related social needs and facilitating navigation of community-based services will improve quality and affordability in Medicare and Medicaid. The goal of the five-year Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center program, called the Accountable Health Communities Model, is that beneficiaries struggling with unmet health-related social needs are aware of the community-based services available to them and receive assistance accessing those services. A link to the funding announcement can be found here.