Vermont and NH team up to save community health centers

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Vermont and NH team up to save community health centers

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine If the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program is not funded by Congress, 24 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Vermont and New Hampshire, providing primary care to over 260,000 residents, will lose 70 percent of their funding beginning in January. The Health Centers have halted planned service expansions, including much-needed treatment programs for substance use disorders. Hiring freezes have been implemented, staff morale is low, and patients are wondering if their health center will still be there in the future.

In response, the governors and congressional delegations from Vermont and New Hampshire have made an extraordinary effort to avoid the impending loss of jobs and access to health care in both states by writing joint letters to Congress urging reauthorization of funding for at least five years for the Community Health Center program.

The letters promote the health centers as a cost-effective part of the health care system. They also play a vital role in treating veterans, homeless and substance users at a time when the opioid epidemic is plaguing the nation and straining state budgets.

As community-based and managed nonprofits, the Health Centers have been an integral part of their communities for more than 30 years in Vermont and New Hampshire. They provide integrated primary medical, oral, and mental health services in medically underserved areas and offer a sliding fee for uninsured and underinsured patients. The Health Center Program has earned bipartisan support for more than 50 years, spanning three Republican and two Democratic administrations.

The letters written by Senators Leahy, Sanders, Shaheen and Hassan, and Governors Scott and Sununu, are also available online at: www.bistatepca.org.

Joint Letter - Governors

Joint Letter - Senators

About Bi-State Primary Care Association

Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that represents Community Health Centers and supporting organizations that provide health care services to more than 300,000 people at 128 locations throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Bi-State supports access to high quality, effective and affordable primary health care with an emphasis on reaching medically and geographically underserved populations. Bi-State Primary Care Association was founded as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization in 1986 and has offices in Bow, New Hampshire and Montpelier, Vermont.

MONTPELIER, VT – December 14, 2017 – Bi-State Primary Care Association