Community Health Center Advocates Unite!
On Monday, March 2nd, Care For the Homeless (CFH) joined hundreds of advocates in Albany for the Community Health Center Association of New York State (CHCANYS) Advocacy Day. Our top priority was to advocate for important programs that facilitate the provision of comprehensive health care services for the vulnerable populations that we serve.
Two programs were our focus this year. The first is the Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) certification program, a certification that CFH has achieved, that supports access to comprehensive primary care services. Individuals who see primary care physicians at PCMH sites have fewer specialty visits and are less likely to receive care in emergency rooms. With the threat of Medicaid cuts, at the State level, we want to ensure that this program remains at its current funding level.
The second priority is to maintain level funding for the Diagnostic and Treatment Center Safety Net Pool that provides support for uninsured patients. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), like CFH, are on the front line of state health care challenges including the provision of care for uninsured patients. Fears in immigrant communities, in response to the new public charge rule at the Federal level, has resulted in an increase of uninsured visits, which correlates with a decrease in patients enrolled in Medicaid. This suggests that Medicaid-eligible individuals are disenrolling from a program that is crucial to ensuring that patients and their families have appropriate resources to stay healthy. Maintaining the safety net pool funding would allow community health centers to continue providing care for those most in need.
Providing high-quality, comprehensive primary and preventative healthcare to patients at Community Health Centers is the right thing to do, but it also saves public resources and ensures much better health outcomes. Join us in contacting your State representatives to advocate for:
- Level funding and continued support of the PCMH program
- Level funding for the Safety Net Pool
- Support for executive budget proposals that support access to care.