As Tuesday’s blog mentioned, the budget to be passed today by the House contains an assumed $600 million cut in community health center funding, however, until HHS-HRSA releases the details of the cuts we will not definitively know the final dollar amount. When asked what their funding priorities are, recently Mary Wakefield (Administrator for HRSA) and Jim Macrae (Associate Administrator HRSA and head of Bureau of Primary Health Care) responded (should a cut in base funding occur), that the priorities will be:
1) Federal Tort Claims act funding
2) Existing base grants for health centers
3) Continue existing activities from ARRA, including the 127 New Access Points and Increased Demand for Services
4) Expanded Services (announcement date dependent upon final appropriation)
5) New Access Points and Health Center Planning Grants (although not as many in number as before)
Unfortunately, the $25 million opportunity for behavioral health and substance abuse service expansion will be put on hold and may be available in FY 2012.