Los Angeles Community Health Centers Urge Congress To Secure Health Center Funding

Posted: September 20, 2017

Health Centers Face a 70 Percent Decrease in Funding by September 30th

September 19, 2017 – Los Angeles – Right now, health centers throughout Los Angeles County are threatened with losing 70 percent of their federal funding, which will impact how people access care. The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) and its members are urging Congress to take action to secure this funding for community health centers.

“Congress must act now to protect the key programs that make health centers and the services they provide possible,” said Louise McCarthy, president and CEO, Community Clinic Association of LA County, “Over the past five years health centers have expanded access and transformed care for their communities. They’ve created jobs and made major investments into their local economies. This funding ensures the ongoing viability of our program and the progress we’ve made.”

Unless Congress supports and passes legislation that reauthorizes the Health Center Program funding by the end of the month, health centers will see a reduction in funding that will have a direct and immediate impact on the health of Los Angeles County communities as 1.5 million residents rely on health centers for care, 31 percent of whom are uninsured.

“If Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) loses 70 percent of our $12.2 million HRSA grant it would impact our cash flow, NEVHC’s net revenues, and our Homeless Subrecipient agencies because we would have to pass a funding cut along to them,” said  Kim Wyard, CEO, Northeast Valley Health Corporation. “$8.4 million represents nearly 9 percent of NEVHC budgeted revenues.  We don’t have these kind of profit margins to begin to absorb such a cut. We would have to reduce staff and scale back on future expansions.  Banks would be reluctant to increase lines of credit and lending institutions would be reluctant to make loans until we could demonstrate a turnaround plan and bring monthly expenses in line with revenues.  Since 70 percent of our costs are in wages and benefits, and the other 30 percent includes fixed costs such as insurance and leases, most of the cost reductions would have to come from staffing.”

“If health center funding isn’t continued tens of thousands of patients in South Los Angeles will lose access to critical healthcare services,” Jim Mangia, President and CEO, St. John’s Well Child & Family Center “ St John’s will lose more than $7 million in funding and will be forced to close clinic sites and cut services for more than 5,000 patients.  We urge Congress to step up and fund this vital program!”

East Valley Community Health Center will lose $3.5 million in funding. 3,570 patients will lose access to the medical, dental and/or mental health services they currently receive at East Valley,” said Alicia Mardini, CEO, of East Valley Community Health Center.

“Venice Family Clinic stands to lose more than $3 million in funding if the Health Centers Fund is not renewed by September 30,” said Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO, Venice Family Clinic. “This would jeopardize access to care for nearly 2,000 men, women, and children who rely on the Clinic to get well and stay well. Congress needs to get serious about this issue and act now to protect public health.”

“At Valley Community Healthcare in the east San Fernando Valley, we stand to lose $3M in funding, and almost 6,500 patients will lose access to our services that include primary care, women’s health, pediatrics, dental, optometry, and behavioral health,” said Roger A. Peeks, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Valley Community Healthcare.  “In addition, this funding loss could force the closure of our recently opened North Hills Wellness Center, which currently sees 5,000 medically underserved men, women, and children annually, and employs 56 staff members.”

Nationally, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) itself has projected that the impact of a $3.6 billion reduction in funds would be dramatic closure of 2,800 health center locations, elimination of more than 50,000 jobs, and a loss of access to care for more than 9 million patients.

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 62 members that operate over 350 clinic sites throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services.

Contact:

Cynthia Carmona, (213) 201-6500
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
700 S. Flower Street, Suite 3150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

 

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