Health Centers Holding the Line Until Congressional Funding Arrives
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
DENVER -- Colorado's community health centers have done a complete refiguring of their health delivery models in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and are set to take an enormous hit in their ability to continue to provide care if Congress doesn't approve critical funding.
Polly Anderson, vice president for strategy and financing with the Colorado Community Health Network, said centers also don't have enough personal protective gear for workers or enough testing kits.
"Health centers need immediate funds to stay operational to continue to serve on the front line of this public health crisis," Anderson said. "We also need Congress to act and reauthorize the federal funding for these programs so that we are not in a month-to-month situation when we're most needed."
Federal stopgap funding for centers passed in December but is set to expire on May 22, and Anderson said many staff could face furloughs without additional support. Centers will be reimbursed for telehealth services by providers already approved to bill Medicaid after Gov. Jared Polis announced temporary relief.
But Anderson noted the measure only will cover a portion of the centers' overall costs. She said Congress also should allow reimbursements for telehealth care for Medicare patients, a group at serious risk for complications from COVID-19.
In addition to encouraging clients to follow CDC guidelines to slow the spread of infections, centers are now separating wellness visits from patients showing symptoms.
"Health centers are here for you," Anderson said. "Call before you visit so that they can follow their localized procedures on screening and making sure that we're not exposing individuals to unneeded contact with other individuals."
She said health centers that serve all Coloradans regardless of their ability to pay will continue to do all they can with staff who are mission-driven and dedicated to their patients and their communities, even as they are also concerned with how to keep their own families safe and well.
get more stories like this via email
Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…
A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …
Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…
Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …
Environmental groups are pleased with an Iowa Utilities Board ruling that requires MidAmerican Energy to make planning studies public for its Iowa Win…
Under a new project, locally sourced food is part of a food assistance program for members of the Lummi Tribe in northwest Washington. The Food …
By Francesca Mathewes for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journal…
Missourians can now see how often their schools use seclusion and restraint to address student behavior. A 2021 law requires that schools report …