NCHC, Health Centers, Physicians Urge Congress to Avoid the 2017 Primary Care Cliff

NCHC, Health Centers, Physicians Urge Congress to Avoid the 2017 Primary Care Cliff

WASHINGTON, DC – At a Capitol Hill forum yesterday, The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and three leading primary care physician societies urged Congress to avoid an approaching funding cliff for health centers and workforce programs.

“Chronic disease is extremely costly. Primary care is the affordable solution—one that works to improve outcomes while reducing costs,” stated NCHC President & CEO John Rother. “For lawmakers looking for a bipartisan approach to health care, strong, sustained support for primary care would be a great start.”

Yesterday’s event, entitled Primary Care: High-Value Care for Underserved Communities, was the second of three forums on critical primary care challenges, co-hosted by NCHC, NACHC, The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), The American College of Physicians (ACP) and The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and workforce programs in underserved rural and urban communities, such as the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education, were highlighted for their vital roles and in a set of recommendations endorsed by NCHC and its co-hosting organizations.

“Community health centers and programs like the National Service Corps are bipartisan health care success stories. But for us to succeed, Congress must not take us over the primary care cliff,” says one of the event’s panelists Brenda Johnson, CEO of La Clinica Health Care, a community health center in Medford, OR.

Event panelists included Ms. Johnson; Dr. Kemi Alli, Chief Executive and Medical Officer of Henry J. Austin Medical Center in Trenton, NJ; Dr. William Golden, Medical Director of Arkansas Medicaid; and Dr. Julie Wood, Senior Vice President of Health of the Public and Interprofessional Activities at AAFP.

*A copy of the fact sheet with recommendations is available here.

The panelists’ presentations:
·         Dr. Kemi Alli
·         Dr. William Golden
·         Ms. Brenda Johnson
·         Dr. Julie Wood

Information on the upcoming third forum in this series, entitled Building a Stronger Primary Care Workforce, will be released in the coming weeks.