ACA funds to support National Health Service Corps

Posted on October 11, 2012 | No Comments

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Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $229.4 million invested in the National Health Service Corps. The investment will finance nearly 4,600 loan repayment and scholarship awards to clinicians and students, and grants to 32 states to support state loan repayment programs. The mission of the National Health Service Corps is to provide financial, professional, and educational support to medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers who will serve patient populations with limited access to quality health care. Since its establishment in 1970, the National Health Service Corps, has provided care to communities by supporting over 42,000 primary care providers.

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reauthorized funding for numerous existing discretionary programs and created multiple new discretionary grant programs and provided for each an authorization of appropriations. Funding for all these discretionary programs is subject to action by congressional appropriators. A new report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) summarizes all the discretionary spending provisions in ACA. The ACA permanently reauthorized the federal health centers program and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), which provides scholarships and student loan repayments to individuals who agree to a period of service as a primary care provider in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area. The ACA also reauthorized and expanded existing health workforce education and training programs under Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA). In addition, the Act created several new programs to increase training experiences in primary care, in rural areas, and in community-based settings, and provided training opportunities to increase the supply of pediatric subspecialists and geriatricians. It also expanded nursing workforce development programs. The ACA authorized several new grant programs with a focus on preventable or modifiable risk factors for disease (e.g., sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use) and leveraged mechanisms to improve the quality of health care, develop and disseminate innovative strategies for improving the quality of health care delivery, and support for care coordination programs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that ACA’s discretionary spending provisions, if fully funded, would result in appropriations of approximately $100 billion by 2021.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new Affordable Care Act (ACA) funded grants that will improve the quality of care at community health centers and ensure more women are screened for cervical cancer. The grants will help 810 community health centers become patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) and increase their rates of cervical cancer screening. The patient-centered medical home is a care delivery model designed to improve quality of care through better coordination, treating the many needs of the patient at once, increasing access, and empowering the patient to be a partner in their own care.
On July 7, 2011, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a Notice and Request for Comments on a proposed policy regarding the Affordable Care Act’s new requirements related to tax exempt hospitals’ community health needs assessment (CHNA) obligations. Section 9007 of the Act added new Section 501(r) to the Internal Revenue Code, which delineates a series of statutory requirements, outlined in a previous implementation brief, applicable to nonprofit hospitals that seek tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3). The purpose of the Treasury/IRS Notice is to both describe the agencies’ approach to implementing hospital organizations’ CHNA obligations and to invite comments regarding their proposals. The CHNA requirements are effective for taxable years beginning after March 23, 2012. However, the Notice specifies that hospitals currently engaged in conducting CHNA-related activities -- including development and wide publication of a needs assessment and adoption of an implementation strategy -- can rely on the policies contained in the Notice as they move forward.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a notice and request for comment (RFC) on the community health needs assessment requirement, which was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Part of a broader group of new rules and requirements for certain tax-exempt, 501(r) organizations, the community health needs assessment (CHNA) must be done every 3 years by the tax-exempt hospital. The CHNA must be made available to the public and include an "implementation strategy" that focuses on the particular health needs of the communities that these not-for-profit hospitals serve.
On November 19, 2010, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $8 million in grant money to community-based organizations that support community health centers. These grants are funded out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and are designed to pay for enhanced training and technical assistance to help modernize community health centers.
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced $335 million is available to community health centers nationwide through the Expanded Services Initiative. These funds, provided by the health reform law, are to be used to increase access to preventive and primary care.
The Department of Health and Human Services has announced grants of $727 million to Community Health Centers to address pressing construction and renovation needs. The health reform law makes available $11 billion over five years to fund the operation and expansion of these facilities that provide services for underserved communities.
On July 7, 2011, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a Notice and Request for Comments on a proposed policy regarding the Affordable Care Act’s new requirements related to tax exempt hospitals’ community health needs assessment (CHNA) obligations. Section 9007 of the Act added new Section 501(r) to the Internal Revenue Code, which delineates a series of statutory requirements, outlined in a previous implementation brief, applicable to nonprofit hospitals that seek tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3). The purpose of the Treasury/IRS Notice is to both describe the agencies’ approach to implementing hospital organizations’ CHNA obligations and to invite comments regarding their proposals. The CHNA requirements are effective for taxable years beginning after March 23, 2012. However, the Notice specifies that hospitals currently engaged in conducting CHNA-related activities -- including development and wide publication of a needs assessment and adoption of an implementation strategy -- can rely on the policies contained in the Notice as they move forward.
Permanently authorizes, and provides funding for, the Community Health Centers program and the National Health Service Corps.