In the greater Houston area, more than 200,000 people depend on health care centers like HOPE Clinic for their primary medical, dental, and behavioral health needs. HOPE Clinic sees patients regardless of their insurance status, ability to pay, or immigration status. However, with the funding that support these centers at risk, there is an urgent call to contact elected officials to help secure funding for community health centers. A press conference was held on February 6, 2018 to discuss the integral part of community health centers in the greater Houston area. The press conference was covered by CW39-KIAH.
En el área metropolitana de Houston, más de 200,000 personas dependen de los centros de salud comunitarios como la Clínica HOPE para sus necesidades primarias médicas, dentales y servicios psiquiátricos. La Clínica HOPE atiende a pacientes independientemente de su estado de seguro, capacidad de pago o estado migratorio. Sin embargo, con los fondos que respaldan estos centros de salud en riesgo, existe un llamado urgente para contactar a los funcionarios electos para ayudar a asegurar el financiamiento para los centros de salud comunitarios. Una conferencia de prensa se llevó a cabo en la Clínica HOPE el 6 de febrero de 2018 para discutir la necesidad de los centros de salud comunitarios y la urgencia de continuar financiando en el área metropolitana de Houston. La conferencia de prensa fue cubierta por Telemundo KTMD.
February 6, 2018
HOPE CLINIC URGES TEXAS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO EXTEND FUNDING FOR HEALTH CENTERS
The staff, patients and board members of the Asian American Health Coalition dba HOPE Clinic are joining the call to urge lawmakers on Capitol Hill to extend funding for Community Health Centers and preserve affordable health care in Houston, Texas. The appeal to extend funding comes after months of living under a “funding cliff.” Critical funding for health centers and other programs expired on October 1, 2017. Every health center, including HOPE Clinic has had to make tough budget choices to ensure they can continue to provide care.
“Our clinics are vital to meeting the health needs of our communities,” said Dr. Andrea Caracostis, CEO of Hope Clinic. “We want Congress to pass a long-term funding solution for the Trust Fund, similar to recent legislation reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the next six years.”
The call to fix the funding cliff comes as patients, doctors and staff at health centers face a ticking clock, with a substantial portion of federal funding only to last until next month. In Texas, going over the “cliff” would mean a loss of $166,935,399 in funding, with nearly 200,000 patients losing access to health care, and leading to a much larger ripple effect impacting hundreds of thousands more across the state. Health centers, which currently serve 27 million patients nationally and more than 1.3 million in Texas, are already enacting hiring freezes, cutting back key programs and services for patients, and facing site closures. Not only will the funding cliff trigger job losses in the local economy, on a national scale it means the closure of 2,800 health center sites, loss of health care access for 9 million patients, and more than 50,000 jobs lost.
ABOUT COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) provide primary health care such as medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy and also provide enabling services like health education, transportation and case management. Health centers serve patients in medically underserved communities regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. In Texas there are more than 75 community health centers in Texas, spread out over 460 delivery sites in 125 counties. Nationally, 1 in 12 Americans get their health care from a Community Health Center.