Federal Officials Put Rush on Stimulus Grants for Community Clinics
Last week, the federal government awarded $338 million in grants to help community clinics treat more patients and hire more health care providers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The grants are part of the federal economic stimulus package that President Obama signed in February.
Federal officials expedited the release of the funds to help clinics treat growing numbers of uninsured residents.
Other Financial Pressures
Community clinics in California are welcoming the stimulus funding, but some clinics warn that efforts to address the state budget deficit could force cuts to programs that fund mental health, dental and vision services at clinics (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/5).
For example, California is set to cut $120 million in state funding for optional Medi-Cal services, including:
- Dental care;
- Psychological care;
- Podiatry; and
- Speech therapy.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
The Medi-Cal cuts are rooted in how much money California will receive through the federal stimulus package for general budget relief (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 4/6).
Because the state is not expected to receive at least $10 billion in stimulus funds that can be used for programsÂ the state general fund finances, personal income tax rates will increase by 0.25 percentage points and government services will be cut by an additional $948 million, including the Medi-Cal service cuts and a 10% reimbursement reduction for public hospitals.
The cuts are slated to take effect July 1 (California Healthline, 3/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.