April 21, 2014

FY15 Budget to Propose Expansion of NHSC

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Increase in FY15 and Extension of Funding Beyond FY16 McLean, VA – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) applauds the White House proposal to extend the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program through FY2020 and expand the program to include up to 15,000 primary care providers. The program provides loan repayment and scholarships for primary care providers who work in underserved areas of the country. "The President has shown once again that he strongly supports this … [Read more...]

Congressional Budget Deal Unveiled

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Sequester Will Still Cut NHSC Funding We have written several times about the sequester’s impact on the National Health Service Corps, and like many, had hoped that the entire sequester would be eliminated through the bipartisan budget negotiations.  However, the Budget Deal announced today leaves intact the part of the sequester that impacts the NHSC funding. The Budget Deal does reduce a large portion of the cuts on the discretionary side of budget.  This means that programs that are … [Read more...]

Health Insurance Marketplace Launches

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Beginning today -- October 1 -- uninsured people can shop online for health insurance. If they enroll by December 15, their coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. The Health Insurance Marketplace for consumer is one of the most significant provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Millions of currently uninsured people will gain access to affordable insurance, some of them with subsidies, through the marketplace. Information for consumers is available at healthcare.gov (English) or … [Read more...]

What a Government Shutdown Means to Health Programs

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By Craig A. Kennedy, MPH By now you’ve heard or read enough news to know that a government shutdown is very possible come October 1st, but what does it mean to health care delivery?  Well, as you would expect, it means different things to different programs. Let’s start with the definition of a “government shutdown.”  The federal government’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, so by October 1st of each year Congress must pass and the President must sign appropriations bills to … [Read more...]

IT Resources for Safety Net Providers

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ACU and HIMSS are collaborating to promote Health IT resources and workforce-training opportunities available to support medically underserved communities as part of National Health IT Week, which begins today and goes through September 20. In the joint fact sheet on Health IT Resources for Safety Net and Rural Health Care Communities (PDF) being released today, ACU and HIMSS have identified available resources to help safety net providers overcome the unique challenges they face, including … [Read more...]

ACU Kicks off Campaign to Save the National Health Service Corps

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Washington D.C. ­– Today the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) launched a new campaign aimed at saving and preserving the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program. ACU was established in 1996 by participants and alumni of the NHSC, and in the 17 years since has consistently worked to enhance access to care in underserved communities. The NHSC, created in 1972, has worked to build healthy communities by placing dedicated health care professionals in underserved areas of … [Read more...]

August Policy Update: Student Loans and a Money Mess

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August Recess Sees Student Loan Issue Resolved, FY14 Appropriations Mess Washington DC – This week Congress starts its annual August District Work Period, which means they won’t be back in town until September 9th.  With the current fiscal year ending September 30th, Congress is currently scheduled to be in session only 9 days in September.  Recognizing this, House and Senate leaders were trying to move as many of the 12 annual appropriations bills as possible.  However, the House was only able … [Read more...]

National Health Service Corps Funding Update

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Senate Committee Passes Labor, HHS Funding Measure Late last week the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its funding proposal for Fiscal Year 2014 by a party-line vote of 16-14.  The bill funds all discretionary programs in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Departments as well as a number of other critical domestic programs. However, the Senate Committee did not provide any new funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). Indeed the bill is almost silent on … [Read more...]

Student Loan Update

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Senators Reach a Tentative Deal to Lower Interest Rates Low Today a bi-partisan group of Senators reached a deal that would lower the interest rates on college loans, change how the loan rate is determined, and introduce a cap on further increases. On July 1st the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4% to 6.8%, months after unsubsidized Stafford loans had also risen to 6.8% (see our previous update to learn more about the different types of loans). The agreement, … [Read more...]

ACU Partners in National Health IT Week 2013

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This September, ACU will partner to advance health information technology to help improve healthcare with approximately 200 public and private sector organizations to participating in the 8th Annual National Health IT Week (September 16-20, 2013).  National Health IT Week 2013 is the premier event offering all healthcare stakeholders an opportunity to unite under one banner, expressing the benefits that health information technology (IT) brings to U.S. healthcare. “One Voice, One … [Read more...]

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