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Community Health Centers’ Role in Delivering Care to the Nation’s Underserved Populations During the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, community health centers are serving as public health responders, especially for medically underserved populations. Health centers are a national network of safety net primary care providers who provided care to nearly 30 million patients in 2019, and disproportionately serve patients who are low-income, persons of color, uninsured, or publicly insured – groups that have been especially hard hit by the pandemic. This brief examines how health centers have adapted their service delivery models during the pandemic response and the current challenges they face continuing to meet patients’ needs.

Community Health Centers and Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, emerging evidence suggests drug overdoses, including opioid overdoses, are increasing. As safety net primary care providers, community health centers play a significant role in efforts to address the ongoing opioid crisis and have become a major source of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the standard of care for those with opioid use disorder (OUD). This issue brief presents findings from a 2019 survey of community health centers on activities related to the prevention and treatment of OUD, with a focus on MAT, to assess services and capacity prior to the recent surge in need.

Big Questions for the Health Policy Community Emerging From the Coronavirus Crisis

With so many Americans dying, and so many more suffering severe economic hardship, it’s hard to look over the horizon at the larger questions the COVID-19 crisis will bring. The current emergency requires everyone’s attention 24/7. But an emerging set of questions will fall right in the bailiwick of the health…

Community Health Centers in a Time of Change: Results from an Annual Survey

With health centers playing an important role in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, findings from the KFF/Geiger Gibson 2019 Community Health Center Survey provide important information on health centers’ financial situation and their experiences in a changing policy environment. After years of growth following implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changes in Medicaid, public charge, and Title X family planning policies, among others, carry important implications for low-income patients as well as health center operations and revenue.

Many Community Health Centers Report That Immigrant Patients Are Declining to Enroll in Medicaid or Renew Their Coverage Amid Concerns About Changes to Public Charge Rules

Nearly half (47%) of community health centers report that many or some immigrant patients declined to enroll themselves in Medicaid in the past year, according to a new KFF survey, and nearly a third (32%) of centers say that some patients dropped or decided not to renew such coverage. Interviews…

Impact of Shifting Immigration Policy on Medicaid Enrollment and Utilization of Care among Health Center Patients

On August 14, 2019, the Trump administration published a final rule to broaden the programs the federal government will consider in public charge determinations to include Medicaid coverage for non-pregnant adults and certain previously excluded nutrition and housing programs. To learn about the possible early effects of the public charge rule and other immigration policies on patients at community health centers, this brief draws on interviews and survey data to capture health center directors’ and staff’s perceptions of changes in coverage and service use among their patients who are immigrants.

Facing a Potential Funding Crunch, Community Health Centers in Medically Underserved Areas Around the Country Report They Are Considering Reductions in Staffing and Services That Would Limit Patients’ Access to Care

With a key source of federal funding set to expire in September, community health centers across the country are considering steps to reduce staffing, close some locations and eliminate or reduce services as they cope with uncertainty about their future financing, according to a new KFF/GWU survey and analysis.

Community Health Centers Prepare for Funding Uncertainty

With the Community Health Center Fund, a key source of federal funding, set to expire in September, community health centers across the country are considering steps to reduce staffing, close some locations and eliminate or reduce services as they cope with uncertainty about their future financing.

Addressing the Opioid Crisis: Medication-Assisted Treatment at Health Care for the Homeless Programs

Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs, a subset of community health centers, play a significant role in addressing the opioid epidemic by providing medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT, which combines one of three medications (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with behavioral therapies, is the standard of care for opioid use disorder (OUD). This brief presents findings from an analysis of health center data on the provision of buprenorphine-based MAT, as well as interviews with providers and administrators from 12 HCH programs about strategies they adopted to implement MAT programs.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.