National Health Reform: New Public Health Programs and Grant Opportunities

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National Health Reform: New Public Health Programs and Grant Opportunities

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 - 21:56
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Many new federal grants to state and local governments are frequently overlooked in the debate over health reform, as are the various private sector research and health services organizations. These grants provide the tools to drive improvements in access...

Many new federal grants to state and local governments are frequently overlooked in the debate over health reform, as are the various private sector research and health services organizations. These grants provide the tools to drive improvements in access to health care delivery and improved public health. Here are a few of these new initiatives:

  • A Prevention and Public Health Fund for prevention, wellness, and public health activities: $7 billion for fiscal years 2010 through 2015 and $2 billion for each subsequent year.
  • New funding for community health centers in the amount of $11 billion to be delivered over five years, beginning in 2011. Some of this funding may be used to support school-based health centers, and to bolster the National Health Service Corps, which makes loans to medical students and students in other health professions who agree to practice for a period in under-served areas.
  • Community transformation grants, available on a competitive basis to state and local governments and community-based organizations, for implementation, evaluation and dissemination of evidence-based community health activities. These grants are from a pot of new funding that begins with $500 million in 2010 and reaches $2 billion a year in 2015.
  • A one percent increase in the federal matching rate for states under Medicaid if their program covers certain evidence-based preventive services with no cost-sharing, including immunizations and smoking cessation products.
  • An additional $100 million for the 2011-2016 period for states that develop an evidence-based program for diabetes prevention, controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, weight control, and various chronic conditions related to those problems.
  • New grants totaling $100 million from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to states to set up Primary Care Extension Program Hubs, on a state or regional basis. Primary care physicians will receive education about preventive medicine, health promotion, chronic disease management, and mental health and substance abuse services.

This is just a sample from the large menu of new program initiatives and grant opportunities. State and local governments will be challenged to obtain these grant funds and make the programs effective. University-based Schools of Public Health and Public Policy, among others, can form partnerships with state and local governments to assist in program design and evaluation.