On December 29, 2022, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a $1.7 trillion spending bill that will keep the federal government operating through the end of the federal budget year in September 2023. The bill provides $1.858 billion for the Health Center Program (a $110 million increase over FY22 enacted levels), with most of the increase set aside for HRSA programs and special initiatives.

The massive bill includes:

  • Ending HIV/AIDS Epidemic: $157.25 million ($35.25 million increase)
  • School-Based Health Center: $55 million ($25 million increase)
  • Early Childhood Development: $30 million ($25 million increase)
  • Native Hawaiian Health Care: $27 million ($5 million increase)
  • Alcee Hastings Advanced Cancer Screening: $10 million ($5 million increase)
  • Intimate Partner Violence: $2 million (Level Funding)
  • Technical Assistance for HCCNs: $2.5 million ($500K increase)
  • Extension of telehealth benefits, including audio-only for Medicare beneficiaries, until Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Investments in 12 months of postpartum coverage for pregnant women.
  • Multi-year extension for programs essential for child health and access to home- and community-based services, including CHIP extensions through FY2029, the Medicaid Money-Follows-the-Person program and spousal impoverishment protections through Sept. 30, 2027.
  • Funding for Medicaid and CHIP access to health care for justice-involved youth by helping them maintain coverage and get connected to services.
  • Major improvement to Medicare coverage for mental health services including payment for mental health mobile crisis units and coverage of intensive outpatient mental health care.
  • Improving treatment for opioid addiction by expanding providers’ ability to prescribe medication-assisted treatment.

The FY23 omnibus also included investments in key primary care workforce programs that benefit health centers:

  • National Health Service Corps: $126.5 million ($4 million increase)
  • Nurse Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program: $92.64 million ($4 million increase)
  • Mental and Behavioral Health: $44 million ($5 million increase)
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Development and Training Programs: $153 million ($30 million increase)
  • Primary Care Treatment and Enhancement: $49.9 million ($1 million increase)
  • Oral Health Training in Rural and Underserved Communities: $42.67 million ($2 million increase)
  • Nurse Practitioner Optional Fellowship Program with Preference for FQHCs: $6 million (Level Funding)

Information provided by Eric Kiehl, PACHC Director of Policy and Partnership.