Rep. Stanley Files Bills Benefiting Community Health Centers
Rep. Stanley filed a bill with Rep. Honan to establish a community health center transformation fund. The legislation would establish a new pool of dedicated funding to stabilize community health centers facing demonstrated financial distress as well as provide a critical financing mechanism for other urgently needed investments such as the development of diverse workforce pipelines, helping to ensure the preservation of low-cost, high-quality accessible primary care at more than 300+ community health center sites across the state. With their high public-payer mix, inadequate payment, and commitment and obligation to a model of care that prioritizes community need and access, health centers have long experienced financial strain, with many experiencing negative operating margins and low cash-on-hand. COVID-19 has served to reinforce the peril of this tenuous financial baseline.
Rep. Stanley also filed legislation to ensure continuity of state-level student loans repayment programs such as those created through Chapter 224 and the Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund (now depleted), as well as the statewide investments currently funded and administered through the 1115 MassHealth Demonstration which are slated to sunset at the end of the current waiver period in 2022. Clinician loan repayment has long been demonstrated as effective workforce recruitment and retention tool, both at the state and federal levels. Loan repayment helps ensure that health centers and the communities they serve have continued access to a high-quality clinical workforce.