Includes Hassan-Backed Provisions to Strengthen Mental Health Care, Train More Nurses, and Stop Unfair Health Care Facility Fees
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan voted to advance a bipartisan bill, which she helped develop, to extend funding for community health centers and boost primary care services. The package also includes provisions that she supported to strengthen mental health services, train more nurses, and stop unfair facility fees that hospitals charge.
“Community health centers serve as the backbone to many communities across New Hampshire, providing primary care, treatment for people struggling with opioid misuse, and other services at affordable costs,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad that we came together in a bipartisan way to advance this landmark package that includes key New Hampshire priorities I have pushed for: ensuring that patients can receive mental health and addiction treatment services at their local community health center, eliminating unfair fees for health care, and addressing the nursing shortage.”
“On behalf of New Hampshire Community Health Centers, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Senator Hassan who worked skillfully with her colleagues on both side of the aisle on the Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforce Act.” said Tess Kuenning, President and CEO of the Bi-State Primary Care Association. “This Act is the first step toward securing annually $5.8B in mandatory Health Center funding, investment in capital projects, expanding school-based health, expanding behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment, and adding key funding for workforce through tripling the NHSC and advancing the Teaching Health Center funds. Senator Hassan is a true champion of Community Health Centers, and her work will not only help New Hampshire, but Health Centers across the nation.”
The bipartisan package which Senator Hassan voted to advance out of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee provides in total more than $20 billion in funding to expand primary care and address the health care workforce shortage. Within that funding, $5.8 billion a year over the next three years will fund community health centers and increase health center base funding for the first time since 2015.
Key Additional Measures
Mental Health and Substance Misuse
The following provisions will expand mental health access and allow more patients struggling with substance misuse to access life-saving medication-assisted treatment, which Senator Hassan successfully pushed to expand access to when she passed into law the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. The bipartisan package includes:
Stopping Unfair Fees
Senator Hassan is leading a bipartisan effort to stop unfair facility fees that hospitals charge for services that are provided at a lower cost in a doctor’s office. The bipartisan package advanced today includes:
Health Care Workforce Training
Senator Hassan has also prioritized efforts to address workforce shortages in the health care field. The bipartisan package addresses this challenge in a number of ways including: