How Community Health Providers Are Coping with Funding Shortfalls


Critical providers of health services in low-income communities, from federally qualified health centers and community hospitals to behavioral health clinics and public health departments, are struggling with funding shortfalls as they try to meet increased demand for a wide range of patient services. And things may get worse, as some in Congress seek to reduce federal Medicaid funding, scale back Medicaid expansion, and decrease funding for public health programs.

To learn how these providers and communities are coping with financial constraints, Harvard’s Katherine Swartz and colleagues conducted dozens of interviews in eight North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin counties. A new post on To the Point highlights the often daunting challenges they face in trying to ensure the safety of public water supplies, provide adequate prenatal and infant care, meet oral health needs, and treat mental illness and substance use disorders.

“Ongoing changes to Medicaid payment, along with proposed eligibility modifications and fears of funding cutbacks, are causing grave concerns among community health leaders,” Swartz writes. As one county public health director reported, “We don’t have the capacity to deal with all who need help.”

Mother and baby at a Federally Qualified Health Center_1x1 Read the post How Community Health Providers Are Coping with Funding Shortfalls