Issues

2016 NAFC Public Policy Priorities – This document details the NAFC 2016 Public Policy Statements and priorities for the organization and its members. READ MORE

Some of the NAFC Public Policy priorities include:

  • Medication Access and Affordability
    • Access to affordable medication is critical for individuals to combat the diseases they are diagnosed with. The high costs of many medications make it almost impossible for the medically underserved and working poor to afford. These individuals end up being forced to make tough choices which result in missed dosages, splitting dosages and in many cases not taking their medication due to these affordability challenges. 80% of clinics report that the high cost of medication is one of the largest challenges for the medically underserved in communities across the country. The NAFC encourages Congress to ensure that medication access is a priority for all Americans through the continued protection of the $4 medication formulary and of Medicare part D and by increasing access to affordable generic medication. The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics also urges Congress to expand the 340B - pricing program to include Free & Charitable Clinics as eligible sites to receive this medication.
       
  • Volunteer Engagement
    • Expansion of the Federal Torts Claim Act
      • The NAFC AFC) encourages Congress to support broadened coverage under FTCA for the Free Clinic entity. While we are extremely pleased that health care reform expanded FTCA coverage to Free Clinic staff, the expansion did not cover the Free Clinic entity. The NAFC would like Congress to remove the restrictive language regarding receipt of government funds, fee for service governmental programs (i.e. BCCSP) and billing on a sliding fee scale that disqualifies some clinics for coverage and the NAFC is encouraging Congress to streamline the application and deeming process for Free & Charitable Clinics to mirror the one-time application process that is already in place for Federally Qualified Health Centers. Currently the application process is burdensome, confusing and time consuming which therefore requires more administrative times on the applications and therefore limits the time available for patient care.
         
  • Quality Improvement Initiatives
    • Health Information Technology Affordability
      • Health Information Technology is a priority of this Congress and the Administration. Free & Charitable Clinics would like to be an active participant in this arena; however, the cost of HIT is prohibitive for many Free & Charitable Clinics that rely on donations, grants and volunteers to provide service to the uninsured.  The NAFC urges Congress to expand the funding and programs for Health Information Technology and adoption and utilization for Free & Charitable Clinics.
    • Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
      • Nursing staff and volunteers expand access to medical care across the U.S. in Free and Charitable Clinics. Nurses provide health care, health education and clinical experiences, however, the cost of education for nurses is at times cost prohibitive. The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program allows registered nurses (including advanced practice registered nurses and nursing faculty) to help to create healthy communities in poor urban and rural areas as they build their own careers by paying off 60 percent of their unpaid nursing student 4 loans in just 2 years – plus an additional 25 percent of the original balance for an optional third year. In return, NURSE Corps members fulfill a service obligation at one of the thousands of eligible nonprofit hospitals, clinics, nursing schools and other facilities located in designated mental health or primary medical care Health Professional Shortage Areas across the U.S. Unfortunately, at this time, Free & Charitable Clinics are not named as critical shortage area sites for which nurses can work and have their loans repaid. The NAFC encourages Congress to expand the Nurse Corp Loan Repayment program by naming Free & Charitable Clinics as accepted sites for nurses to work and take advantage of the Nurse Corp Loan Repayment program.
    • Designate Free and Charitable Clinics as Health Resource Shortage Areas, Dental Resource Shortage Areas and Mental Health Resource Shortage Areas.
      • Free and Charitable Clinics provide much needed health care, dental care and mental health care to millions of individuals every day in the United States. Currently, these clinics must be located in a designated Resource Shortage Area in order to take part in loan repayment programs, many incentive programs and grant programs offered by the Federal Government. The NAFC is asking Congress to provide an automatic health resource shortage area designation to qualifying Free & Charitable Clinics similar to the program that is in place for Federally Qualified Health Centers.
         
  • Nonprofit Advancement
    • Charitable Tax Deduction and Expiring Tax Programs
      • The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics supports programs that encourage Americans to donate to charities and causes by providing tax deductions.

To learn more, please see the full 2016 NAFC Public Policy Priorities document – READ MORE