You Don’t Need a Coat When it’s Summer on the Hill

**Please take a moment to consider becoming an advocate for quality affordable healthcare for all by joining the Health Center Advocacy Network.**

Following a strategy session with Ohio’s Primary Care Association, which included a pep talk from Board Chair and Community Health Services CEO Joe Liszack, Ohio’s advocates (including Compass CEO, Summer Kirby and Outreach and Enrollment Specialist, Samantha Walls) turned out in force to help spread the message to the Buckeye state’s legislators about the crucial services health centers provide for their constituents.

The morning started early with a meeting with Abigail Duggan, Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Sherrod Brown, and ended with advocates getting a few moments with the Senator, himself. Advocates opened with a ‘thank you’ for the Senator for his continued support of health centers and their funding. It was asked that the he continue to support the 340B program, a program which helps lower the cost of prescriptions for patients, as well as allows health centers to reinvest incoming funds back into their local communities. Furthermore, he was asked to support a Telehealth bill that would allow reimbursement for such services which would be extremely beneficial for clinics, such as Compass, who service patients where it may be difficult to travel in-town for care due to geography or for elderly patients who have difficulty traveling due to disabilities.

Brown 1
Photos Courtesy of OACHC

Next on the agenda was a meeting with Gregory Brooks, Legislative Director for Representative Brad Wenstrup. As with Senator Brown, the similar set of asks were delivered. An extra ask was that the Congressman sign the House’s annual health center support letter, known as the Bilirakis-Green letter. Mr. Brooks assured Ohio’s advocates that the letter was on Dr. Wenstrup’s list of “Things to Do” and, later that evening, it was reported, that he had signed the letter before the 5:00 PM deadline. (If you have a minute, maybe you could take to social media and thank Congressman Wenstrup for his support! Tell him @CompassOhio sent you!)

wenstrup 1

The final meeting of the day was with Seth Gold, Legislative Assistant to Senator Rob Portman. While advocates spent some time delving into the same asks, many also spent time discussing several budget initiatives promoted to help combat the opioid epidemic, a cause near-and-dear to the Senator’s heart.

portman 1
Photo Courtesy of OACHC

All-in-all, Ohio’s advocates wrapped the day up successfully with an added signature on the House’s health center support letter, as well as words of encouragement from the state’s legislators for the work that health centers and their staff do.

Also, not to brag, but we’ve decided the Buckeye state has the best looking group of advocates out there!

portman 2
Photo Courtesy of OACHC

Advocacy Update – Good News Friday!


In case you haven’t already heard, a deal over the budget has been struck by both the House and the Senate. It was then signed into law by the President a few hours later. Part of the package includes an extension of Community Health Center funding for two years!

To say this was a long, hard fought battle is an understatement. Between the media conferences, phone calls, emails sent, rallies attended, and the red shirts worn, advocates here at home and across the nation have been responding in force and showing up in droves to represent Community Health Centers and, more importantly, the approximately 27 million Americans they serve.

We think it’s safe to say, on behalf of the nation’s Community Health Centers, thank you for supporting us and helping ensure we can continue to do what we enjoy which is helping ensure every member of a community has access to affordable quality healthcare.


Why We’ll Be Wearing Red Tuesday, February 6th


We wear red for the more than 2000 patients we have the privilege of providing care for. We wear red for the patients who, many for the first time in years, can afford to see a provider because of the sliding fee program we’re able to offer. We wear red for the patients who successfully completed integrated substance abuse treatment with and for those still working to achieve their goals of an addiction-free life. We wear red for the children who have and who are overcoming challenges and improving their daily lives through our pediatric occupational therapy program.

We wear red because, since the expiration of Community Health Center funding starting October 2017, 9 million Americans have been at risk of losing access to affordable health care. We wear red to show Congress that Community Health Centers are important staples of healthy communities and that there can be no more waiting for the millions of Americans who rely on Community Health Centers for their care! We will be wearing red tomorrow to show our support for the 2000 Southern Ohioans and 27 other million Americans who depend on Community Health Centers for their care.

We encourage you to show your support for Compass and the nation’s other Community Health Centers and all of the services they help provide by wearing red tomorrow Tuesday, February 6th. Share your pictures via social media with the hashtag #RedAlert4CHCs and don’t forget to tag your Members of Congress. For more information, please visit The Health Advocacy Network.


Tell Congress no more delays! The time to act is NOW!

Despite progress in early November in the form of Houses’s Championing Healthy Kids Act, the community health center’s “Fix the Cliff” issue is still far from resolved. And now, it seems, there’s talk of another delay to the critical safety net funding until after the first of the year.

Understandably, Congress has had a rather full plate moving into the new year. However, the lack of movement concerning health center funding is continuing to take its toll on the nation’s health centers and the communities they serve. Presently, health centers are reporting difficulty recruiting providers and purchasing equipment with some sites discussing closure due to funding uncertainty. (X)

Recent estimates suggest 27 million, or 1 in 12 Americans, receive care from a community health center. For many of these Americans, health centers are the only viable option within a considerable distance. Because health centers provide care for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay, the inability to properly staff or equip a center, or the closure of even one site could be the difference of life or death for many in a community.

That’s why it’s as important as ever that you take action TODAY and demand your Members of Congress recommit to fixing community health center funding before the end of the year.


Fix Cliff


It’s the Final Countdown!

The U.S. Capitol may be hundreds of miles away but readers should understand the actions our leaders take have a direct and immediate impact on our community.

A case in point is an imperiled health care program that already delivers results for the American taxpayer: Community Health Centers. They now serve 1 in 12 Americans, or 27 million people.  Health centers don’t just save lives, they also lower health care costs, create jobs, and reduce hospital visits so that fewer dollars are spent on “sick care.”   But unless Congress acts by the end of this month to extend their funding, the consequences for these health centers and their patients will be drastic.

The program would be reduced by approximately 70%. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) itself has projected that the impact would be dramatic: closure of 2,800 health center locations, elimination of more than 50,000 jobs, and a loss of access to care for more than 9 million patients.  Keep in mind this is a program that has been in place for more than 50 years and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress.  Right now more than 75 national organizations,  representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, health centers, children, patients, the faith community, financial institutions and health care industry partners, are banding together and calling on lawmakers to extend health center funding before September 30.

Please help us bring this end of month deadline to our lawmakers attention and ask them to act now. Time is running out! For information on how you can get involved and contact your elected leaders, visit www.hcadvocacy.org today.


CRITICAL ALERT: Healthcare Legislation Update – A Word from Our Partners

CCH First Do No Harm

#CompassAdvocates Alert!  All advocates should continue to call your Senators today and let your voice be heard!

NACHC Banner

July 25, 2017

Your Weekly Source for Health Center Policy Updates

Senate Moves Ahead to Health Debate, Endgame Unclear

Just after 3pm on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted on the “Motion to Proceed” to debate over health reform legislation. The vote, which has been considered a key hurdle in the Congressional process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was 50-50, with two Republican Senators (Murkowski and Collins) voting no, and with Vice President Pence stepping in to break the tie.

What will happen next is very unclear. Reports this morning indicate that Senate leaders do not believe they have the necessary votes to pass either a “repeal and delay” bill along the lines of what passed in 2015, nor a version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that’s gone through several iterations in the Senate so far. They are rumored to be planning a vote on a “skinny” repeal package that would include three elements: repeal of the individual and employer mandates, as well as the medical device tax put in place by the ACA. Under this circumstance, this would be considered a “lowest common denominator” necessary to get the votes to pass the Senate, and key details of a final package would be left to be negotiated with the House in a conference committee.

Click here and here for good summaries of where things stand, and keep an eye on the NACHC blog for the latest developments. In the meantime, advocates should continue to weigh in with Senators, as health centers’ concerns over these proposals remain unchanged.

If you aren’t signed up to receive NACHC’s weekly ‘Washington Update’ you may do so here.

UPDATE: Last night, the Senate voted on a modified version of the BCRA. This did not receive the required votes to pass.

UPDATE: Today, the “repeal and delay” option was introduced. This did not receive the required amount of votes to pass.


CRITICAL ALERT: Calling All Advocates!


In the past few days, and even hours, there have been substantial changes within the healthcare arena. Due to the fast moving nature of both the state and federal legislative bodies, it’s critical that our advocates take the few short minutes required to respond to both Calls to Action below.

Multi WHT

The state budget is close to being decided upon and it’s not pretty. In its current state, the budget calls for a freeze on enrollment of the expanded group come July 1, 2018. This means, no new enrollees into the expanded category after said date, even if they would have qualified prior. Furthermore, new requirements for the program would exclude unemployed individuals actively seeking work and those seeking addiction treatment services but on waitlists from gaining access to affordable coverage. It’s critical that you take action and alert your state legislators about the dangers of the proposed budget TODAY!

Contact your state legislators today

On the federal side, the newest version of the AHCA has been released and, again, it’s not looking good. The plans, at present, are to phase out expansion dollars within four years and capping the amount of money states would receive per Medicaid enrollee. This would mean upwards of one million Ohioans, alone, being cut from the program. Again, it’s critically important advocates take the time to alert Senators Brown and Portman of the danger millions will face if the bill is enacted in its current form.

Click here now to send a strong health center message to Senators Brown and Portman today! 

Again, we need “All Hands on Deck” responding to these alerts if we are going to effectively fight for the right that no one goes without coverage or so that no one has to make the decision to feed their family over filling prescriptions for their chronic illnesses. Please share with your friends and family and ask for their support. And don’t forget to ask yourselves, “What happens tomorrow when millions of Ohioans lose their coverage.”



Policy Update


We wanted to share with you, earlier today the US House of Representatives voted to move the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to the US Senate for further consideration. While the bill has passed its first step, there is still a process it must undergo before becoming law. At present, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still in place. Compass will continue to provide our patients with quality affordable care and assist the community with Medicaid and Marketplace applications. We will also continue to advocate to ensure all of our patients have access to comprehensive affordable health coverage. We welcome and appreciate as many advocates as are willing to help us in our efforts. You can sign up here.



Calling All Advocates!

Ask Senator Portman to #valueCHCs by Signing the Wicker-Stabenow Health Center Funding Letter

Senators Roger Wicker (R- MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are continuing to circulate a letter in the U.S. Senate in support of Community Health Centers in the FY18 Appropriations Process. Click here to email, tweet, post, or call Senator Portman and ask that he sign. There are only 5 days left until the deadline – act now before April 26.

And don’t forget to sign up to be a health center advocate TODAY! This will help keep you up-to-date on issues and policy changes affecting your healthcare and gives you the opportunity to make your voice a part of the discussions and decisions to come.


Day Three Recap and Homeward Bound

Friday was a day jam-packed with learning opportunities. The day saw the Compass group separating into various sessions to learn from experts on a range of subjects from congressional updates, to finance, and more. It also allowed them the chance to meet with NACHC members, not just from Ohio, but from all across the United States. This allowed for networking and exchanging of ideas on how to improve operations. During the ‘General Session’, Compass sat in on a presentation given by Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, President of Life Planning Partners, Inc. and Forbes Contributor, and James Macrae, Acting Administrator of HRSA. There they discussed federal updates and what to expect from congress in the coming months, in terms of healthcare reform.

AM Session
‘Repeal, Replace, Repair, Revise, Rebrand? An Up-to-the-Minute Look at Health Policy Developments in DC and Nationwide’

Friday was also the day where Compass members had the chance to meet with vendors and discuss products and services that could assist in daily operations. It was a chance to see some old faces from previous OACHC vendor exhibits, as well as meet new sales representatives from all over the country.

Saturday, the last day of the conference, saw the Compass delegation partaking in extra educational sessions. Topics included governance, social media and compliance, and how to prepare for National Health Center Week.

Saturday Session
‘Getting the Most Out of National Health Care Center Week 2017’

With all of the knowledge gained over the past week, Compass looks forward to sharing what they’ve learned with the team back home and utilizing said knowledge to better serve the patients of Southern Ohio.

This has been a great, educational experience and has given us the opportunity to remind Ohio’s congressman and senators of the great work being done by community health care centers, especially in Southern Ohio. And, while the team may be headed back home, that doesn’t mean the advocacy stays in D.C. The healthcare discussion is far from over and, if we are to ensure that every citizen of Ohio has access to affordable, quality healthcare, we need to make sure our politicians hear from us. So don’t forget to sign up as a health center advocate. And be on the lookout for advocacy updates and ways you can make sure you have a say in the healthcare discussion.

Thank you for taking this journey with us and for your continued support.