Greater Investment in Community Health Centers Needed to Narrow Disparities in Health and COVID-19 Outcomes

The increasing number of reports on the racial and ethnic disparity in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, particularly for African Americans, highlights the need not only for greater testing but also for greater federal investment to strengthen and expand essential health care provider capacity in medically underserved communities.

Keeping Community Health Centers Strong During the Coronavirus Pandemic is Essential to Public Health

The COVID-19 stimulus legislation includes some financial relief for community health centers, including small business protections in which most health centers with less than 500 workers will be eligible to borrow up to $10 million to cover payroll expenses, rent, and overhead costs. However, our analysis shows 93 health centers which serve 8 million of 29 million health center patients (28%) nationwide are likely ineligible for this benefit.  The analysis can be accessed here.

Table 1. Large Community Health Centers with More than 500 Employees, 2018

In the COVID-19 Pandemic, Community Health Centers Are the Front Line for High-Risk, Medically Underserved Communities

By Jessica Sharac, Peter Shin, Maria Velasquez, and Sara Rosenbaum

Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative Update

March 24, 2020

Medicaid As A Public Health Responder: Washington State’s 1135 Waiver

By Sara Rosenbaum, Maria Velasquez, Morgan Handley, Rebecca Morris, and Alexander Somodevilla

Introduction