Health Care Funds for Community Organizations

Tom Bruner
A provision in HR 3200 (health care reform) seems to provide community organizations and other agencies special access to a program related to linguistic services for Medicare providers.

In reviewing HR 3200, the current health care proposal before the House of Representatives, I found this:

SEC. 1222. DEMONSTRATION TO PROMOTE ACCESS FOR MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY BY PROVIDING REIMBURSEMENT FOR CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE SERVICES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than 6 months after the date of the completion of the study described in section 1221(a), the Secretary, acting through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, shall carry out a demonstration program under which the Secretary shall award not fewer than 24 3-year grants to eligible Medicare service providers (as described in subsection (b)(1)) to improve effective communication between such providers and Medicare beneficiaries who are living in communities where racial and ethnic minorities, including populations that face language barriers, are underserved with respect to such services.

The section goes on to specify the amount ($500,000) and other factors regarding these grants. The part that got my attention was this one:

(B) FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS.- The Secretary shall give priority to applicants that have developed partnerships with community organizations or with agencies with experience in language access.

What community organizations should be getting funds under the health care proposal? The Boy Scouts maybe? And what would be a good example of an "agency with experience in language access," the Sons of Norway?

So a minimum of  $12M to be provided annually to, and note the constructions, "...applicants that have developed partnerships with community organizations or with agencies with experience in language access." 

So community organizations need not have experience in language access, they need only be community organizations. The section specifies what the applicant must do to qualify, but does not seem to place any requirement on the community organization or experienced language access agency.

Of the 1017 pages of the bill, 14 deal specifically with this demonstration. What happens after the demonstration is over in 3 years is not specified, but given the amount of text involved it will probably evolve into something. It will almost certainly allow a special relationship to develop between these organizations and agencies, Medicare providers, and Medicare recipients.
A provision in HR 3200 (health care reform) seems to provide community organizations and other agencies special access to a program related to linguistic services for Medicare providers.

In reviewing HR 3200, the current health care proposal before the House of Representatives, I found this:

SEC. 1222. DEMONSTRATION TO PROMOTE ACCESS FOR MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY BY PROVIDING REIMBURSEMENT FOR CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE SERVICES.

(a) IN GENERAL.-Not later than 6 months after the date of the completion of the study described in section 1221(a), the Secretary, acting through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, shall carry out a demonstration program under which the Secretary shall award not fewer than 24 3-year grants to eligible Medicare service providers (as described in subsection (b)(1)) to improve effective communication between such providers and Medicare beneficiaries who are living in communities where racial and ethnic minorities, including populations that face language barriers, are underserved with respect to such services.

The section goes on to specify the amount ($500,000) and other factors regarding these grants. The part that got my attention was this one:

(B) FOR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS.- The Secretary shall give priority to applicants that have developed partnerships with community organizations or with agencies with experience in language access.

What community organizations should be getting funds under the health care proposal? The Boy Scouts maybe? And what would be a good example of an "agency with experience in language access," the Sons of Norway?

So a minimum of  $12M to be provided annually to, and note the constructions, "...applicants that have developed partnerships with community organizations or with agencies with experience in language access." 

So community organizations need not have experience in language access, they need only be community organizations. The section specifies what the applicant must do to qualify, but does not seem to place any requirement on the community organization or experienced language access agency.

Of the 1017 pages of the bill, 14 deal specifically with this demonstration. What happens after the demonstration is over in 3 years is not specified, but given the amount of text involved it will probably evolve into something. It will almost certainly allow a special relationship to develop between these organizations and agencies, Medicare providers, and Medicare recipients.