In an  updated analysis of their  November 2013 report, authors Leigton Ku, Julia Zur, Emily Jones, Peter Shin and Sara Rosenbaum use  more recent data to estimate the number of patients who could be served in health centers in 2014 and 2020, depending on the outcome of key federal and state policy decisions: support for health center funding (either through a continuation of mandatory funding or an increase in discretionary appropriation levels) and state implementation of Medicaid expansion.  A special federal fund to support community health centers expires after September 2015, creating a funding cliff for primary care clinics located in medically underserved areas. The authors analyze the impact of government funding decisions on community health center capacity in the coming years and find that without continued federal funding and expanded Medicaid, the number of patients served by community health centers will drop from 25.6 million in 2014  to 18.8 million by  2020. Conversely, under a scenario in which Congress maintains higher direct funding for health centers and all states expand Medicaid, the number of patients served can be expected to rise to 36.5 million by 2020, as health centers continue to add community sites, services, and staff.

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