Submitted on Mon, 2013-09-23
By Cecelia Jacobson

Lowered funding forces a staggering number of local health organizations to make program and staffing reductions across the board.

local health departments staff and service cuts
Media reports today are filled with good news about a growing economy, an increase in jobs, and a rise in the stock market. Despite the reports of economic recovery in the private sector, local health departments are facing dire times financially. A national survey by the National Association of County and City Health Officials recently found that a staggering number of local health organizations are still making program and staffing reductions across the board.
48 percent of survey respondents reported reductions in, or elimination of, services in at least one program area and 27 percent reported budget cuts in 2012. The survey, offered to every local health department across the United States, received an astounding 79% response rate.
Local health departments have lost tens of thousands of jobs since the economic recession in 2008, and programs such as immunization, emergency preparedness, and maternal and child health are being hit the hardest by budget cuts. Struggling to adapt to these changes and reductions in the past five years, local health departments are now faced with changes in the public health care brought on by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Fortunately, Obamacare’s impact on local health departments is ultimately a positive one. Changes in the public health system have led way to new revenue streams as local health departments now have the opportunity to bill private payers for various services.  Taking advantage of these opportunities is a promising way for local health departments to not only fully recover from the recession but to create brand new revenue overall. To learn more about how you can increase your local health department’s revenue by up to 70%, sign up for a free revenue performance evaluation
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