The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Nov. 7 named D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Health as a Federally Qualified Health Center, a designation that makes the LGBT health facility eligible for a $650,000 a year grant to expand its programs, according to Whitman-Walker CEO Don Blanchon.
Blanchon said the designation also will result in Whitman-Walker saving as much as $180,000 a year in costs for medical malpractice insurance for its doctors through a special federal subsidy for malpractice insurance coverage for health centers that provide services to patients regardless of their ability to pay.
“This award will further our health center’s ongoing efforts to care for our community in a post-health care reform world,” said Adam Falcone, chair of Whitman-Walker Health’s board of directors. “Our mission is to provide the highest quality, culturally competent care to Washington’s diverse urban community, including those who face barriers to accessing care and with special expertise in LGBT and HIV care,” Falcone said.
The new designation comes six years after HHS designated Whitman-Walker as a federally qualified health center “lookalike” entity, a development that enabled Whitman-Walker to accept Medicaid and Medicare patients. Blanchon said that status will continue under the new designation, which provides the additional grant funding and malpractice insurance benefit.