November 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Whitman-Walker named ‘Federally Qualified Health Center’
Federally Qualified Health Center, Whitman-Walker Health, gay news, Washington Blade

Whitman-Walker Health has been named a Federally Qualified Health Center. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

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.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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