The New York State Senate recently took action on a bill sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried to increase flexibility and expand eligible uses of the New York State Community Health Care Revolving Capital Fund, which is administered by PCDC. The Senate Health Committee passed the bill without opposition and it has now been reported to the Senate Finance Committee. The bill expands the list of eligible uses of the Fund to allow for working capital and operational expenses like recruiting and retraining staff, redesigning facilities to accommodate new protocols, and to purchase, upgrade, or enhance technology to support telehealth.
The amendment is supported by organizations including the Community Health Care Association of New York (CHCANYS) and the Coalition for Behavioral Health, who say immediate financing that is flexible and low-cost will help their members to sustain their operations and meet the needs of their communities as the pandemic has created significant operational and financial challenges for the community-based health sector. Created in 2017 through a public-private partnership between the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) and the State of New York, the Fund has provided critical funding for community health organizations to execute facility capital projects. Given current fiscal challenges, however, more flexibility to include working capital and debt restructuring, retirement, and refinancing are needed to aid borrowers in achieving financially and operationally sustainable practices.