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HHS Announces Major Changes to Allocation of Prevention and Public Health Fund

April 25, 2013

On April 15 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified Congress of the Secretary's allocation of the FY 2013 Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which totals $949 million after a 5.1% reduction due to sequestration.   In a dramatic departure from prior allocations directed to public health prevention activities, $453.8 million--almost half of the total available-was allocated to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to support enrollment in the new Affordable Care Act health exchanges, which begin enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013.  The Administration had requested direct appropriations to support the CMS enrollment activities in FY 2013, but the final, full-year continuing resolution did not include the additional funding.  As a result, HHS redirected PPHF funding that previously had been allocated to CDC and other public health service agencies for prevention activities.  The CDC had received $809 million in FY 2012 from the PPHF, but this was reduced to $463 million in FY 2013--a 43% reduction.  In order to partially offset the impact of this reduction, the secretary has requested additional funding transfers, including an additional $83 million for CDC to backfill some of the PPHF reduction. 

The net impact on ASTHO priorities include an $82 million reduction to the 317 immunization program, an $11.1 million reduction for Environmental Public Health Tracking, a $3.2 million reduction to the national Public Health Improvement Initiative, and a slight $15,000 reduction to Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity grants.  Other large reductions affect the Community Transformation Grants program, reduced by $80 million, and the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, reduced by $40 million.

A chart outlining the PPH Fund allocations is available online.  Please be aware that this represents only the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and does not reflect overall programmatic funding levels for FY 2013.  Final FY 2013 program totals that include the net impact of sequestration are expected April 27 when HHS agency operating plans are due to Congress.  We will provide an update to ASTHO members as soon as that information is available.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Gould.