The HHS Hospital Preparedness Program saw its grant-award funding drop by 31.2%, from $332 million in 2013 to $228.5 million for 2014. Meanwhile, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative, a program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that funds state and local public health departments to support their response to public-health threats, received a funding increase, from $584 million in 2013 to $611.7 million for 2014.
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“Community and state preparedness is essential to the health security of all Americans,” Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response said in a news release. “Events in the last few years have demonstrated how critical it is for health systems across the country to be ready and able to respond quickly and effectively.”
The HPP funding cut marks the next in a series of reductions for the program over the last several years. According to the American Hospital Association, HPP funding, which supports the building of community healthcare coalitions to collaborate on emergency planning during a disaster, has declined by more than 50% since 2003 when it was funded at around $515 million.
In an AHA paper released last April, the association requested that the Obama administration increase its proposed FY 2015 budget appropriation for HPP from $255 million to $374.7 million. “The cuts symbolize erosion in financial support for disaster preparedness at a time when the need for these services is growing,” the paper stated.
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