Readout from White House Roundtable: Using the Inflation Reduction Act to Build Safety Net Health Organizations

Today, John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, Neera Tanden, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, General Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, and others from the Biden-Harris Administration Officials met with health care providers, professional societies and associations, charities and financial institutions to discuss how health care organizations can best take advantage of opportunities in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Government officials noted that because safety net health organizations serve people on the front lines of climate change-related health threats, they must be able to support patients affected by storms and heat waves and adapt to the changing needs of communities. Officials emphasized that supporting these organizations is core to the administration’s continued efforts to advance health equity, increase access to affordable, quality health care, and protect the health and well-being of every American. In a context where safety net healthcare providers often face resource constraints and are recovering from the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, energy efficiency and renewable energy investments resulting from the Inflation Reduction Act can reduce operating costs and free up resources for basic needs patient services and making them more resilient. The Charge Partnership, Valley Children’s Hospital and the National Academy of Medicine all described their efforts to make the industry more resilient.

At the event, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that its Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) will lead a catalytic program in early 2024 to help safety net healthcare organizations take advantage of the transformative tax Credit and grant programs established by the Expansion Act. The plan will also involve safety net provider member associations such as America’s Essential Hospitals, the National Rural Health Association and the National Association of Community Health Centers. The three-month program will feature national webinars and breakout sessions for hospitals, health centers and other provider types to help organizations assess their needs and assets, understand the Inflation Reduction Act tax credits and grant programs and successfully take advantage of these opportunities. Interested individuals and organizations can receive information about the program by visiting the OCCHE website and signing up for the OCCHE Alerts email list.

Many participants in today’s meeting made new announcements, including:

  • Thanks to the Inflation Suppression Act, CHARGE Partners Sets a goal to promote or build clean, resilient microgrids at 1,000 community health centers in the United States over the next 10 years. Approximately 70% of these, or 700 locations, will be located in Justice40 and/or low-income communities. These projects will offset at least 75,000 tons of carbon annually, benefiting nearly 2 million patients and saving these medical centers more than $150 million in project costs.
  • federal funds Announcing the release of important new resources to help healthcare organizations understand the potential savings associated with sustainability investments and leverage IRAs by providing technical assistance in project scoping and application development.
  • Macquarie Capital Commitment to support up to $300 million in renewable energy project development for hospitals and hospital systems.
  • Invest in our future Highlights its $180 million pooled fund’s commitment to strengthening communities across the country, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transforming our economy, including by funding technical assistance providers and building capacity, prioritizing grants for communities applying for federal funds.
  • Advocate for health Announced plans to bring the new Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina, to net-zero carbon emissions, hoping to become the first medical school and medical research campus to meet LEED zero-carbon specifications.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with safety net health care organizations and the broader health sector to use the Inflation Reduction Act to protect the health and well-being of communities through resilience, protect the environment through sustainability, and generate savings. Reduce energy bills through energy efficiency.

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