What DC Physicians Need to Know About the Mayor's Budget

Jun 3, 2021, 10:53 AM by MSDC Staff
The Mayor's budget includes a few interesting items for DC physicians.

Last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser released her proposed FY22 budget. Normally released earlier in the calendar year, the process was delayed this year due to uncertainty over the amount and type of federal funding allocated to the District. With clarification on funds from the pandemic relief packages, the proposed budget will now be considered by the Council this summer.

Overall, the budget outlook is much more optimistic than the one a year ago. The direst financial projections did not come true, the widespread vaccine distribution has helped tamp down COVID infections, and federal stimulus money has helped stabilize many businesses. With business seemingly returning to 2019 levels (albeit slowly in some sectors), this budget projects investments in many areas instead of cuts.

MSDC is continually analyzing the budget and will be watching the Council's changes to ensure physician priorities are reflected. Below is a brief overview of areas of the budget that may be of interest to the physician community as a whole.

DC Health

  • Overall, the proposed budget sees a 6.7% increase from the approved FY21 budget.
  • Not surprisingly, the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration (HEPRA) saw a close to $3.2 million funding increase. Meanwhile, the Health Regulation and Licensing Administration saw a proposed $11.5 million decrease.
  • The budget includes $1.5m funding for the Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program, $500,000 to support the Opioid Treatment Response, $485,000 and 2 FTEs for the eMOST system, and $400,000 for a system to integrate information for clinicians on first prenatal visits.

Department of Health Care Finance

  • Overall the proposed budget sees a 1.8% increase from the approved FY21 budget.
  • The budget includes a $117m decrease in federal Medicaid payments, anticipating a lower enrollment beginning in 2022. 
  • The DHCF budget also includes $75,000 to explore supporting doula services, which is supported by federal one-time money.