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  5. HRSA Takes Action to Fight the Pandemic, Improve Health Outcomes, and Promote Health Equity (January 2022 Roundup)

HRSA Takes Action to Fight the Pandemic, Improve Health Outcomes, and Promote Health Equity (January 2022 Roundup)

In January, HRSA announced new leadership, $103 million in new resources to reduce health care provider burnout, $2 billion in pandemic relief payment to health providers, new no-cost preventive benefits for women and children, and new funding to combat the opioid epidemic.

In January, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services devoted to improving health outcomes in underserved communities, promoting health equity, and supporting the health workforce, took the following actions:

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Welcomes Carole Johnson Back to HHS as New HRSA Administrator

  • HRSA’s new Administrator, Carole Johnson, took office with a commitment to advancing health equity, supporting the health workforce, and improving health outcomes, particularly in underserved and rural communities.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $103 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Reduce Burnout and Promote Mental Health and Wellness Among Health Care Workforce

  • HRSA awarded $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding to 45 grantees to improve the retention of health care workers and help respond to the nation’s critical staffing needs by reducing burnout and promoting mental health and wellness among the health care workforce. Awards will fund evidence-informed programs, practices, and training, with a specific focus on providers in underserved and rural communities.

HRSA Updates the Affordable Care Act Preventive Health Care Guidelines to Improve Care for Women and Children 

  • HRSA updated the comprehensive preventive care and screening guidelines for women and for infants, children, and adolescents that, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), certain group health plans and insurance issuers must cover with no out-of-pocket cost. Updates include, for the first time, covered group health plans and insurance plans must provide coverage without a co-pay or deductible for double electric breast pumps and adding screening for suicide risk for adolescents.

HHS Distributing $2 Billion More in Provider Relief Fund Payments to Health Care Providers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • HRSA made more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 7,600 providers across the country. These payments come on the heels of the nearly $9 billion in funding released in December 2021. With the January announcement, a total of nearly $11 billion in PRF Phase 4 payments has now been distributed to more than 74,000 providers. This is in addition to HRSA’s distribution of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments totaling nearly $7.5 billion in funding to more than 43,000 providers in December 2021.

HHS Announces Availability of $13 Million to Increase Behavioral Health Care Access in Rural Communities

  • HRSA announced the availability of $13 million in funding to increase access to behavioral health care services and address health inequities in rural America, including through evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment for substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.

Health Workforce – 2021 HRSA Highlights (PDF - 360 KB)

  • HRSA released a fact sheet highlighting the agency's 2021 investments in supporting and growing the health workforce, including supporting the largest cohort of health care providers receiving scholarship and loan repayment support in return for a commitment to practice in underserved communities.

Year in Review and Agency Overview

  • Learn about the reach and impact of our programs. See how we responded to COVID-19 and how our programs improve tens of millions of American lives. 
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