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HRSA eNews May 5, 2016

HHS Awards $5 Million to Puerto Rico Health Centers to Fight the Spread of Zika Virus

The Zika virus under a microscope

HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $5 million in funding to 20 health centers in Puerto Rico to further combat the Zika virus disease. Health centers will use this funding to expand voluntary family planning services, including contraceptive services, outreach and education, and to hire more staff.

“In Puerto Rico, and around the world, the Zika virus is a serious and challenging health threat,” said Burwell. “We are committed to doing everything we can to combat this threat and to help strengthen health care in Puerto Rico.”

Read the News Release.

Learn more about the Zika Virus.


A Pill A Day to Keep HIV Away

Daily PrEP can reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV by more than 90%, according to the CDC

Up to 1.8 million Americans are eligible for a new generation of drugs that could prevent them from getting HIV/AIDS. But many doctors and nurses don’t know it exists – three years after the medications became generally available.

Known as PrEP, for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, the new drugs are up to 90 percent effective  in preventing infection among those most at risk: men who have sex with men; IV drug users; and partners of people living with the disease.

"PrEP isn’t reaching many people who could benefit from it,” says Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC, because “many providers remain unaware of its promise. With about 40,000 HIV infections newly diagnosed each year in the U.S., we need to use all available prevention strategies."

Learn more about PrEP.


Abstracts Deadline Extended to May 6 for Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment

The abstract submission deadline has been extended for the 2016 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment. The new date is Friday, May 6.

The conference is being held in Washington, D.C., August 23-26, 2016, and is the premiere conference for comprehensive HIV care and treatment.

Submit an abstract for a workshop or poster. 

Follow @RyanWhite2016 on Twitter for conference news and updates.


CMS Notifies Public, Solicits Feedback on Quality and Payment Topics

Rule Seeks Comment on Voluntary Reporting Proposal for FQHCs and RHCs

On April 27, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule detailing payment updates for certain Medicare-participating providers, including a new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and incentives for participation in alternative payment models (APMs) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

This rule solicits public comment on voluntary reporting for federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs). Voluntary reporting would not affect FQHC and RHC payment; however, it would provide the opportunity to gain experience in the MIPS program, a major component of Medicare’s efforts to tie payment to quality patient care.

Read a summary or the full proposed rule.

Comments are due by June 26, 2016 and can be submitted through the e-Regulation website.   

CMS Innovation Center Seeks Input on Regional Budget Payment Concept

On April 14, CMS issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on a concept that promotes accountability for the health of the population in a geographically defined community, similar to the Maryland All-Payer Model. CMS specifically requests input on how this concept would work for rural providers.

Comments on the RFI should be submitted electronically by Friday, May 13, 2016.

Read a summary or the complete RFI.

CMS Issues Synopsis for MACRA Technical Assistance

On April 13, CMS notified the public of its intent to solicit and award multiple contracts for MACRA Quality Improvement Direct Technical Assistance (TA) on MIPS participation. This TA will target individual or small group practices, with an emphasis on rural areas, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas.

This announcement is not a request for proposal (RFP). The solicitation package will be available at least 15 calendar days after this notice. A pre-proposal webinar is tentatively planned on or about May 15, 2016.

Learn more about this synopsis.

Date Last Reviewed:  July 2017

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