Providers: $25.5 billion in Provider Relief Fund & American Rescue Plan rural funding is now available. Submit your application by October 26, 2021.

HRSA eNews November 3, 2016

The Health Insurance Marketplace is Now Open

The 2017 Open Enrollment period is now open and will continue through January 31, 2017. 

image of a sleeping babyHRSA grantees and stakeholders are directly helping Americans learn about the coverage options available in their area and play a unique role in educating their communities about new insurance options available through This is important work and it’s changing the lives of millions of people. Please help spread the word about the Marketplace and the importance of having health insurance. For those who already have health coverage through the Marketplace, now is the time to help them review that plan and decide if any changes need to be made for 2017. Learn about how you can help spread the word by watching a video message from HRSA's Acting Administrator. For additional information visit or sign up for coverage by visiting

Key Dates:

November 1, 2016: Open Enrollment starts — first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change your insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2017.

December 15, 2016: Last day to enroll or change plans for coverage to start January 1.

January 31, 2017: Last day to enroll or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period through a number of exceptions, like marriage or the birth of a child.

HRSA’s Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Supports Updated Safe Sleep Recommendations

image of a sleeping babyThe latest American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations include 19 guidelines for reducing the risk of SIDS and sleep-related causes of infant death. 

The revised guidelines emphasize awareness for the level of tiredness when caregivers are feeding, comforting, or bonding with baby to avoid falling asleep in such situations. 

MCHB funds a number of programs that support the safe sleep and breastfeeding strategies recommended by the AAP.

View the full guidelines here.

“A No Wrong Door Approach To Care”

Ability to Bill for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services on the Same Day

image of a doctor looking at a tabletIntegration of physical and behavioral health care is critical to improving access to care, improving health outcomes, decreasing unmet need for services, and lowering costs. The ability to bill for both behavioral health and primary care services on the same day is an essential part of integrating care. 

Federal same-day billing restrictions do not exist, there are no restrictions from the Department of Health and Human Services on billing for medical and behavioral health services on the same day, but there may be some state-level restrictions as well as misperceptions in the field about restrictions. Because the state agency is the only verifiable source for Medicaid billing information, providers should reach out to their state Medicaid agencies directly to get accurate information. 

For further information on which states allow same day billing by Health Centers and additional billing information for safety net providers visit Paying for Primary Care and Behavioral Health Services Provided in Integrated Care Settings. Additionally, CMS has TA materials on effective billing for mental health services (PDF - 54 MB) and a Behavioral Health Toolkit on how to reduce billing errors under the Medicaid program.  

Trans Health 201 Webinar: A Deeper Dive from Patient and Provider Perspectives

image of a doctor talking with a transgendered patientIn October, HRSA’s San Francisco Office of Regional Operations and the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center (a HRSA grantee), hosted a webinar on the health care needs of the trans community from both the patient and provider perspectives. This was the fourth webinar in a series. 

Presenters highlighted obstacles faced by trans patients in the healthcare setting, opportunities to improve cultural competency within organizations, and best practices to integrate trans-friendly care into the primary care setting. 

1,300 HRSA grantees, healthcare providers, public health officials, and advocates from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada joined the call. 

Watch the Trans Health 201 webinar.

Health of the States Project

New reports compare U.S. states in health status and the factors that shape health

Health of the States Report CoverThe newly-released Health of the States project is a detailed analysis of state rankings on 39 health outcomes and correlations between those health outcomes and 123 determinants of health spanning five domains: health care, health behaviors, social and economic factors, the physical and social environment, and public policies and spending.

The series of reports examine a wide range of drivers of health, looking extensively at health care conditions and health behaviors—such as tobacco use and physical activity—while also studying physical and social conditions in neighborhoods that influence behaviors and health (such as walkability or residential segregation), socioeconomic factors ranging from education and income to incarceration and food insecurity, and per capita spending by states on income support, education, and infrastructure.

The project was conducted by the Urban Institute, in partnership with the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Read the Health of the States report.

Vaccines During Pregnancy: A Strong Record of Safety

image of a pregnant woman holding a child's hands over her bellyVaccines recommended during pregnancy have a strong record of safety and effectiveness, yet low rates of vaccination persist. Health care providers can play a pivotal role in this issue.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9 join maternal vaccination safety experts for the next Current Issues in Immunization NetConference—Vaccines during Pregnancy: A Strong Record of Safety. Free continuing education is available, but attendance is limited.

Register for the NetConference.

‘A Moment’ to Make a Difference

Estimates of the number of homeless kids​ in the U.S. each year range from 500,000 to as many as 2.8 million

image of a homeless youth sitting against a brick wallFor homeless young people, the decision to seek medical help can be desperate. But it's also a rare chance to get them off the street – and the odds of success rise when a clinic has a behavioral health specialist immediately available to take them in hand, experts said in a recent national web conference.

"We see day in and day out that an individual's physical health is impacted by various social, mental health and other environmental factors," said Juli Hishida, with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

Having behavioral counselors on site, working beside primary providers, in one place, in that critical moment, is far more effective than referring homeless patients to an off-site appointment days or weeks away, experts said.

Read more about homeless youth.

Date Last Reviewed:  July 2017

Sign Up for HRSA eNews

Sign up for HRSA eNews:

eNews Home

Past eNews Issues