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HRSA eNews July 16, 2020

Message from the Administrator

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

The bipartisan CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act allocated $175 billion in relief funds to HHS to support hospitals and other healthcare providers impacted by this pandemic. In April, HRSA was charged with managing the HHS COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund (PRF).

Through the program, providers are receiving payments for healthcare expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19. Last week, HHS announced the latest payment of over $4 billion in additional Relief Fund payments to safety net hospitals and certain specialty rural hospitals and hospitals in small metropolitan areas facing financial challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.

HRSA is also managing the COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing and Treatment of the Uninsured program, funded by the PRF and appropriations from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Through this program, health care providers can submit claims for reimbursement of COVID-19 tests or treatment for people with a COVID-19 diagnosis who are uninsured. Nearly $380 million in claims have been paid. Learn more about the program and how to apply for reimbursement.

I appreciate the hard work and the dedication you have shown during this challenging time. Thank you for your commitment and partnership with HRSA to improve access to health care for Americans who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable.

Thank you,

Tom Engels


 

HHS Awards More Than $21 Million to Support Health Centers’ COVID-19 Response

photo of a person in a car getting tested for COVID-19

July 9 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $21 million to support health centers' COVID-19 response efforts. The majority of this investment—$17 million—supports 78 Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) with funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing.

Due to the urgent need across the country to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing is being made available to LALs through the Health Center Program. These LALs operate and provide services consistent with HRSA Health Center Program requirements; however, unlike HRSA-funded health centers, LAL operations are funded through mechanisms outside of the HRSA Health Center Program.

Read the release.


 

HRSA Awards $59.5 Million to Expand Primary Care Training in Underserved Communities

photo of a health care worker with a mask

HRSA provided funding to 60 grantees for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program. This includes awards to establish seven new Teaching Health Centers. THCGME residents train primarily in community-based settings rather than hospitals like traditional residency programs do. As a result, they improve the distribution of the primary care workforce in rural and underserved areas and increase access to primary care services. The program supports the training of over 700 primary care residents across 23 states.

Visit the THCGME page for more information on our Teaching Health Centers.


 

HIV/AIDS Bureau Associate Administrator Receives Lifetime of Leadership Award

Photo of Dr. Laura Cheever, Associate Administrator for HIV/AIDS Bureau at HRSA

HRSA's HIV/AIDS Bureau Associate Administrator Dr. Laura Cheever on was honored with the Lifetime of Leadership Award from IAS-USA on Tuesday. Dr. Cheever has spent decades both within and outside of HRSA working tirelessly to improve the care and treatment of people with HIV. She provides leadership and technical administration of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP), which serves more than half a million people with HIV in the U.S. She came to HRSA in 1999 to serve as the national director of HRSA's RWHAP AIDS Education and Training Center Program. Prior to joining the federal government, she was on faculty at Johns Hopkins University where she led a program to deliver HIV specialty care throughout rural parts of Maryland, integrated peers into the Johns Hopkins HIV clinic, worked as medical director of a methadone-based substance abuse treatment program, and served on Baltimore's Ryan White Planning Council. Dr. Cheever is board certified in infectious disease and continues to see patients. As part of this award, the IAS-USA shared it is proud to honor Dr. Cheever for her talents, her dedication, her magnanimous spirit, and her passion for the work she undertakes on behalf of people with HIV throughout the nation.


 

Webinar Focuses on Financially Healthy Grants

HRSA Healthy Grants Web Series

We are holding another webinar July 21 as part of our ongoing Healthy Grants Web Series.

Join the webinar July 21 at 1:00 p.m. EDT HRSA Exit Disclaimer

Call: 888-324-7101 | Code: 8459711

The webinar begins with a one-hour session, "Health Center Program COVID-19 Response." In this session, the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) will provide an overview of the Health Center Program’s COVID-19 response, including a review of response milestones and awards summary. Additionally, we will highlight promising practices in project implementation from health centers.

From 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., join the next session, "Evaluating the Financial Health of Your HRSA Grant." This session will explain the basic requirements of a "financially" healthy grant, including:

  • standards for financial management;
  • Internal Controls; and
  • how to avoid audit findings.

More details, including the complete webinar schedule, is available on the Healthy Grants Web Series site.


 

Telehealth.HHS.gov — Information for Patients is Now Available in Spanish

telesalud: atencion medica desde la seguridad de nuestros hogares. #telesalud

Telehealth.HHS.gov now provides information in Spanish to help patients understand what types of care are available, how to prepare for a telehealth visit, and tips on finding telehealth options. 

Information in Spanish that's geared toward providers will be available in the future. 


 

#WellChildWednesdays Social Media Campaign Continues to Engage Stakeholders

photo of a young girl being examined by a doctor #wellchildwednesdays

HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s #WellChildWednesday social media campaign is continuing to draw attention to the importance of well-child checkups and vaccinations.

In the first three weeks of the campaign, the posts have been HRSA's most popular weekly posts, receiving more than 200,000 views, as well as 1,600 total likes, shares and comments. Diverse social media engagement in the campaign includes federal agencies like HHS.gov, the US Surgeon General, and the CDC, as well as national organizations like AAP, AMCHP, and ASTHO. State and local health centers also support the campaign, to make sure that families make and keep appointments.

Please continue to RETWEET and SHARE the messages on @HRSAgov Twitter HRSA Exit Disclaimer and Facebook HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

National Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center

BHW Pediatrician

HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) recently funded a four-year, $2.5 million cooperative agreement for the National Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center (EIIC). The EIIC helps promote and implement evidence-based best practices in emergency care for children across the U.S. The program is led by investigators at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Funding will help expand current emergency care systems to improve the quality of pediatric emergency care delivery and health outcomes.

National organizational partners for this work include the American Academy of Pediatrics HRSA Exit Disclaimer, American College of Emergency Physicians HRSA Exit Disclaimer, American College of Surgeons HRSA Exit Disclaimer, Emergency Nurses Association HRSA Exit Disclaimer, the National Association of State EMS Officials HRSA Exit Disclaimer and other national stakeholder organizations. Federal collaborators to MCHB include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.


 

Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America

ending the hiv epidemic logo

The HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy will host a stakeholder webinar on efforts to implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative. The event is a collaboration with federal partners from HRSA, CDC, the Indian Health Service, NIH, SAMHSA, and the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Learn more about the Administration's continued commitment to Ending the HIV Epidemic.
  • Get updates on major HHS activities to date and plans for implementing the initiative.
  • Engage in a question-and-answer session with federal officials.

TODAY, July 16, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EDT Register here HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

HIV Testing Trends at Visits to Physician Offices, Community Health Centers, and Emergency Departments

photo of a stethoscope lying on top of data charts

CDC has recommended routine opt-out HIV testing since 2006, but the percentage of ambulatory care visits at which an HIV test is performed has remained low. In their new report, CDC says that HIV testing increased more at community health centers than at emergency departments or physician offices.


 

Workshop Webinar: Caring for People with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Primary Care Settings

photo of a person on a conference call on their laptop

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) will host the second in a three-part series Wednesday, July 29, noon to 3:30 p.m. EDT. This HRSA-supported webinar will examine approaches to deliver essential components of care for alcohol use, depression care management and opioid use disorder in primary care settings. HRSA grantees funded by the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program and the Health Center Program will join the panel. This session follows the first webinar HRSA Exit Disclaimer in June which explored how essential components of care align with evolving models of care including Accountable Care Organizations, Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and Collaborative Care arrangements.

Join the webinar the day of the session HRSA Exit Disclaimer.

Date Last Reviewed:  August 2020


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