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HRSA eNews May 7, 2020

HRSA Administrator Tom Engels on Public Service Recognition Week

HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels

This week is Public Service Recognition Week – an occasion set aside to honor the people who serve our nation.

Honoring your public service today is especially timely, because your work to preserve and protect community health and safety is making a life-saving difference as never before.

The contributions you are making to our fellow citizens - every day – have never been more important.

It is my privilege to serve with you. And this week it is my honor to commend you. You have every reason to be proud.

Sincerely,
Tom Engels


 

HHS Awards More Than HALF A BILLION DOLLARS Across the Country to Expand COVID-19 Testing

photo of a man getting swabbed while sitting  in his car by a health care worker

May 7 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and eight U.S. territories to expand COVID-19 testing. Nearly 88% of HRSA-funded health centers report testing patients, with more than 65% offering walk-up or drive-up testing. Health centers are currently providing more than 100,000 weekly COVID-19 tests in their local communities.

Today’s funding for health centers is part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, signed into law by President Trump on April 24th. The legislation provides funding for small businesses and individuals financially affected by COVID-19, additional funding for hospitals and healthcare providers, and increased testing capabilities to help track the spread and impact of the coronavirus.

“This new funding secured by President Trump will expand the work health centers are doing to test Americans for COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Widespread testing is a critical step in reopening America, and health centers are vital to making testing easily accessible, especially for underserved and minority populations. Further, because health centers can help notify contacts of patients who test positive, they will continue playing an important role in coordinating with state and local public health departments.”

Read the release.


 

HHS Awards $20 Million to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic through Telehealth

photo of a woman in a telehealth appointment

April 30 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $20 million to increase telehealth access and infrastructure for providers and families to help prevent and respond to COVID-19. The funds will increase capability, capacity and access to telehealth and distant care services for providers, pregnant women, children, adolescents and families, and will assist telehealth providers with cross-state licensure to improve access to health care during the pandemic.

“This new funding will help expand telehealth infrastructure that is already being used during the pandemic to provide essential care, especially to the most vulnerable, including pregnant women and children with special health care needs,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This funding will also help clinicians use telehealth nationally by streamlining the process to obtain multi-state licensure. With the significant flexibilities President Trump has provided around telehealth payments and technology, plus state actions around licensing, we have created historic opportunities for care to be delivered safely and conveniently via telehealth.”

Read the release.


 

HHS Launches COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal

photo of a doctor looking at a patient's chart

April 27 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), launched a new COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal, allowing health care providers who have conducted COVID-19 testing or provided treatment for uninsured COVID-19 individuals on or after February 4, 2020 to submit claims for reimbursement. Providers can access the portal at COVIDUninsuredClaim.HRSA.gov.

Read the release.


 

HHS Awards Nearly $165 Million to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Communities

photo of a hospital sign on a rural road

April 22 - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $165 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. These investments will support 1,779 small rural hospitals and provide additional funding to 14 HRSA-funded Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) to provide technical assistance on telehealth to help rural and underserved areas combat COVID-19.

"Today's funding gives rural hospitals critical support to build up their capacity for fighting COVID-19 in their communities, including through further expansions of telehealth, more purchases of PPE, and boosting testing capacity," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "This funding, secured by President Trump from Congress, will build on the historic expansion of telehealth undertaken by the Trump Administration to help all Americans access the care they need during the pandemic."

Read the release.


 

HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has Released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for Tribal Organizations

rural scene - sunrise over a field

April 21 - Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, HRSA received $15M to allocate to tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and health service providers to tribes. The funding will provide support for the Tribes to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 in rural communities. 

Read the release.


 

Telehealth.HHS.gov: Health Care from the Safety of our Homes

screenshot of a video with U. S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t have to choose between medical care and social distancing. When patients can get health care through telehealth — and doctors can provide it — we protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.

The new Telehealth.HHS.gov website provides information for patients and providers, including:

  • For Providers:
    • Getting started with telehealth
    • Recent policy changes due to COVID-19
    • Legal and billing considerations
  • For Patients:
    • What to expect and how it works
    • What types of care are available
    • How to find telehealth options

Learm more at telehealth.hhs.gov.


 

FY 2020 CARES Act Funding- New Flexibilities

Enlarged image of the COVID-19 virus

On April 15, 2020, HRSA awarded $90 million for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients across the country to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. These awards give RWHAP recipients the flexibility to meet evolving needs in their respective communities.

On April 30, we announced greater flexibilities for the FY 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding as it pertains to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) provisions and funding limitations.

It is our hope that these funding flexibilities allow RWHAP recipients to implement the FY 2020 CARES Act funding in a timely manner to meet the emergent needs of your jurisdictions.

Learn more about the newly-announced funding flexibilities.


 

National Practitioner Data Bank Waives User Fees to Support COVID-19 Response

photo of a health care worker

We are temporarily waiving query fees for health care entities to search the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). This waiver supports efforts to mobilize and deploy health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing costs and expediting credentialing, hiring, privileging, and licensing processes.

The NPDB fee waiver is retroactive from March 1, 2020, through May 31, 2020. For more information about the waiver, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page on the NPDB website.

For technical assistance, contact the NPDB Customer Service Center.


 

HRSA Releases Oral Health Workforce Projections for 2017–2030

photo of an orthodontist and a patient

We’ve recently released oral health workforce projections for dentists and dental hygienists in the U.S., 2017–2030. These projections inform policy decisions about workforce education, training, and delivery of care. Will there be an increase in the number of dentists in the U.S. by 2030? Will there be a decrease in the demand for full time dental hygienists?

Explore the key findings to find out.


 

HRSA Celebrates Nurses

National Nurses Week is May 6-12

photo of a nurse framed by a heart

Since 1954, National Nurses Week has recognized the invaluable service of nurses to the American people. At HRSA, they are pivotal to the success of programs that help those who need it most -- especially in times of crisis -- as well as friends and colleagues. Almost half of agency staff who are clinicians are nurses.

HRSA's nursing programs help sustain the profession, improve diversity and afford opportunities to aspiring nurses who might not otherwise have a path into the ranks of the most widely respected profession in America.

Learn more about the vital role nurses play in our communities.


 

Older Americans Month

photo of an older american woman walking her dog

We invite you to celebrate Older Americans Month and make your mark in May! Spread the word that there’s no age limit to register as an organ donor – everyone can make a difference in the lives of those in need. In fact, the oldest organ donor in the U.S. was 93, and people even older have donated tissue!

To learn more and to sign up, visit organdonor.gov HRSA Exit Disclaimer or donaciondeorganos.gov HRSA Exit Disclaimer

Follow and “Like” us on Facebook: Organdonor.gov HRSA Exit Disclaimer and Donaciondeorganos.gov HRSA Exit Disclaimer.


 

Get My Payment Tool

photo of cash - irs payments

The IRS launched the Get My Payment tool on April 17. This tool will provide you the status of your payment, including the date it is scheduled to be deposited into your bank account or mailed to you.

Get additional information on the Economic Stimulus Payment visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

 

 

Date Last Reviewed:  May 2020


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