Factsheet: Healthcare Systems


HRSA oversees the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients in addition to promoting national awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation. HRSA also provides staff and logistics support to the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues concerning organ donation and transplantation.

Under the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and National Cord Blood Inventory, HRSA helps make possible blood stem cell transplants for patients with life-threatening blood disorders who lack a related donor. Stem cells for transplant come from adult volunteer donors and umbilical cord blood units donated to public cord blood banks. The program recruits adult volunteer donors, helps member cord blood banks collect and list additional units, and supports research to improve the results of unrelated donor transplants.

Poison Control Program

HRSA awards grants to the nation's 61 poison control centers and manages the national toll-free poison help line, 1-800-222-1222.

340B Drug Pricing Program

The 340B Program provides substantial discounts on pharmaceutical products to more than 13,000 eligible entities such as health centers, disproportionate share hospitals and Indian Health Service grantees. The 340B program has cut drug costs for participants by as much as 50 percent, saving an estimated $5 billion in discounted prescription drugs. These savings enable participants to provide more direct health care services. Participation in the 340B Program is increasing at a rate of more than 5 percent per year.

Hill-Burton Program

The Hill-Burton Program requires 200 obligated health care facilities to provide free or reduced cost health care to patients who are uninsured, unable to pay, and unqualified for Medicaid coverage. In exchange for such services, the program previously funded grants and loans for new construction and improvements to 6,800 facilities nationwide. But most of those locations have discharged their obligations and no longer are in the program. Since 1980, almost $6 billion in uncompensated Hill-Burton services have been provided.

Health Care and Other Facilities

In FY 2008, HRSA monitored 940 projects worth $691 million for health care and health-related facilities to meet their design, construction and equipment needs. Congress designates each of the awardees on an individual basis.

National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)

Most people who get vaccines have no serious problems. However, vaccines, like any medicines, can cause serious problems — such as severe allergic reactions — on certain rare occasions. In those cases, the VICP provides compensation to people who are found to be injured by certain vaccines.

Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

The Smallpox Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a secondary payer of medical and lost employment income benefits to individuals who sustained a medical injury after receiving a smallpox vaccine under an HHS-approved smallpox emergency response plan. Funds also may be made available to individuals who contracted vaccinia (the virus in the smallpox vaccine) through accidental contact with a smallpox vaccine recipient.

Preparedness Countermeasures Injury Compensation

This program may compensate individuals for serious physical injuries or deaths as a result of a pandemic, epidemic or security countermeasures, such as a vaccine. To date, no funds have been appropriated for this function.

Date Last Reviewed:  September 2017

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Key Facts

  • In FY 2008, HRSA provided $23 million to promote the donation of organs and tissues and improve national procurement, allocation and transplantation activities. Nearly 100,000 Americans are on organ transplant waiting lists, and about 28,000 transplant procedures are performed annually. On average, 77 patients undergo transplant surgeries each day, and 19 die for lack of donated organs.
  • Since 1988, more than 2,200 families and individuals thought to have been injured by certain vaccines have been awarded over $1.8 billion through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The program seeks to encourage immunizations by assuring those few patients who experience side effects that they will be compensated.
  • HRSA funds the improvement and stabilization of poison control centers across the United States, ensuring that the more than 2.4 million poison exposures reported each year to the nation's poison control centers are treated over the phone with guidance from Poison Control Centers' trained health care professionals.
  • HRSA's 340B Program lets health centers, HIV/AIDS clinics and operators of certain other federal safety-net programs buy outpatient drugs at significant discounts.