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As a part of the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies, by way of the Well being Assets and Companies Administration, is offering $424.7 million in funding to greater than 4,200 Rural Well being Clinics for COVID-19 testing and mitigation. Later this summer season, HRSA will problem as much as $35.three million in extra funding to rural clinics that meet eligibility necessities.
The aim, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra mentioned in a press release Friday, is to bolster help and providers for these residing in rural components of the nation, significantly those that stay in underserved communities.
HRSA is funding RHCs primarily based on the variety of licensed clinic websites they function, offering $100,000 per clinic website. Clinics will use the funds to take care of and enhance COVID-19 testing, broaden entry to testing for rural residents, and broaden efforts to mitigate the unfold of the virus in methods tailor-made to their native communities.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
Rural Well being Clinics are key healthcare entry factors and group assets. They’ve a particular designation given to healthcare practices in underserved rural areas by the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies, to assist guarantee entry to take care of rural residents.
In Could, HHS announced near $1 billion in funds to strengthen rural coronavirus testing and response, which was anticipated to extend the variety of vaccines despatched to rural communities, broaden testing and different COVID-19 prevention providers, and work to extend vaccine confidence by partnering with native voices and group organizations.
HRSA’s Rural Well being Clinic COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program will present $460 million to greater than 4,600 RHCs throughout the nation. RHCs will use the funds to take care of and enhance COVID-19 testing, broaden entry to testing for rural residents, and broaden efforts to mitigate the unfold of the virus in community-specific methods.
To additional help COVID-19 testing in rural areas, HRSA will present $398 million to current grantees of the Small Rural Hospital Enchancment Program to work with about 1,730 small rural hospitals (these with fewer than 50 beds) and important entry hospitals on COVID-19 testing and mitigation.
THE LARGER TREND
Focusing on underserved communities has lengthy been one of many acknowledged targets of the Biden Administration, with HHS announcing in March a deliberate funding of $12 billion to broaden COVID-19 testing.
As a part of that effort, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is placing $2.25 billion into lowering well being disparities amongst racial and ethnic minority teams and other people residing in rural areas. It’s providing grants to public well being departments that can enhance testing and contact-tracing capabilities, develop modern mitigation and prevention methods, improve knowledge assortment and reporting, and deal with social determinants of well being associated to COVID-19.
A further $150 million will go to weak communities to help administration of monoclonal antibody therapies. The cash could also be used to extend staffing, arrange infusion facilities and buy vital gear, HHS mentioned. The help will give attention to communities that CDC has decided to be significantly weak primarily based on its social vulnerability index.
Additionally in March, HHS’ Workplace of Minority Well being mentioned it was offering $250 million in grants to get COVID-19 vaccinations and security data to underserved populations. The well being literacy grants will go to localities, which can associate with community-based organizations to achieve racial and ethnic minority, rural and different weak populations.
ON THE RECORD
“By our sturdy partnerships with RHCs, HRSA is dedicated to working collectively to mitigate the unfold of the virus in rural communities,” mentioned HRSA Performing Administrator Diana Espinosa. “Right this moment’s funding will make it potential for extra rural residents to entry COVID-19 testing and can help and empower local people responses to COVID-19 so we are able to proceed to show the tide on this public well being emergency.”