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HHS Awards $100 million to health centers for COVID-19 response

The money may be spent on telehealth, screening and testing, or acquiring medical supplies such as personal protection equipment.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, is awarding $100 million to 1,381 health centers across the country to help with expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The money is available immediately.

Health centers may spend the money, depending on their need, for such services as boosting telehealth capacity, addressing screening and testing needs, acquiring medical supplies, including personal protection equipment, and for education.

Each of the close to 1,400 community health centers will receive from $50,000 to $120,000, depending on the number of patients they serve, according to Jim Macrae, associate administrator of the Bureau for Primary Health Care.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

The funding supports health centers across the country in their emergency planning and response efforts. The awards will give health centers the flexibility to meet the evolving COVID-19 needs in their respective communities.

THE LARGER TREND

The funding was provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, that President Trump signed into law on March 6.

The bill provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, including $100 million for HRSA-funded health centers. It gives $7.76 billion to federal, state and local agencies to combat the coronavirus, and authorizes an additional $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions.

ON THE RECORD

"HRSA-funded health centers provide high-quality primary care services to 28 million people in the United States. That is 1 in 12 people nationwide. These grantees operate 13,000 service delivery sites that are lifelines to services and networks of resources in their communities every day, and especially during a crisis," said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com