B - Readily funds technology as part of an award
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Fiscal year (FY) 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) supplemental funding provides one-time support to health centers for the detection of coronavirus and/or the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, including maintaining or increasing health center capacity and staffing levels during a coronavirus-related public health emergency.
The American Rescue Plan includes supplemental funding to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, and track COVID–19 vaccines, and to carry out other vaccinerelated activities; to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID–19 infections and related activities necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID–19, including activities related to, and equipment or supplies purchased for, testing, contact tracing, surveillance, mitigation, and treatment of COVID–19; to purchase equipment and supplies to conduct mobile testing or vaccinations for COVID–19, to purchase and maintain mobile vehicles and equipment to conduct such testing or vaccinations, and to hire and train laboratory personnel and other staff to conduct such mobile testing or vaccinations, particularly in medically underserved areas; to establish, expand, and sustain the health care workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID–19, and to carry out other health workforce-related activities; to modify, enhance, and expand health care services and infrastructure; and to conduct community outreach and education activities related to COVID–19.
History of Funding
FY2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) awards can be seen at https://bphc.hrsa.gov/emergency-response/coronavirus-covid19-FY2020-awards.
CARES Act Guidance (ARP awards/guidance not issued yet)
Testing, including temporary drive- or walk-up testing and laboratory services is a paramount need in many communities and HRSA encourages health centers to leverage this funding to expand health center COVID screening and testing capacity, consistent with CDC guidance for health care professionals and federal, state, territorial, and local public health recommendations. All activities supported by COVID-19 funding must align with your Health Center Program scope of project and focus on COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and/or response.
Examples of allowable uses of funds include:
Prevent—Promote individual and community-wide prevention practices and/or administer countermeasures to reduce risk of COVID-19
- Perform outreach and provide patient and community-wide education on hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and COVID-19 transmission, using existing materials where available.
- Disseminate educational materials on precautions to prevent, contain, or mitigate COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
- Administer COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines when available.
Prepare—Enhance readiness and training to respond to COVID-19
- Review, update, and/or implement your emergency operations plan, including plans to address surge capacity and potential provider and other health center staff absenteeism.
- Hire and/or contract with new providers and/or other personnel to support increased service demand due to COVID-19.
- Refresh training for all staff on standard, contact, and airborne precautions, and infection control procedures, including administrative rules and engineering controls, environmental hygiene, and appropriate use of personal protective equipment. Health centers may consider using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) pre-pandemic training for influenza, which is recommended for COVID-19.
- Strengthen partnerships with local and state public health authorities, and clinical and community-based organizations.
- Review your infection control plan and make necessary adjustments to align with CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities (PDF - 1.1 MB).
- Create new and enhance existing preparedness and response workflows to embed CDC guidelines and recommendations, which may require role/task reassignment.
- Train staff, establish workflows, and designate separate space to screen patients prior to entering communal areas of the health center so that those who may be infected with COVID-19 can be isolated.
- Train staff, establish workflows, and designate separate space for clinical and administrative services for persons under investigation and those testing positive, including temporary and non-fixed barriers.
- Enhance partnerships with medical respite facilities and other organizations delivering services to unsheltered individuals and/or prepare for expansion of or increased need for reliance on health center-supported respite care.
- Embed CDC guidance into electronic health records (EHRs) clinical decision support tools.
- Enhance website and social media feeds to include patient self-assessment tools and facilitate access to telemedicine visits.
- Enhance telemedicine infrastructure to optimize virtual care, including increased capacity to assess persons with symptoms.
- Enhance health information exchange capacity to support communications with public health partners, centralized assessment locations, and other health care providers, and/or to support transitions in care (e.g., to and from hospitals).
Respond—Assess, test, diagnose, treat, and limit spread of COVID-19
- Support increased capacity for patient triage, testing (including drive- or walk-up testing) and laboratory services, and assessment of symptoms, including by telephone, text monitoring systems, or videoconference through extended operating hours, enhanced telephone triage capacity, digital applications, and additional providers and other personnel.
- Enhance telehealth infrastructure to perform triage, care, and follow-up via telehealth, including with patients in community settings, with unstable or no housing, in homes, public housing, and other locations.
- Enhance staffing and purchase equipment and supplies as necessary to deploy walk up testing and laboratory services locations and in-scope mobile units to provide testing and/or to deliver care.
- Purchase a vehicle to transport patients to assessment and testing locations, and/or to transport health center personnel to deliver COVID-19 assessment and treatment.
- Provide or otherwise support enhanced medical respite/recuperative care services.
- Purchase supplies for respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, including alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60-95% alcohol, tissues, and no-touch receptacles for disposal.
- Purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for health center personnel and infected patients, including National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respirators for health center personnel.
- Support COVID-19 testing and laboratory costs, including purchasing COVID-19 tests, specimen handling and collection, storage, and processing equipment, as appropriate.
- Purchase and administer medical countermeasures that may be identified to lessen severity or length of COVID-19 illness.
American Rescue Plan Guidance:
Funding must be used for the purposes described in items(1) - (6) (https://bphc.hrsa.gov/program-opportunities/american-rescue-plan/award-submission#numbers), to support activities in the following categories (see the H8F example activities for a complete list: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/program-opportunities/american-rescue-plan/allowable-uses-funding) consistent with those purposes:
- COVID-19 Vaccination Capacity – Support to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, and track COVID-19 vaccines, and to carry out other vaccine-related activities, including outreach and education.
- COVID-19 Response and Treatment Capacity – Support to detect, diagnose, trace, monitor, and treat COVID–19 infections and related activities necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID–19, including outreach and education.
- Maintaining and Increasing Capacity – Support to establish, modify, enhance, expand, and sustain the accessibility and availability of comprehensive primary care services to meet the ongoing and evolving needs of the service area and vulnerable patient populations.
- Recovery and Stabilization – Support for ongoing recovery and stabilization, including enhancing and expanding the health care workforce and services to meet pent up demand due to delays in patients seeking preventive and routine care; address the behavioral health, chronic conditions, and other needs of those who have been out of care; and support the well-being of personnel who have been on the front lines of the pandemic.
- Infrastructure: Minor Alteration/Renovation (A/R), Mobile Units, and Vehicles – Modify and improve physical infrastructure, including minor A/R and purchase of mobile units and vehicles, to enhance or expand access to comprehensive primary care services, including costs associated with facilitating access to mobile testing and vaccinations, as well as other primary care activities.
Within the required purposes described in items (1) - (6), health centers have flexibility in how to use the funding consistent with those purposes as COVID-19 circumstances and related community, patient, and organizational needs evolve over the 2-year period of performance. You are encouraged to leverage funding to address:
- Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and treatment;
- Other current and anticipated COVID-19 and primary health care needs in the service area; and
- Population and social determinants of health that may impact access to care, contribute to poor health outcomes, and exacerbate health disparities.
Eligible applicants are U.S. based Health Centers.
CARES Act Deadline: Recipients must have replied to the COVID-19 Response Reporting Requirement in HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) by 11:59 PM ET May 8, 2020.
ARP Deadline: Applications are due in HRSA EHB by May 31, 2021.
American Rescue Plan
$7.6 billion in funding for community health centers is included in the American Rescue Plan. $6.1 billion will be appropriated by the American Rescue Plan Act to health centers that are current Health Center Program operational (H80) grant award recipients to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and enhance health care services and infrastructure.
The award amount is calculated using the following formula:
- Base value of $500,000, plus
- $125 per patient reported in the 2019 Uniform Data System (UDS), plus
- $250 per uninsured patient reported in the 2019 UDS.
This is one-time funding, with no expectation of continued funding beyond the 2-year period of performance.
HRSA provided approximately $1.3 billion to Health Center Program award recipients. Each CARES supplement was calculated using the following formula:
- Base value of $503,000, plus
- $15.00 per patient reported in the 2018 Uniform Data System (UDS), plus
- $30.00 per uninsured patient reported in the 2018 UDS.
The average award is approximately $950,000. The performance period for this funding is 12 months. Funding is available for immediate use, and pre-award costs are permitted for COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and response-related expenses dating back to January 20, 2020.
Recent FUNDED Articles
Highlights of Grants to Manage and Expand Access to Health Data - Sponsored by NetApp
Funding for Healthcare Technology to Connect Providers and Patients - Sponsored by Panasonic
Funding to Enhance Response, Investigation, and Prosecution of Domestic Violence - Sponsored by Panasonic