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Rural Health
News by Topic: Infectious diseases

May 4, 2021 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released the first of two grant opportunities, totaling $250 million, to develop and support a community-based workforce consisting of community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists, and others that will lend their trusted voices to share and promote vaccine information. Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan will be used to increase COVID-19 confidence and address barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved areas. A second opportunity will be released soon and will focus on smaller community-based organizations.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 4, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of nearly $1 billion to strengthen the COVID-19 response in rural communities. Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan will be used to increase the number of vaccines sent to rural communities, expand COVID-19 testing and prevention services, and increase vaccine confidence by empowering local, trusted voices to assist with vaccine outreach and promotion efforts.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 4, 2021 - Discusses the Biden Administration's next steps in their vaccination campaign that includes enrolling family medicine physicians, pediatricians, and others to be able to give COVID-19 vaccines. Provider enrollment priority is based on the social vulnerability index from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shares the results of a survey of rural hospital executives on COVID-19 vaccination rates among healthcare workers. Includes profiles of two rural hospitals, one with more success getting staff vaccinated than the other.
Source: NPR
May 3, 2021 - Describes barriers to healthcare access in rural areas, such as hospital closures and physician shortages and the added impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights efforts to expand residency programs into rural areas and recommends new methods to recruit physicians and medical students into the rural healthcare workforce.
Source: Health Day
May 3, 2021 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched the COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF), a new program to cover costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines for patients enrolled in health plans that do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. The CAF will compensate providers for eligible claims at national Medicare rates.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 29, 2021 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the application window for Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program is open through Thursday, May 6, 2021. This round includes just under $250 million to provide healthcare providers with reimbursement for telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
Apr 29, 2021 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded over $32 million to 122 Primary Care Associations (PCAs), National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs). Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan will be used to provide health centers in underserved communities with COVID-19 related training, technical assistance, and health information technology support.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 28, 2021 - An assessment by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found fully vaccinated adults 65 years and older were 94 percent less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those of the same age who were not vaccinated. Discusses how these findings support the CDC's recommendation to get vaccinated to prevent hospitalizations and the spread of the virus.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Apr 27, 2021 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to fund medical residency positions in hospitals in rural and underserved communities and require hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccination rates among workers. Provisions in the rule aim to address healthcare workforce shortages and support hospitals in rural and underserved areas.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Apr 27, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of $1 billion to support COVID-19 related capital needs and construction and renovation projects for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program funded health centers. Nearly 1,400 health centers are eligible for the funding provided by the American Rescue Plan. Applications are due June 24, 2021.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services