Webinar: Approaches to Transform American Health Care and Delivery in the Wake of COVID-19

Date: September 24, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM Central

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Leadership Consortium will host a webinar on Thursday, September 24, 11 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. EDT. This HRSA-supported webinar will explore approaches and sector-by-sector opportunities to strengthen, transform, and reimagine how health care is delivered across the nation in the wake of COVID-19. U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams will kick off the webinar with a keynote address. A webinar recording will be posted on the NAM website.

Register to attend

Technical Assistance Application Period Now Open for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program

The competitive application period is currently open for technical assistance support under the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program. The program provides technical assistance to eligible health care facilities located in the 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority (a HRSA partner), and supports capacity building for health care facilities around quality improvement, financial and operational improvement, telehealth, community care coordination, workforce, emergency medical services, and population health.

Interested applicants that meet program readiness and project requirements can submit a notice of intent now through November to be considered. A new cohort of eligible health care facilities is forming now and will begin programming in winter 2020.

HHS Invests Nearly $115 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

September 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded approximately $25 million to 80 award recipients across 36 states and two territories as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP). RCORP is a multi-year HRSA initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. The announcement builds upon HRSA’s RCORP awards made this August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

“The Trump Administration continues to provide historic levels of support for Americans with substance use disorders, especially those in rural areas, because the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put a pause on our country’s opioid crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “These grants are part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS launched in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on rural health, which lays out a path forward to transform and improve rural healthcare in tangible ways.”

Read the release

HHS Awards $79 Million to Support Health Center Response to Emergencies

September 8, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded over $79 million in construction and other capital support for 165 HRSA-funded health centers impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Mangkut, and Super Typhoon Yutu, and wildfires and earthquakes occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019.

“HRSA-funded health centers play a vital role on the front lines in their communities every day, and even more so during a crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This funding is the latest in the Trump Administration’s efforts to support Americans affected by the past several years of hurricanes, wildfires, typhoons, and earthquakes, and builds on other HHS investments to strengthen health centers’ readiness to serve their communities after disasters.”

Read the release

COVID-19 Partner Update: CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Planning: What You Should Know

Date: September 21, 2020

Time: 2:00 PM Central

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will hold a partner update next week. Dr. Diane Hall, Deputy, Policy Unit Partnerships & Risk Management Team, will moderate, and Dr. John Brooks, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and Director of the COVID-19 Vaccine Planning Unit, will present. Dr. Brooks will share updates on CDC’s COVID-19 response, including the latest scientific information and what everyone should know about protecting themselves and others. Dr. Messonnier will review CDC COVID-19 vaccination planning and share what you should know about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Register here
Submit a question in advance

CMS Releases CHART Model Notice of Funding Opportunity, Encourages Rural Communities to Apply

September 15, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model Community Transformation Track. The Community Transformation Track will provide up-front funding to up to 15 rural communities across the country. The rural communities will be awarded seed money to work with health care providers and payers across the community to design systems of care that improve access to high quality care that is sustainable and value-based.

CMS announced the voluntary CHART Model on August 11, 2020. In addition to the Community Transformation Track, the CHART Model offers another participation option through the ACO Transformation Track, which will advance value-based care by providing upfront shared savings payments to rural accountable care organizations. The Model projects to reduce Medicare spending by over $80 million over 7 years while improving the quality and coordination of care for up to one million beneficiaries.

These actions deliver on President Trump’s Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access as well as the President’s Medicare Executive Order and CMS’s Rethinking Rural Health initiative. Collectively, the Administration aims to ensure individuals in rural America have access to high quality, affordable health care.

For more information about the NOFO or the CHART Model, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/chart-model.

The NOFO is posted at https://www.grants.gov or https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=93.624

HHS Invests Nearly $115 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded approximately $25 million to 80 award recipients across 36 states and two territories as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP). RCORP is a multi-year HRSA initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. The announcement builds upon HRSA’s RCORP awards made this August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

“The Trump Administration continues to provide historic levels of support for Americans with substance use disorders, especially those in rural areas, because the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put a pause on our country’s opioid crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “These grants are part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS launched in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on rural health, which lays out a path forward to transform and improve rural healthcare in tangible ways.”

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) awarded nearly $15 million to 30 award recipients through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (RCORP-NAS). Each recipient will receive up to $500,000 over three-years to reduce the incidence and impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome in rural communities by improving systems of care, family supports, and social determinants of health.
 
In addition, through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning), $10 million is being awarded to 50 award recipients to strengthen and expand the capacity of rural communities to provide SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services to high-risk populations. Award recipients will use the funds to build partnerships and develop comprehensive plans to address SUD/OUD workforce and service delivery challenges in their communities.

“We are excited to celebrate these awards during National Recovery Month,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “RCORP-Planning will continue to help rural communities build the coalitions needed to fight opioid use disorder, and RCORP-NAS will provide needed funding to rural residents grappling with the opioid epidemic to help many people reach recovery.”

Through the RCORP initiative, the funding will help rural communities address barriers to care and additional strains that COVID-19 has placed on both rural individuals with SUD and on rural organizations providing prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

For a list of today’s award recipients, visit HRSA’s RCORP-Planning and RCORP-NAS pages.

To learn about HRSA-supported resources, visit HRSA’s Opioid Crisis page.

For more information about the national opioid crisis, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 17, 2020

HHS Announces Awards for Opioid Response In Rural Communities. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $25 million in funding for two projects within the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), a multi-year initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. Of the awards made, approximately $15 million was awarded to 30 organizations to reduce the incidence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome through the RCORP-NAS Program. An additional $10 million was awarded to 50 recipients to build partnerships and expand capacity for SUD/OUD treatment through the RCORP-Planning Program. The National Health Service Corps is a collaborator on the RCORP initiative to address SUD/OUD provider shortages in rural communities. These investments build upon RCORP awards made in August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

HHS Strategy to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its strategy to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine after one has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It focuses on four key tasks necessary to ensure access and the requirements for each. The primary task is to engage with state, tribal, territorial, and local partners, other stakeholders, and the public to communicate public health information, before and after distribution begins.

CDC:  Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19-Related Concerns. In its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presents findings of a survey conducted in June of this year. Researchers estimate that 41 percent of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care because of concerns about COVID-19. Avoidance of urgent or emergency care was more prevalent among unpaid caregivers for adults, persons with underlying medical conditions, Black adults, Hispanic adults, young adults, and persons with disabilities. The findings indicate missed opportunities for management of chronic conditions, receipt of routine vaccinations, or early detection of new conditions, which might worsen outcomes.

Public Health Leaders’ Testimony on Vaccinations. Two of the nation’s top leaders in public health delivered testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) about the importance of immunizations for children and adults. Written testimony of NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams is available here on the HELP Committee’s website, and you may watch a recording of the full three-hour session.