April 1, 2021
American Rescue Plan Includes $6 Billion for CHCs. The sweeping, nationwide plan to recover from the pandemic will invest more than $6 billion in underserved and rural areas through Community Health Centers (CHCs). More than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and more than 60 percent are racial or ethnic minorities.
Volunteer to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has expanded its definition of persons authorized to give the vaccine. These include, among others, current and retired traditional and non-traditional health care professionals, and students in health care programs.
HHS: Special Enrollment Period for Health Coverage EXTENDED. Last week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that the special enrollment period for qualified individuals and families to purchase health insurance in states served by the HealthCare.gov platform has been extended to August 15. Some states run their own health insurance enrollment websites and may or may not make a similar offer. Enter your zip code to find local help.
CHART Model’s ACO Track RFA Delayed to Spring 2022. This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the release of the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Transformation Track Request for Applications (RFA) is delayed until spring 2022. The CHART Model aims to help rural communities transform their health care delivery systems. This delay applies only to the ACO Transformation Track. Applications for the CHART Community Transformation Track are due by May 11, 2021.
HHS Reports on Risk of COVID-19 Infections in Fee-For-Service Medicare. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) points to several factors raising the risk of infections, hospitalization, and deaths. These risks vary across the country, with some geographic areas having higher concentrations of at-risk beneficiaries. This issue brief provides information on risk scores at the national, state, and county level, and includes a database of risk scores by county.
COMING SOON: Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) will make $3.2 billion available to qualifying households to lower the cost of high-speed internet service, providing discounts on internet service bills and an opportunity for a computer or tablet. The EBB program is similar to the Lifeline program with expanded eligibility, vendors, and subsidies. We encourage you to develop a plan now to support patients to apply promptly after the application period is announced by the end of April; funds are expected to go quickly.
Funding and Opportunities
DOJ Services for Victims of Human Trafficking – Extended to April 16, 2021. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make 27 awards of up to $800,000 each, for direct services to victims of human trafficking. Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments, public housing authorities, and nonprofit organizations, with priority given to rural areas. A separate but related funding notice, DOJ Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking – Extended to April 16, 2021, will invest $15 million in 25 awards for programs that provide transitional housing and financial assistance.
Pre-Admissions Workshops for AI/AN Students in Health Professions Training/Schools – April 23, 2021. The National Center for American Indian Health Professions helps American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) prepare for application to medical school or other advanced health professions program. Selected students must be current high school seniors (18 years or older), current community college or undergraduate students, or recent college graduates.
Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs for the NHSC – May 6, 2021. National Health Service Corps (NHSC) programs received an increase of $800 million in funding as part of the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief. This additional funding will support the largest number of NHSC clinicians in the program’s history. There is one application for working health professionals to apply to the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program, and the NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program. The NHSC Scholarship Program, which is for eligible medical, dental and nursing students in any year of training, provides up to four years of scholar support. Applications for all programs are due on May 6, 2021.
SAMHSA Overdose Treatments for Use by First Responders – May 17, 2021. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will make up to 20 awards with total funding of $7.9 million to help first responders administer a drug or device for emergency reversal of opioid overdose. Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments and tribal organizations.