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Analysis

HHS Awards $100M to Health Centers to Prepare for COVID-19

By Jack O'Brien  
   March 25, 2020

The aid comes three weeks after President Donald Trump signed a $8.3 billion coronavirus funding package.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced Tuesday that it awarded $100 million to over 1,300 health centers to prepare for the influx of patients infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

HHS dispensed the funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to Health Center Program members. California received the most funding at $13.8 million, followed by Texas at $5.8 million, New York at $5.2 million, and Florida at $4.5 million.

Related: COVID-19 Outbreak Threatens Health Systems With New Financial Challenges

The COVID-19 supplemental funding formula used by HRSA included a base value of $50,464, an additional $0.50 per patient reported in the 2018 Uniform Data System (UDS), and $2.50 per uninsured patient reported in 2018 UDS.

According to HRSA, health centers which receive funding will be required to "track and account for their COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and response-related activities."

The $100 million commitment was authorized as part of the $8.3 billion Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act signed by President Donald Trump on March 6 to stem the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Wednesday morning, there are over 44,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and more than 540 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related: Despite Federal COVID-19 Stimulus, Many Hospitals Could Face Layoffs Within Two Months

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the federal funding ensures that healthcare workers receive the "training and resources they need" to combat the surge of COVID-19 patients, as the pandemic has spread nationwide.

"America's healthcare providers are doing an incredible job, and this funding is one more way that the Trump Administration is supporting their heroic efforts. With help from HHS, for years, America's healthcare providers have been developing sophisticated, coordinated ways to respond to new threats, and we are working with them to draw on those investments today," Azar said in a statement.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12, 2019: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES sign at headquarters building. - Image / Editorial credit: Jer123 / Shutterstock.com


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