Financial and Legislative Updates
On June 10, 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) contributed more than $424 million to improve and increase testing and mitigation of COVID-19 in rural communities through the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation (RHCCTM) Program. Each eligible Rural Health Clinic (RHC) will immediately receive $100,000 in funding. This RHCCTM program is an addition to the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program implemented in May of 2020. This effort helped more than 4600 RHCs slow the spread of COVID-19 in ways more personalized to their communities through a $225 million. Here, you can view the RHCCTM funding by state.
Payment for In-Home Vaccinations
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that there would be an additional payment amount to RHCs for administering in-home COVID-19 vaccines to Medicare beneficiaries who are in hard-to-reach areas. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates that roughly 1.6 million adults (aged 65 and older) potentially have difficulty accessing vaccines due to inadequate transportation measures.
FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implemented a temporary initiative to provide affordable internet services to eligible individuals/households during the pandemic. Those who are eligible can enroll through an FCC-approved broadband provider or via GetEmergencyBroadband.org. This initiative ends when funds are no longer available or six months following the declaration of the end of the COVID-19 health emergency (done by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
Rural Health Strategies for COVID-19
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)-supported Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) furnishes resources, guidance, and strategies with FORHP grantees, through their technical assistance (TA) and peer sessions.