On September 29, HRSA announced a new funding opportunity for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will include $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for providers who serve rural Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare patients, and an additional $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4. To expedite the funding process, providers will apply for both programs in a single application and HRSA will use existing Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare claims data in calculating payments.
The Biden-Harris Administration will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to protect both them and patients from the virus and its more contagious Delta variant. Facilities across the country should make efforts now to get health care staff vaccinated to make sure they are in compliance when the rule takes effect.
COVID-19 Clusters among Schools and Sports Teams
The first weeks of school have brought more COVID cases among school children. This rapid spread can lead to quarantines when schools don’t have strong mask requirements in place. School districts should follow the CDC’s recommendation and require masks and keep other important safety measures in place as we continue battling the pandemic.
Provider Relief Fund (PRF) recipients who received one or more payments exceeding, in the aggregate, $10,000 during a Payment Received Period are required to report as part of the post-payment reporting process. The reporting portal is now open. If you received payments from the fund between April and June 2020 you are required to report prior to September 30th, 2021.
A new COVID-19 information website, specifically for teens [ncdhhs.gov] launched this week. As COVID-19 rates are rapidly increasing across the state, particularly in young people, this is a useful tool for encouraging vaccination.
The Northwest AHEC Practice Support Team is committed to promote understanding and improve the orientation of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) for North Carolinians. In order to support these goals, we will share a publication on SDOH each month on our Practice Support Blog.
Application for $5,000 grants to support Covid-19 vaccination in primary care
NC AHEC and the UNC Prevention Research Center invite North Carolina primary care practices to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to support the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines. Practices should apply through this link: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_86Ag2KHXWGKw4qa no later than September 17, 2021.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a webpage dedicated to bringing you “What’s New & Updated”. Content on the webpage includes significant changes such as new pages and guidance recommendations. This webpage is one of several ways you can stay updated on the most current information around COVID-19. You can also stay updated by signing up for email updates, syndicating available content, and subscribing to the COVID-19 RSS Feed.
A study from April 2021 sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed some startling facts about ways we are missing the mark to address vaccine hesitancy among adults aged 18-64.
On July 9, 2021, an addendum to COVID-19 Bulletin #168 was released in SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #170: Update on Vaccination Counseling Code Reimbursement. Read highlights below.