Federal Rural Roundup

Recognizing Leaders

NRHA – Nominate your Member of Congress. 

Each month, we will recognize a Member of Congress who is helping to protect and promote rural health on Capitol Hill. You can nominate Members by filling out this form. Selected Members will be notified of their recognition in the Rural Roundup and their nominator. This is an opportunity for you to show your elected officials know that you recognize and appreciate the work they do for rural health! 

Nominate an NRHA member. 

Each month, we will recognize an NRHA member who is helping protect and promote rural health in their community. You can nominate NRHA members by filling out this form. Selected members will be notified of their recognition in the Rural Roundup. 

Executive Branch Focus

Additional Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 Payments will be distributed to more than 7,600 providers.  

Through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making over $2 billion to PRF Phase 4 General Distribution payments to 7,600 providers across the nation this week.  Over $18 billion will have been distributed from the PRF and the ARPR provider funding in the last 3 months and approximately 82 percent of all Phase 4 applications have now been processed. NRHA will continue to monitor the rollout of this funding and ensure rural providers are adequately represented.

HRSA accepting new orders for at-home COVID-19 tests until February 1. 

Health centers and RHCs are encouraged to join the HRSA Covid-19 Testing Supply Program and order free, FDA-authorized COVID-19 at-home self-tests for no-cost distribution to patients and communities.  Given the increased demand for at-home tests, HRSA will be setting aside orders from the last cycle that have not yet shipped, to ensure equitable distribution. On January 26, HRSA reopened ordering with new organizational caps for all enrolled health centers and RHCs.  For those who placed orders prior to January 4, their orders have been processed and shipped. 

CMS is committing $49.4 million to increase insurance rates among children and boost Medicaid enrollment among parents and pregnant people. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will fund organizations that can connect children, parents and pregnant individuals to health care coverage.  Awardees will receive $1.5 million each year over a three-year period to advance Medicaid/ Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment and retention. This funding will help ensure eligible children are enrolled in coverage and increase access to necessary prenatal care and healthy birth outcomes. Applications for this opportunity will be accepted through March 28, 2022. 

Legislative Branch activity

HELP Committee introduces PREVENT Pandemics Act. 

Over the past few months, HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) have been working on a measure to prepare for the next public health emergency. On Tuesday, the Committee introduced draft legislative text and a section-by-section of the proposal. NRHA is reviewing the legislative proposal to ensure rural is adequately represented. NRHA will keep members apprised of update via NRHA connect and the Rural Roundup in the coming days.