HHS gives rural providers $225M for COVID-19 testing

HHS gave $225 million to rural health clinics May 20 to boost access to COVID-19 testing in rural communities. 

The money will support over 4,500 rural health clinics across the country, giving about $50,000 to each clinic site. 

Rural health clinics are special designations given by CMS to healthcare practices in underserved rural areas to help ensure access for rural residents. 

The $225 million comes from the Paycheck Protection Program and the Health Care Enhancement Act. 

"A safe reopening is vital for Americans’ health and well-being, and especially so for those living in rural areas, who may have struggled with access to healthcare long before COVID-19 and found care even harder to access during this crisis," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. 

The money is to be used to get testing supplies, train providers and staff on testing procedures and report data to HHS on testing activities. It could also be used for building temporary structures or leasing property as necessary to support the COVID-19 response of rural health clinics. 

HHS is also giving $500,000 to rural health clinics to support technical assistance, such as conducting webinars on testing. 

For a state-by-state breakdown of the funding, click here.

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