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overnor Greg Abbott announced recently the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is providing $128 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to rural hospitals and nursing facilities to support health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds for the grant programs were authorized as part of Senate Bill 8 during the Third Special Session. The direct grant funds will pay for critical staffing needs in rural hospitals and in nursing facilities throughout the state. 

“This funding will provide vital support to rural hospitals, nursing facilities, and other health care providers across the state who continue working tirelessly to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “We are grateful for the continued efforts of our health care professionals who compassionately serve their fellow Texans.” 

“Health care providers have worked tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and these grant programs will help them fill critical gaps in their workforce as they continue to serve vulnerable Texans,” said HHSC Chief Financial Officer Trey Wood.

HHSC is distributing approximately $90 million to Texas nursing facilities with an active license as of November 8, 2021 under the Nursing Facility COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (NF-CHRG) program. Each eligible facility will receive $75,000. The grant can be used for critical staffing needs, such as for bonuses and employing contracted staff.

The agency is also distributing approximately $38 million or $250,000 to each eligible rural hospital under the Rural Hospital COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (RH-CHRG) program. The funds are discretionary and can be used by rural hospitals to support staffing, infrastructure, or revenue losses related to the pandemic.

HHSC will administer grant agreements to the legally authorized representatives of the approximately 1,200 eligible nursing facilities and approximately 150 eligible rural hospitals in January 2022, and they will have 15 business days to sign the agreement. Six months after the award, grantees must submit documentation to HHSC regarding how they used the funds.

Separately, Texas rural hospitals, nursing facilities, community attendants, home health agencies, and other long-term care providers will have the opportunity to apply for $325.3 million in competitive grants in early 2022. Information about the competitive request for applications will be posted to the HHSC website as soon as it becomes available.

Funds for the grant programs were authorized as part of Senate Bill 8, 87th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 2021. The money comes from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (42 U.S.C. Section 802) established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Pub. L. No. A117-2).

For more information about the Nursing Facility COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant program and the Rural Hospital COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant program, visit:  https://www.hhs.texas.gov/business/grants/covid-19-healthcare-relief-grants

Information provided by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission

 

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