Health centers can tap into $90M in federal grants for data collection improvements
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Florida centers have accessed more than $400 million of the $7 billion in total grants awarded.

The Joe Biden administration is making $90 million available to federally qualified health centers to assist them as they transition to new reporting requirements that have been redesigned to collect more and better data on social determinants of health.

The grants are being administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and are funded with American Rescue Plan dollars.

“HRSA’s funding has supported our nation’s health centers in becoming leaders in leveraging the latest technology and data to provide high-quality care to individuals and communities who have been historically underserved,” HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson said.

She added the funds will “help health centers modernize their data tools to improve equitable access to care and continue to best meet the needs of the communities and patients they serve.”

HRSA-supported health centers provide services to underserved populations and lower-income individuals and families. Nearly 63% of the patients treated at the clinics are racial or ethnic minorities.

Centers are required to report to the federal government information on patient characteristics, services provided, clinical processes, health outcomes, staffing, patients’ use of service, and costs and revenues. But the new reporting rules shift what centers are required to report from the facility level to the patient level instead.

The changes are meant to increase the granularity of the data being collected by leveraging advances in health information technology and aligning with other interoperability standards and reporting requirements in other federally funded health care programs.

The government has established a technical assistance webpage. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on May 23.

The HRSA has awarded about $7 billion in grants since March 2021, when the American Rescue Plan was passed. To date, Florida centers have accessed more than $400 million of the total awarded. 

In April 2021, 47 federally qualified health centers tapped into more than $368 million to support and expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing and treatment for populations at higher risk for COVID-19. At the same time, it was announced that the Florida Association of Community Health Centers received a $329,833 grant to help educate qualified centers.

And in September 2021, the HRSA announced 45 Florida centers received $39.7 million in grants to support capital improvements and new construction.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.



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