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HHS to Award 1,273 Community Health Centers Across the USA With Grants, to Improve Healthcare
WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Department of Health and Services (HHS) announced that a total of approximately $107 million would be granted to 1,273 health centers across the whole country to improve the quality, efficiency and the value of the health care provided by these centers.
The Fund which has been provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) aims at delivering better value from the care they receive and, ultimately, better health. "This week's awards recognize especially high-achieving health centers. America's health centers are essential to producing results on our actionable public health challenges, like HIV/AIDS and the opioid crisis, as well as to building a healthcare system that delivers better value and puts the patient at the center," said HHS Secretary, Alex Azar.
To make proper fund distribution to health centers across the country possible HRSA uses the Electronic Handbooks(EHBs) System. The handbook is a web-based Grants Management system used by HRSA agency to award over nine billion dollars' worth of grants to organizations across the country annually."Every year it helps tens of millions of Americans receive quality, affordable health care, and other services. EHBs is a conglomeration of modules that support various types of grants, formula, application, review, etc.," said software expert Prashanth Vijayaraghavan who developed, many of the key modules in EHBs.
According to Vijayraghavan, the EHBs system benefits HRSA in the following manner-it reduces inefficiencies in grant processing and increased accountability, traceability and enhances transparency.
Vijayraghavan who was the brain behind the development of Formula Module, a key module within EHBs, stated that this module will help HRSA programs to allocate a total grant amount to various applicants or grantees. " It uses the excel engine behind the scenes to calculate the allocations based on various input parameters and several analytical criteria," he said, this module was built for Nurse Faculty Loans Program(NFLP) with reusability in mind and then later used for various other HRSA programs like Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS), Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs, Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program (CHGME), Bureau of Health Workforce Loans Programs, etc.
The community health centers are also helping in ending the HIV Epidemic by serving as a key point of entry for the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of HIV. In 2018 alone, these health centers provided over 2.4 million HIV tests to more than 2 million patients. Nationwide, health centers provide care to 1 in 6 patients diagnosed with HIV. Hence, this system has allowed for the smooth distribution of grants to 534,903 grantee organizations, which impacted 50% of the US population diagnosed with HIV aids. "Those who received treatments using this program, were members of racial/ethnic minority and living at or below the US federal poverty levels," said Vijayraghavan.
Similarly, according to HRSA Acting Administrator Tom Engels, all HRSA-funded health centers continue to lead the U.S. healthcare system in providing quality, value-based care to their communities. "Today we are recognizing nearly all HRSA-funded health centers for their continued improvements on clinical quality measures and supporting them to continue as quality leaders nationwide in the years to come," he said.
HHS is the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Its mission is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans by providing effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services.