Compliance Corner February 2023

HRSA’s Efforts in 2022 to Deliver on the Secretary’s Priorities to Combat COVID-19

January 2023: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is dedicated to providing equitable health care to the nation’s highest-need communities—we serve people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs support people with low incomes, people with HIV, pregnant people, children, parents, rural communities, transplant patients, and other communities in need, as well as the health workforce, health systems, and facilities that care for them. In Fiscal Year 2022, HRSA delivered on the Secretary’s priorities of equity, preparedness, behavioral health, and access to affordable care through our work to combat COVID-19, increase equitable access to health care services, and grow the health care workforce including the behavioral health workforce. HRSA’s lifesaving and life-sustaining work included:
  • Combatting COVID-19
  • Increasing equitable access to health care services
  • Growing the Health Care Workforce
Read the full Agency Overview HERE. Source: HRSA

Advancing Health Equity among Hispanic/Latino Populations

HRSA’s Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs invites you to the first session of their learning series on “Advancing Health Equity among Hispanic/Latino Populations” on Tuesday, February 7, 1- 2:15 p.m. ET. This first session, “Getting to Know HRSA,” will explore HRSA’s priority areas, programs, funding, and technical resources available to support organizations providing health and social services to Hispanic/Latino populations. During the session, participants will have the opportunity to hear about effective ways to collaborate and stay connected to HRSA to leverage resources and gain access to innovative and high-value programs. Register for the session. The session will be broadcast in Spanish with live language interpretation to English. Source: HRSA

HRSA-CDC Urgent Public Health Matter: Childhood Blood Lead Levels

About 2.5% of U.S. children between ages 1 and 5 have blood lead levels at or above the CDC blood lead reference value of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter. In a joint letter, HRSA and CDC encourage all HRSA-supported health centers to do their part to address this urgent public health matter. Childhood exposure to lead is preventable. As health care providers, you can help by:
  1. Ensuring that all children at risk for lead poisoning are tested.
  2. Ensuring that all pediatric Medicaid recipients in your practice are tested for lead according to federal requirements.
  3. Learning about childhood lead exposure and appropriate prevention strategies.
  4. Educating parents/guardians about the ways to prevent exposure to lead.
  5. Following CDC’s Recommended Actions Based on Blood Lead Levels.
  Background Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health because no safe blood lead level has been identified in children. Even low levels of lead in children’s blood can affect learning, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. Lead paint in pre-1978 housing is a major source of children’s exposure to lead in the U.S. Data from the American Healthy Homes Survey II estimate that millions of children have ongoing exposure to lead-based paint, placing them at risk for adverse health effects. Children from low-income households, those living in housing built before 1978, and children from certain races/ethnicities are at greater risk. There are often no apparent symptoms when a child is exposed to lead. Because of this, a blood test is the best way to determine if a child has been exposed to lead. In October 2021, CDC lowered its blood lead reference value from 5.0 to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter. This means children with blood lead levels between 3.5 and 5.0 micrograms per deciliter should now also receive prompt services to mitigate health effects and remove or control lead exposure sources. CDC Resources
  • Watch the recording of the October 2022 webinar, “CDC and HRSA Partner for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention: Guidance for Clinicians”, where experts provided the latest information about preventing exposure to lead, testing, and medical management of children with lead poisoning. You’ll learn about CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and more.
  • Testing Children for Lead Poisoning
  • Blood Lead Levels in Children
  Contact Poison Help right away if you suspect a poisoning by calling 800-222-1222. Find resources at Source:  HRSA & CDC

Record Breaking 16.3 Million People Signed Up For Health Care Coverage in ACA Marketplaces During 2022-2023 Open Enrollment Season

January 25:  The Biden-Harris Administration announced that a record-breaking more than 16.3 million people have selected an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace health plan nationwide during the 2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that ran from November 1, 2022-January 15, 2023 for most Marketplaces. Total plan selections include 3.6 million people (22% of total) who are new to the Marketplaces for 2023, and 12.7 million people (78% of total) who had active 2022 coverage and made a plan selection for 2023 coverage or were automatically re-enrolled. Over 1.8 million more people have signed up for health insurance, or a 13% increase, from this time last year. The 3.6 million plan selections from people who are new to the Marketplaces represent a 21% increase in new-to-Marketplace plan selections over last year. Source:

HHS Poverty Guidelines for 2023

January 19: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published the household income data that determines eligibility for Medicaid and a number of other Federal programs. The 2023 poverty guidelines are in effect as of January 19, 2023. Federal Register Notice, January 19, 2023 Source:  HRSA FORHP

Special Enrollment Period for Consumers Losing Medicaid or CHIP Coverage

January 27: The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy sent out information about an anticipated loss of health care coverage for millions of public health beneficiaries as the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 comes to a close. On that same day, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a Special Enrollment Period for qualified beneficiaries of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Between March 31, 2023 and July 31, 2024, CMS will allow Marketplace-eligible consumers to submit a new application or update an existing application through  Read the FORHP Announcement:  What you should know about unwinding continuous enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP. Source:  HRSA FORHP

2023 HRSA Patient Safety Awareness Week: The Role of Technology in Patient Safety and Patient Engagement

Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 12-18. HRSA is hosting an event in partnership with other HHS agencies: AHRQ, CDC, CMS, IHS, NIH, as well as the National Practitioner Data Bank. Wednesday, March 15 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET Registration page Submit questions in advance to Speakers will discuss emerging topics, including how remote patient monitoring and predictive artificial intelligence are improving patient outcomes, how health care providers can maximize the use of technology and digital health, and how to address health disparities and communication inequities to ensure that advances in technology and digital health can support all patients. 

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