Compliance Corner June 2022

New Federal Funding to Increase Internet Access

In May, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Internet for All, a $65 billion investment included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – that passed last November.  The federal National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within Commerce, has opened the application window for several programs that will support efforts in states and U.S. territories to close the digital gap in areas with little or no high-speed internet. This is a particular issue in rural communities given long-standing gaps relative to urban areas. A separate program, the Affordable Connectivity Program, helps low-income households pay for monthly internet service and provides discounts for laptops, tablets, and desktop computers.  For more information about these opportunities as they arise, sign up for the newsletter from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth at HRSA.

Source:  HRSA

HHS Leaders Urge States to Maximize Efforts to Support Children’s Mental Health

May 25: Agencies across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint letter to states, tribes, and jurisdictions encouraging them to prioritize and maximize their efforts to strengthen children’s mental health and well-being. The letter, signed by leaders of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL), outlines HHS’ plans to support and facilitate state-level coordination across federal funding streams to advance and expand mental health services for children.

According to data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, the number of children ages 3-17 years diagnosed with anxiety grew by 29 percent and those with depression by 27 percent between 2016 and 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 21 percent increase in children diagnosed with behavioral or conduct problems. Given these increases, HHS agencies are encouraging recipients to coordinate on using these funds to create meaningful and equitable approaches to children’s mental health needs and to expanding access to high quality pediatric mental health care.

The letter highlights opportunities to strengthen the health care system’s capacity to meet mental health needs, connect more people to care, and create a continuum of support to address mental health comprehensively and equitably by coordinating across federal programs

Read the full press release HERE.


HHS Announces $5 Million in Funding to Advance Equity in Cancer Screening at Health Centers

May 11: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of $5 million for community health centers, funded by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration, to increase equitable access to life-saving cancer screenings. This funding supports President Joe Biden’s Unity Agenda and his call to action on cancer screening and early detection as part of the Administration’s Cancer Moonshot initiative to end cancer as we know it.

HRSA-funded community health centers are uniquely positioned to engage and support underserved patients in overcoming all-too-common obstacles to accessing life-saving cancer screenings. In addition to helping health centers address and remove barriers to care, this funding will help increase the number of health center patients screened for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer. Also, with support from National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center partners, this funding will help ensure that health center patients have hands-on assistance accessing high quality cancer care and treatment if needed.

Visit the fiscal year 2022 Accelerating Cancer Screening technical assistance webpage for the notice of funding opportunity, technical assistance information, and other resources. Applications are due in by Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

Read the full release HERE.


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