Compliance Corner June 2023

HRSA and HHS Commemorate Pride Month

HRSA and the HIV/AIDS Bureau are honored to join Pride Month and celebrate alongside the LGBTQIA+ community throughout the month of June. On June 1, HHS and HRSA leadership released the following statements to commemorate Pride Month:

“Every year, during Pride Month, we honor and celebrate the many ways our family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and fellow Americans in the LGBTQI+ community contribute to the health and wellbeing of our great nation. Today and every day, the Department works to ensure that every American has access to health care – including gender-affirming care – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We stand with and support Americans who are targeted because of their gender identity and are committed to protecting them. We also stand with and support their parents, caretakers, and families. We will continue to fight on behalf of all Americans to ensure they have access to the care and support they need.

To all our LGBTQI+ colleagues, in HHS and across the health and human services field, thank you for your tireless work towards improving the lives of those in need. We are honored to lead the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to put the health and human services of all Americans above the hateful and harmful beliefs of a narrow-minded few.” Secretary Xavier Becerra, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

“Pride Month is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community and ensure that we continue to work together to help people to thrive. Through HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, HRSA-supported community health centers, and other programs, we’ve made important strides in expanding access to health care and are committed to delivering the care all individuals need. HRSA and the Biden-Harris Administration will always stand with the LGBTQIA+ community.” Administrator Carole Johnson, HRSA

Source: HRSA & HHS


National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action

May 25, 2023: The White House has released the first-ever U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action. In the May 25 announcement, the White House highlighted the 2023-2025 HRSA Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

The HRSA Strategy outlines aims, objectives, and activities for HRSA Bureaus and Offices to prevent and respond to IPV across HRSA activities.

Source: HRSA


National HIV Testing Day

June 27th is this year’s National HIV Testing Day and the theme is, “Take the Test & Take the Next Step”, highlighting the importance of HIV testing.

About 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2021, the most recent year for which this information is available. Of those people, about 87% knew they had HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn more about National HIV Testing Day.

Source: HRSA


Health Centers Share Maternal Health, Community Outreach, and Mental Health Successes

May 16, 2023:  Visit HRSA’s Health Center Stories webpage to check out these new stories:

  • Union Community Health Center in the Bronx is integrating maternal and pediatrics care.
  • Primary Health Care in Des Moines reports improved mental health measures among patients who received food assistance.
  • Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center offered elderly patients a new medical home when a senior health clinic suddenly closed.
  • The Community Health Foundation of Puerto Rico rolled out expanded mental health services by throwing a party, complete with food, music, and a parade.

Share your own success story by emailing HRSA are especially interested in stories about rural health and maternal health.

Source: HRSA


New Step-by-Step Federal Tort Claims Act Deeming Application Guide

May 30, 2023: This new guide (PDF) presents clear instructions and required information for completing a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) deeming application. The guide will help you understand criteria and respond accurately to each question. Visit the FTCA Technical Assistance (TA) Resources webpage for other TA resources.

Source: HRSA


Policy Changes After the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

May 11, 2023:  The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ended on May 11, 2023 but many of the telehealth flexibilities authorized during the PHE will extend through December 31, 2024. CMS released resources on Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 PHE, including Frequently Asked Questions and What Do I Need to Know?.

Read more HERE.

Source: HRSA


Using Telehealth for Behavioral Health


Telehealth can make it easier for patients to find or connect to a health care appointment and provide additional ways for patients to receive support.  Check out this new Tip Sheet which is designed to answer questions patients may have about telebehavioral health including the benefits, different types of services, and how to find a provider that offers telebehavioral health.

Source:  HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth


Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telehealth

The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, issued a temporary rule to allow all telemedicine flexibilities regarding prescription of controlled medications that were in place during the COVID-19 PHE to remain in place through November 11, 2023. For any practitioner-patient telemedicine relationships that have been or will be established on or before November 11, 2023, these flexibilities will continue through November 11, 2024.  Read more HERE.

Source:  HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth


MLN Update: Mental Health Visits via Telecommunications for Rural Health Clinics and FQHCs

May 23, 2023:  CMS released the revised MLN Matters Number SE22001.  CMS revised this Article to show a legislative change about in-person visits and added modifier 93 for reporting audio-only mental health visits.  Access the Article HERE.

Source: CMS


2023 Uniform Data System Reporting

May 9, 2023:  HRSA have decided that, for 2023 reporting, health centers will submit aggregated Uniform Data System (UDS) data via HRSA’s Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) using the traditional submission method. This includes all UDS tables and appendices and will be the official submission of record.

Health centers that are ready to submit patient-level data (UDS+) are encouraged to do so – this voluntary submission will help HRSA understand challenges and successes and inform our future reporting approach. For those interested, learn more about UDS+ proof of concept testing through the UDS Test Cooperative on their UDS Modernization Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage.

Visit the UDS Training and technical assistance (TA) website to access resources.

Source: HRSA


Reminder: Updated Electronic Handbooks Login Process Provides Additional Security

May 26, 2023:  HRSA’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) upgraded the login process for external Electronic Handbooks (EHB) users to make it more secure. This new multifactor login procedure, required of all federal IT systems, will impact all BHW awardees reporting into EHB (Annual Performance Reports, Annual Operating Reports, etc.) and applicants responding to current Notice of Funding Opportunities.

The new EHB login process went into effect May 26, 2023 for all external EHB users. It is important to start this process to set-up the new login procedure now to avoid issues with upcoming application and reporting deadlines.  All awardees and potential applicants should create a account with the same email address they use to log into the EHBs. If you already have a account, you must ensure it is active and it is the same email address used to log into the EHBs. Check out the Help Center and Wiki Help page for more information.

Source: HRSA


Capital Assistance for Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts (CARE) NOFO

June 1, 2023:  HRSA has released the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Capital Assistance for Hurricane Response and Recovery Efforts (CARE) Notice of Funding Opportunity (HRSA-23-122). Approximately $65 million will be available to help ensure communities in hurricane-prone areas have continuous access to primary care services during future emergencies. Read the HHS press release.

Funding will be available for new construction, renovations, and infrastructure repairs at health centers in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico to prevent flooding, upgrade emergency generators, and improve communication and mechanical systems ahead of future disasters.

Eligible HRSA-funded health centers must submit applications in HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) by 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 6. Visit the FY 2023 CARE technical assistance (TA) webpage for eligibility requirements, TA information, and other resources. Eligible health centers were notified via EHBs on Thursday, May 25.

Source: HRSA


Interstate Licensure Resources


May 23, 2023:  A licensure resource shares the latest information on interstate licensure. This resource has the latest guidance on how to practice legally and ethically while encouraging the uptake of licensure models that increase access to health care. 

Getting started with licensure: Learn about licensing and the role of states and the federal government.

Licensing across state lines: Read how to deliver health care services, including through telehealth, across state lines.

Licensure compacts: Find out more about compacts between states that make it easier for health care providers to deliver telehealth care for a range of specialties.

Licensure for behavioral health: Explore resources specifically for behavioral health professionals who are subject to state licensure law and regulations, including for telehealth services.

Source: HRSA

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