HHS Provides $398 Million to Small Rural Hospitals for COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation

Covid-19Image by Tayeb Mezahdia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has provided $398 million in funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) to 1,540 small rural hospitals for COVID-19 testing and mitigation.

“The Biden Administration recognizes the important role that small rural hospitals have in closing the equity gap and ensuring that rural Americans can protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “[The] funding will help small rural hospitals continue to serve their communities in this critical role by expanding their COVID-19 testing capacity and mitigation efforts.”

State Offices of Rural Health, which work with small rural hospitals to implement quality and operational improvement efforts, will receive the funding announced today to distribute to eligible small rural hospitals in their state. Small rural hospitals—those with fewer than 50 beds and Critical Access Hospitals—are key health care access points and trusted community resources. Hospitals will use the funds to maintain or increase COVID-19 testing, expand access to testing for rural residents, and tailor mitigation efforts to reflect the needs of local communities.

“Our state-based SHIP grantees are important partners in helping to support small rural hospitals,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa. “HRSA is committed to mitigating the spread of the virus in rural areas by supporting and empowering local providers to tailor their responses to COVID-19 to what works for their communities.”

Learn more about the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

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Read more about HRSA’s coronavirus response in rural communities.

Find more information about HRSA’s rural programs in the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

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