$500 Million for Rural Health Care Providers

The information in this article is current as of the date of publication. Visit the USDA Emergency Rural Health Care Grants website for up-to-date information.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a Notice on August 12, 2021 announcing $500 million in new Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program funding.

Eligible entities can apply now through October 12, 2021 for preliminary review. The USDA will accept applications on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Applicants must contact their respective local Rural Development office.

Two Track Options

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) appropriated funds for rural health care services, available through two tracks which support both immediate relief and long-term sustainability.

ARPA accepts both Track One Recovery Grants and Track Two Impact Grants applications until October 12, 2021.

Track One Recovery Grants for Immediate Relief

Track One Recovery Grants provide grants from $25,000 to $1 million for immediate relief, and the USDA anticipates providing $350 million for recovery funding.

The grants must relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and support immediate health care needs, help prepare for a future event, or provide food assistance. Grant funding of $25,000–$1 million is available, limited to 75% of eligible project costs, and based on the median household income of the population served.

According to the USDA Track One website, fund recipients can use them for expenses incurred on or after March 13, 2020.

Eligible Expenses
  • Increased capacity for vaccine distribution
  • Medical supplies and equipment to increase medical surge capacity
  • Reimbursement for health care-related lost revenue from capacity maintenance during the pandemic
  • Increased telehealth capabilities, including underlying health care information systems
  • Temporary or permanent construction to provide health care services
  • Support staffing for testing or vaccine administration
  • Support facilities, equipment, and operating expenses associated with food banks and food distribution facilities

Refer to the USDA’s Track One Application Guide and Application Checklist.

Track Two Impact Grants for Long-Term Stability

Track Two Impact Grants range from $5 million to $10 million and offer long-term funding to advance ideas and solutions to support the sustainability of rural health. Available funding estimates for Track Two approach $125 million over three years.

This funding should support long-term stability of rural health care, particularly by improving outcomes and access, and maintaining sustainable economic development for small communities.

Grant funds are exclusively for an applicable percentage of eligible project costs, up to 75%, based on the median household income of the population served.

Eligible Projects
  • Developing health care services focused on behavioral care combined with other medical services
  • Encouraging rural residents to seek care at their nearest hospitals
  • Supporting health care as an anchor institution in small communities
  • Expanding access to telehealth, electronic health data sharing, workforce development, transportation, paramedicine, obstetrics, behavioral health, farmworker health care, and cooperative home care
Eligible Expenses
  • Establishing or scaling regional partnerships or consortiums of community leaders and health care partners to support regional health care problems
  • Establishing or scaling evidence-based models and disseminate lessons learned for possible replication in other small communities and regions
  • Covering indirect costs in an amount up to a federally negotiated indirect cost rate

Who’s Eligible

Funding is available for:

  • Public bodies of a state, such as a municipality, county, district, authority, or other political subdivision of a state
  • Community-based not-for-profits or associations that have significant ties with the local rural community
  • Federally recognized Indian Tribes in rural areas with populations equal to or less than 20,000

We’re Here to Help

To learn more about the potential funding available, contact your Moss Adams professional.

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