HHS invests $90 million to improve health center data collection
Written by Dave Nyczepir
The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a $90 million initiative to get its health centers the data they need to reduce health disparities using remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
A modernized data collection and reporting initiative, called Uniform Data System Patient-Level Submission (UDS+), will fund the efforts of Health Resources and Services Administration-designated health centers to collect more and better patient information. social determinants of health.
The $90 million in funding was left over from HRSA $1 billion made available through the American Rescue Plan-Capital funding opportunity in April 2021. Just over $950 million was granted at the time for construction of a health center.
USD+ comes as White House Fair Data Task Force releases recommendations on promoting use of this information across government and targets health centers in medically underserved communities – often disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Health centers are essential to increasing equitable access to primary health care,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in Thursday’s announcement. “The Biden-Harris administration has made historic investments in health centers, and this funding from President Biden’s U.S. bailout will further enable health centers to use data to meet the needs of their communities and contribute reduce gaps in care.”
USD+ will further streamline health center data quality reporting and help them better target community needs with available funding for COVID-19 efforts, as well as improve informatics health care, data collection and related training. HRSA currently expects to award approximately $60,000 per winner around August 1, 2022.
New health center improvements will boost patient-level reporting and investigation of disparities in health care utilization and outcomes by race, ethnicity, age and other demographics . Data standardization will help health centers identify most-at-risk populations and necessary clinical interventions and participate in disease surveillance for future outbreaks.
Health centers have until 5 p.m. ET on May 23, 2022 to apply for the additional funding.
HRSA has awarded approximately $6 billion to expand testing, vaccinations and treatment for COVID-19 to high-risk populations; $1 billion to increase access through construction; and $32 million to provide COVID-19-related training and technical assistance at health centers since March 2021. More than 90% of patients at HRSA health centers are living at 200% or less of federal guidelines on poverty, and almost 63% are racial or ethnic. minorities.