How Independent Hospitals Can Tap into Federal Funding



healthcare organizations throughout the nation proceed to face large monetary and workforce challenges, a lot of which have worsened amid a world pandemic.

And although the federal public well being emergency expired Could 11 — and the World Well being Group declared that the unfold of COVID-19 is now not a world well being disaster — that doesn’t imply the difficulties which have emerged over the previous three years will all of the sudden disappear.      

For impartial hospitals serving rural communities, these challenges should not fully new. Even within the years earlier than the pandemic, rural hospitals had been already coping with closures, unequal care entry, workers shortages throughout medical and nonclinical departments and slim working margins. Adopting newer applied sciences and processes didn’t present fast and simple options: Unreliable connectivity and decrease digital literacy amongst communities with extra growing old members proved to be ongoing points that wanted advanced and well-supported solutions.

However impartial hospitals don’t need to face these constant issues alone. In truth, there are a selection of key healthcare funding choices that these organizations can apply for to assist enhance broadband connectivity and help increasing digital care companies.

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Federal Funding Alternatives for Impartial Hospitals

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred many massive federal grant applications that, sadly, won’t reoccur because the PHE expires. However these applications did lay the groundwork for prioritizing and enhancing digital care companies with the increase of telehealth adoption.  

As such, there are nonetheless a number of funding alternatives that impartial hospitals can faucet into:

  • healthcare Join Fund: This grant, managed by the Common Service Administrative Co. (a not-for-profit company charged with administering sure federal grant funds), gives a 65 p.c low cost on broadband connectivity prices for eligible rural healthcare suppliers. It may well present funds for a router or swap immediately linked to a service supplier; assist pay for putting in community gear and firewalls; and canopy gear warranties and upkeep contracts. This type of constant, noncompetitive funding would enable organizations to often funds for these wants.
  • Distance Studying and Telemedicine Grants: This aggressive program, managed by the U.S. Agriculture Division’s Rural Growth workplace, gives funding particularly to help digitally enabled connections for rural communities. For healthcare organizations, that will imply supporting the institution or growth of digital care companies. The grants can help audio, video licensing and interactive video gear for offering telemedicine; associated telemedicine software program, for as much as three years; and community elements, software program and laptop {hardware}.
  • Small Rural Hospital Enchancment Program: The SHIP program, managed by the Well being and Human Providers Division’s Well being Sources and Providers Administration, goals to assist rural hospitals which have 49 beds or fewer meet value-based fee and care objectives. The funding can cowl prices for well being IT {hardware} and software program, and sure high quality enchancment trainings.

Click on the banner to find out how a accomplice may also help impartial hospitals clear up IT challenges.

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Whereas there’s a lack of constant state-level funding to help impartial hospitals in their very own communities, there’s a rising recognition that extra help is required for these healthcare organizations to keep away from exacerbating unequal entry to care.

As impartial hospitals faucet into federal help, they need to think about investments in networking, cybersecurity and digital care. There may very well be extra alternatives sooner or later for security-focused healthcare funding. Digital care companies are a significant aggressive benefit for conventional suppliers and may finally help overburdened workers.

This text is a part of HealthTech’s MonITor weblog sequence.


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