Approximately $398 million was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a means of helping 1,540 small rural hospitals address COVID-19 testing and mitigation.
“Our state-based SHIP grantees are important partners in helping to support small rural hospitals,” HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa said. “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.”
Funds were dispatched through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) and split millions between individual states. However, no data has been made available for Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The top earner was Texas, which earned more than $29.7 million for 115 small rural hospitals. Other top recipients included Kansas, with more than $23.5 million for 91 hospitals, and Minnesota, which earned more than $19.6 million for 76 hospitals.
Small rural hospitals, in this case, refer to those institutions with fewer than 50 beds, as well as Critical Access Hospitals. They will be able to use these funds to maintain or bolster COVID-19 testing and access to testing and adjust their mitigation efforts to their specific communities.
“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,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.