April 23, 2021
COVID-19 RESOURCES
FCC COVID Telehealth Funding: Round Two

The FCC announced that the seven-day window to submit applications for funding under Round Two of its COVID Telehealth Program will run from noon ET on Thursday April 29 through noon ET Thursday May 6. The FCC released a formal order outlining how the applications will be processed and how the $250 million will be awarded.

The application and award process accounts for providers who applied but were not funded in Round One and providers such as FQHCs, and those that serve a HPSA and low-income patients.

 
TPCA COVID-19 Resources Page

TPCA created a COVID-19 Resources page that contains information and tools for health centers and the general public on a variety of COVID-19 related topics including TPCA’s COVID-19 vaccines, updates, human resources & operations, telehealth, and PPE.

TPCA Members may also access the COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for the latest in TN COVID-19 Vaccine distribution as well as timely and relevant resources.
WEEKLY Open COVID-19 Webinar for Healthcare Professionals

Join the TN Department of Health for a weekly open Q&A webinar hour for health care professionals to ask questions about the Tennessee COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution plan and COVID-19 vaccines.

TDH provider calls occur every Friday.

TPCA MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
Read how Cempa Community Care workers reflect on the past year; from COVID-19 tests to now giving free vaccinations.

Read about Chota Community Health Services’ “Operation Vaccination” drive-through COVID-19 vaccination event.

STATE POLICY UPDATES
Legislation to Protect 340B

The Tennessee General Assembly continues to consider legislation to protect community health centers from discriminatory reimbursement in the 340B drug pricing program. TPCA is supporting SB1205/HB1348, sponsored by Senator Briggs and Representative Helton, and SB1617/HB1398, sponsored by Senator Reeves and Representative Helton.

HB1348 passed the full House while its companion bill, SB 1205 passed the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee and will be sent to the full Senate for a vote.
HB1398 was considered by the House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee this week. No further action on HB1398 is expected until the budget is approved. The companion bill, SB1617 will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee on April 27.
FEDERAL POLICY UPDATES
President Biden's Discretionary Budget Request

President Biden released the topline version of his FY 22 discretionary funding request. The $1.5 trillion request reflects funding for each department but does not outline the amount for specific programs, such as the Community Health Center Fund. The plan proposes an 16% increase in non-defense spending, including 24% for HHS. The full budget will be released in May or June.
Appropriations for Community Health Centers

Congress is in the midst of the annual appropriations and will determine the amount of discretionary funding for community health centers in FY 22. NACHC, TPCA, and health centers are advocating for $2.2 billion in discretionary funding to support the day-to-day operations of health centers across the country. Several members of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation, including Representatives Harshbarger, Cooper, Cohen, and Rose signed on to a letter in the House supporting strong funding for health centers.
340B Administrative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Panel

Last week, HHS submitted a written update to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia outlining progress in establishing the Administrative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, that allows 340B covered entities and drug manufacturers to bring disputes before an HHS panel for resolution. The update from HHS states HRSA has developed a list of proposed ADR Board, which must be approved by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra before the panel can consider cases.
ADDITIONAL NEWS & RESOURCES
Learn more about partnering with TPCA in 2021
by contacting Susan Swartz at susan.swartz@tnpca.org!
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This publication is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,830,669, with 15 percent financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.