February 12, 2021
COVID-19 RESOURCES
TN COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan Updated

The state is working to concurrently vaccinate populations by risk of exposure and age. Each county is working through the phases at slightly different paces, though all counties are now vaccinating individuals in phase 1a2 and some have moved to 1b. Last week, Tennessee counties moved to vaccinating individuals 70+, however, Davidson county is currently unable to offer the vaccine to individuals aged 70+ due to supply limitations.

Financial Impact of COVID-19 on
Federally Qualified Health Centers from Capital Link

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s more than 1,400 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) experienced a 26% decline in patient visits between April and December 2020, as patients complied with stay-at-home orders.

They pivoted quickly to providing care virtually, with 36% of visits delivered via telehealth. However, the loss in patient visits severely impacted health centers’ revenue, jeopardizing their financial viability even as they continue to play a critical role in the pandemic fight.

COVID-19 Vaccination Plan and TDH Resources

The Tennessee Department of Health continues to develop resources to help residents understand the distribution plan roll out.

This dashboard shows the number of vaccinations administered in the state, the percent of each county’s population that has been vaccinated, and vaccination by site type.

This document is updated daily and contains information on whether or not each county has vaccine available, based on the number of doses given by COB that day.


This tool allows individuals to project when they may receive the COVID-19 vaccine based on information including their county, age, and work place.
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 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 Updates, human resources & operations, telehealth, and PPE.
TPCA MEMBER NEWS
Impromptu Concert at Neighborhood Health COVID-19 Vaccination Event

On February 5, Neighborhood Health hosted a COVID-19 Vaccination event at the Napier Medical and Dental Clinic, which serves Napier and Sudekum public housing communities and individuals experiencing homelessness.
While waiting for his vaccine, an elderly gentleman asked if he could play his spoons and sing, and he shared this song for all to hear.

Rural Medical Services, Inc. names George Barton as CEO

The Board and staff of Rural Medical Services, Inc. announced the appointment of George Barton as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer last week.

Capital Fund Provides NMTC Allocation to Lifespan Health Project in Savannah, TN

On January 12, 2021, Capital Fund allocated funds to Lifespan Health for the construction of a new health center in Savannah, TN. The new 19,500-square-foot facility will allow Lifespan Health to serve approximately 4,200 additional patients annually.

Learn more about partnering with TPCA in 2021
by contacting Susan Swartz at susan.swartz@tnpca.org!
STATE POLICY UPDATES
Governor Lee's Proposed FY 22 Budget

On Monday, Governor Lee delivered his State of the State address to outline his administration’s priorities in the coming year and to provide insight into his proposed FY 22 budget. The General Assembly will now consider the Governor’s proposed budget.

The Governor proposed a $2 million recurring increase for the Health Care Safety Net for FY 22, this would bring total recurring Safety Net funding to $21.9 million. This aligns with the Department of Health’s requested FY 22 budget proposal, which included a $2 million recurring increase in the Safety Net.

The Governor also proposed funding to provide two coverage expansions for pregnant women with TennCare coverage. Both of these items were originally included in the Governor’s proposed budget for FY 21, but subsequently removed due to economic concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor proposed $6.6 million in non-recurring funding for a pilot program to extend postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months and $2 million in recurring funding to provide a dental benefit for pregnant women.
FEDERAL POLICY UPDATES
COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative with Community Health Centers

On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced the launch of a program to directly allocate a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine to select HRSA-funded health centers beginning the week of February 15.

The program will initially supply COVID-19 vaccine doses to 25 CHCs nationwide on the 15th -those centers have already been notified. The program will then expand to 250 health centers and then eventually all CHCs. The program is beginning in a very limited way, due to the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine.

Specific criteria is currently being developed but BPHC has indicated they may target CHCs that serve significant numbers of special populations including individuals experiencing homelessness, public housing residents, migrant farm workers, individuals with limited English proficiency, and individuals 75 years+ old. TPCA is in close contact with partners and BPHC to learn more about selection criteria for the 250 health centers.



COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Congress has initiated the first steps in the budget reconciliation process, which will allow Democrats to pass elements of President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package with simple majorities in both chambers of Congress. Democratic leadership indicated they are targeting passage of an initial reconciliation package in mid-March. The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a draft section of the measure which includes $7.6 billion for community health centers and $800 million for the National Health Service Corps.
NACHC Policy and Issues Forum

The National Association of Community Health Centers will be holding the annual Policy & Issues Forum virtually this year from March 14-18. In lieu of the traditional day on the Hill in Washington, D.C., NACHC will be converting the event to virtual meetings with Members of Congress.

TPCA will arrange meetings with members of the TN Congressional Delegation during the week of March 14. Please note, you do not have to register for the Policy and Issues Forum to participate in the virtual visits with Members of Congress.


340B

340B Recertification
The annual recertification for 340B is open and will close on Monday March 1. Recertification is mandatory for community health centers and centers who fail to recertify midnight on March 1 will lose eligibility to participate in 340B for a minimum of 4 months. For more information, see the 340B recertification webpage or contact the call center at apexusanswers@340bpvp.com or 1-888-340-2787 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST).

Sanofi to Allow One Contract Pharmacy
Last week drug manufacturer Sanofi announced that beginning March 1, community health centers with no in-house pharmacies can have 340B drugs shipped to a single contract pharmacy. Community health centers must register at https://www.340besp.com/ but are not required to provide data in order to choose a contract pharmacy.

Administrative Dispute Resolution Process
On January 13, NACHC opened a 340B drug overcharge claim with HRSA by filing a petition in the Administrative Dispute Resolution Process established in December. The petition alleges that drug manufacturers are violating the 340B statute by refusing to offer outpatient drugs at 340B discounted prices for drugs dispensed through contract pharmacies.
This Valentine’s Day, share the love by celebrating National Donor Day! This annual observance focuses on five points of life: organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. Join us in supporting the donors and their families who made the decision to give the gift of life to thousands of people in the U.S. and the medical professionals who made it possible.

Signing up as an organ donor is the ultimate gift of love and hope to the 100,000+ people currently on the national transplant waiting list. You can potentially save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of 75 more through organ, eye and tissue donation. Keep love alive: learn more about organ donation and register at organdonor.gov and donaciondeorganos.gov today!
ADDITIONAL NEWS & RESOURCES
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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.