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$194,500,000 Ebola Funding Reaches States

$194,500,000 Ebola Funding Reaches States

The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has issued a $194,500,000 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to improve health care system preparedness for Ebola – and to develop a regional hospital network for Ebola patient care.  The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Ebola Preparedness and Response Activities FOA provides funding beyond the $228,500,000 appropriated for the HPP and $611,750,000 appropriated for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness(PHEP) cooperative agreements.

“ASPR will provide funding to all 62 HPP awardees (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, three directly- funded cities, and the U.S. territories and freely associated states) for the purpose of supporting health care system preparedness for Ebola using a base + population + Ebola risk formula. The risk portion is based on the percentage of returning travelers from impacted countries, and reflects West African diaspora population centers and jurisdictions with enhanced airport screenings.”

The infectious disease focused FOA comes on the heels of largest Ebola outbreak on record – an outbreak that crossed several African countries, killed over 22,000, and ultimately made it to American soil.

In response, Congress authorized the Ebola preparedness program and appropriated emergency funding to better prepare the health care system to respond to future Ebola incidents. The legislation directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a regional approach to caring for future Ebola patients.

 To meets Congress' intent, ASPR structured the FOA with two parts:

Part A: Health Care System Preparedness for Ebola

Part A makes $162,000,000 available to all 62 HPP awardees using a population based formula. It is intended to support state or jurisdiction designated Ebola treatment centers, assessment hospitals, and health care coalitions for overall health care system preparedness.  Part A wardee expectations include, but are not exclusive of:

  • Awardees will develop and implement a health care system concept of operations (CONOPS) for care of Ebola patients.  Awardees must ensure their Part A funding strategy for state/jurisdiction Ebola treatment centers, assessment hospitals, and health care coalitions (including frontline health care facilities, EMS and other partners) matches their CONOPS. Each awardee’s health care system CONOPS for Ebola will be maintained and exercised annually throughout the project period.
  • Awardee CONOPS will outline health care system and facility gaps to improve operational readiness, bearing in mind that the requirements of state/jurisdiction Ebola treatment centers should be more extensive than those for assessment and frontline facilities, and that interfacility transport of patients may be needed.
  • All awardees will have a plan and written agreement in place for the transfer of a patient with Ebola from an assessment hospital to a regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment center.
  • Health care coalitions will, (1) Ensure the EMS system is capable of safely transporting Ebola patients, (2) Ensure the competency of health care workers, clinical laboratories, and EMS personnel in the coalition through supporting annual training and exercises, and (3) Purchase PPE or support facility or agency purchase and stockpile, preferably using vendor- managed inventories, at the coalition/community/or regional level.
  • All awardees will complete Ebola patient care and transport arrangements within four hours of a diagnosis; planning for Ebola patient care and transport will begin at the time the decision is made to conduct laboratory testing for Ebola.
  • •••

"HHS will provide funding to all 62 HPP awardees for the purpose of supporting health care system preparedness for Ebola... While the focus will be on preparedness for Ebola, it is likely that preparedness for other novel, highly pathogenic diseases will also be enhanced through these activities."

The FOA provides for awardee discretion about how to fund their health care systems, but urges that hospitals designated as Ebola treatment centers as of February 14, 2015 should receive no less than $500,000 through Part A.

Part B: Development of a Regional Network for Ebola Patient Care

Part B provides $32,500,000 for the development of a regional network for Ebola patient care. Up to 10 HPP awardees will be funded to develop a regional network for Ebola patient care, which includes a requirement to establish one regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment center to serve each HHS Region. Sub-recipients funded through Part B are required to serve as regional assets and agree to accept patients from outside of their jurisdiction. Part B awardee expectations include, but are not exclusive of:

"All HPP jurisdictions are eligible to apply for Part B funding. However, HPP envisions Part B as a cooperative process. Ideally, only one applicant will apply from each region because all the jurisdictions in the region will agree on, and support, one applicant."  

  • Part B awardees will develop a plan that must include signed written agreements among all states/jurisdictions in the region, and the regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment center. This plan will include EMS and interfacility plans to accommodate patient movement from any point in the region to the designated hospital(s).
  • Any facility identified to serve as a regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment center will, (1) Accept patients from within their HHS region within eight hours of notification, (2) Have the capacity (beds and staff) to treat at least two Ebola patients at one time, (3) Serve as the primary hospital in their HHS region for treatment of confirmed Ebola patients. o If necessary, accept patients that are medically evacuated from Ebola-affected countries or other HHS regions...
  • The states/jurisdictions that receive funding through Part B must agree to provide no less than 90 percent of the Part B funding to at least one health care facility to serve as a regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment center. ASPR will consider requests for exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
  • Serve as the primary hospital in their HHS region for treatment of confirmed Ebola patients. If necessary, accept patients that are medically evacuated from Ebola-affected countries or other HHS regions.
  • Care for Ebola patients without disrupting overall hospital and emergency department
    operations.
  • •••

“Up to ten regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers and that can be ready within a few hours to receive a confirmed Ebola patient from their region, across the U.S., or medically-evacuated from outside of the U.S., as necessary...”

The project has no cost sharing or maintenance of effort requirements.

The FOA was authorized under Title VI of Division G of the Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 and section 311 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.

 

Karl Schmitt, MPA

Karl Schmitt, MPA


Karl is the Passionate Founder & CEO of bParati. He is on a mission to build a national network of effective, sustainable healthcare coalitions. More...

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