HHS grants $100M to healthcare systems

HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has granted $100 million to help healthcare systems prepare for a surge of COVID- patients.

The funds, authorized in the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, will directly support the National Special Pathogen System, which will leverage regional, tiered infrastructure already in place from the U.S. Ebola response. The funds will be dispersed to hospitals for special pathogen preparedness directly from hospital associations, which will also collaborate across healthcare systems and coalitions.

The system includes the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC), 10 regional Ebola and other special pathogen treatment centers, 62 HHS Hospital Preparedness Program agreement recipients and their state of jurisdiction treatment centers and hospital associations.

“We cannot beat the COVID-19 pandemic without getting America’s healthcare workers the training and resources they need to respond to this novel threat, and these funds secured from Congress by President Trump will help make that happen," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. "America’s healthcare providers are doing an incredible job, and this funding is one more way that the Trump Administration is supporting their heroic efforts. With help from HHS, for years, America’s healthcare providers have been developing sophisticated, coordinated ways to respond to new threats, and we are working with them to draw on those investments today.”

NETEC is made up of three healthcare facilities that care for Ebola patients, including Emory University, University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine, and New York Health and Hospitals Corporation/Bellevue Hospital Center. NETEC helps other healthcare facilities prepare to care for patients with highly infectious diseases and provides other assistance and education.

The 10 Ebola healthcare facilities can specially treat and receive special pathogen patients, with enhanced capability and capacity for highly infectious diseases.