HHS Funding Expands COVID-19 Testing in Rural Oklahoma

Cheyenne Star – Official Newspaper of Roger Mills County Cheyenne, OK – Following an announcement by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) announced today that HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will distribute $4.5 million to Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in communities across Oklahoma to expand COVID-19.

“The funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides critical resources to our rural communities at a time when many need it most. As our state works to safely and responsibly reopen our local economies, testing must remain a priority,” said Congressman Lucas. “I applaud the Trump Administration and HHS for prioritizing the needs of our state’s rural communities.

Expanding our testing capacity and increasing the resources for those who call rural Oklahoma home is critical to continue our fight against this pandemic.”

93 of Oklahoma’s RHCs, many of whom serve older populations and are facing unprecedented financial stress, will receive $4,599,912 to support COVID-19 testing efforts and expand access to testing. This funding is through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that President Trump signed into law on Friday, April 24, 2020 which specifically directed these monies to be allocated to RHCs.

Rural Health Clinics are a special designation given to health care practices in underserved rural areas by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that help ensure access to care for rural residents