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Gov. Greg Abbott announces $128M to support staffing needs at rural hospitals, nursing facilities

The direct grant funds will pay for critical staffing needs in rural hospitals and in nursing facilities throughout the state.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is providing $128 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to rural hospitals and nursing facilities to support health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds for the grant programs were authorized as part of Senate Bill 8 during the third special session. The direct grant funds will pay for critical staffing needs in rural hospitals and in nursing facilities throughout the state, according to the governor's office. 

"This funding will provide vital support to rural hospitals, nursing facilities, and other health care providers across the state who continue working tirelessly to combat COVID-19," said Gov. Abbott. "We are grateful for the continued efforts of our health care professionals who compassionately serve their fellow Texans." 

“Health care providers have worked tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and these grant programs will help them fill critical gaps in their workforce as they continue to serve vulnerable Texans,” said HHSC Chief Financial Officer Trey Wood.

According to the release from the governor's office, HHSC is distributing approximately $90 million to Texas nursing facilities with an active license as of Nov. 8, 2021, under the Nursing Facility COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (NF-CHRG) program. Each eligible facility will receive $75,000. The grant can be used for critical staffing needs, such as for bonuses and employing contracted staff.

The agency is also distributing approximately $38 million or $250,000 to each eligible rural hospital under the Rural Hospital COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (RH-CHRG) program. Abbott's office says the funds are discretionary and can be used by rural hospitals to support staffing, infrastructure or revenue losses related to the pandemic.

Texas rural hospitals, nursing facilities, community attendants, home health agencies and other long-term care providers will also have the opportunity to apply for $325.3 million in competitive grants in early 2022, according to the release.

For more information about the Nursing Facility COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant program and the Rural Hospital COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant program, click here.

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