HHS Standing Committee Newsletter | Nov. 20 Edition


HHS Newsletter

From Congress

Congress Passes New Law Designating “988” the National Suicide Hotline Number | October 2020

This new law created an easy-to-remember three-digit number that will be a nationwide number for a suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline that will connect individuals directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Vaccine Legislation Introduced | Oct. 9, 2020

The Vaccine Fairness Act (HR 8555) was introduced by Representative Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and would direct the administration to develop a plan to provide states with the resources and direction needed to effectively administer the vaccine. It would also direct the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a weekly report on COVID-19 vaccine distribution to Congress.

From the Administration

HHS and the Department of Defense Partner with CVS and Walgreens to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to Long-Term Care Facility Residents | October 2020

In this agreement CVS and Walgreens will provide and administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities nationwide with no out-of-pocket costs.

HHS Awards Nearly $20.6 Million to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence and Their Children | October 2020

This funding will be used for services for immediate crisis intervention and safety planning available nationwide to survivors of domestic violence to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence in geographically isolated Alaskan Native villages and to promote resiliency and healing for children exposed to domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month | October 2020

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a form of domestic violence that can be perpetrated by a current or former partner or spouse. The IPV can include physical violence, sexual violence, stalking or psychological harm. The COVID-19 public health emergency has seen increases in IPV being reported across the U.S. the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has provided several resources, including an IPV Toolkit, a resource page related to COVID-19 and an archived webinar on sheltering in place and violence in a household.

Indian Health Service Draft COVID-19 Vaccination Plan | Oct. 14, 2020

The Indian Health Service (IHS) initiated tribal and urban consultation on a plan to tailor the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Draft Plan. The plan will be based on available information and input from tribal programs. Comments were due on Oct. 21, 2020.

HHS Awards Contract to Improve Maternal Health | Oct. 15, 2020

The HHS and the Office on Women’s Health announced an $8 million nationwide contract with Premier, Inc. The organization will work with the department to improve maternal health data and create a network of at least 200 hospitals to deploy clinical and evidence-based best practices in maternity care.

HRSA Awards Funding to Support Primary Health Care Workforce |Oct. 15, 2020

The HRSA announced $500 million in awards to support, recruit and retain qualified health professionals and students through its National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps and other workforce development loan repayment and scholarship programs.

Report Released on Nursing Home Workforce Challenges During COVID-19 | Oct. 19, 2020

The report studies the impact of COVID-19 on long-standing workforce challenges and looks at new policies that have been implemented in nursing homes. Direct care workers such as licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and personal care aides, provide a majority of care in nursing homes. The report found nursing homes are struggling with how to retain adequate staffing while making changes to ensure the safety of workers and residents.

HHS and HRSA Announces Provider Relief Funding (PRF) Expansion | Oct. 22, 2020

Residential treatment facilities, chiropractors, and eye and vision providers that have not received PRF funds are now eligible to apply. The HHS will be updating PRF reporting instructions. Phase 3 funding of $20 billion was announced on Oct. 1. Read more.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Holds National Rx Take Back Day | Oct. 24, 2020

The agency, in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, business, medical offices, agencies and first responders held a national prescription drug take back day. This was an opportunity to remove unwanted and expired medications from home medicine cabinets. The Take Back website provides a collection site locator, several public services announcements to educate viewers and national take back day results from previous years.

From the Courts

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in ACA Case | Nov. 10, 2020

Oral arguments began this week in California v. Texas, a case “where it is possible the court could rule that a portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional and strike down the entire law if it rules the individual mandate cannot be severed from the rest of the ACA.” For more on the oral arguments, read NCSL’s blog.


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