HHS To Award $9 Million in Grants to Clinics Designed to Help People with Long COVID
Awards will support multidisciplinary Long COVID clinics to expand access to care, improve the quality of care, and strengthen primary care education and support.
Press Release Date: April 11, 2023
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), recently posted a new funding opportunity to multidisciplinary clinics that care for people with Long COVID to expand access to comprehensive, coordinated, and person-centered care, particularly for underserved, rural, vulnerable, or minority populations that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of Long COVID. The awards will help existing clinics develop and implement new or improved care delivery models, expand access and services offered, strengthen care coordination, and support the primary care community with Long COVID education and management.
“Although living with the threat of COVID-19 is seen by many as the new normal, the debilitating effects of Long COVID for both patients and members of the medical community are just coming into full view,” said AHRQ Director Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D., M.H.S.A. “These grants will help provide resources and services to communities disproportionately impacted by Long COVID while helping educate and provide information into best practices for Long COVID management.”
This funding opportunity will fund an estimated nine awards of up to $1,000,000 each annually ($9,000,000 total annually) for up to 5 years. Eligible organizations include care centers or clinics established to identify patients with Long COVID that deliver multidisciplinary healthcare services, such as screening for disease outcomes, rehabilitation, and targeted specialist referrals.
Long COVID is broadly defined as signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after initial COVID-19 infection, with people experiencing persistent, varying, and potentially disabling health impacts. While estimates vary, up to one-third of people with COVID-19 infections may experience Long COVID. Further, many underserved, rural, vulnerable, or minority populations with Long COVID face additional non-medical barriers that can exacerbate the impact of Long COVID, such as lack of insurance coverage and long distances to medical specialty care.
Organizations that receive the grants will be required to assess patients’ physical, behavioral, functional, and social needs and incorporate personal values, goals, preferences, and circumstances into healthcare decisions and planning. They must provide access to multiple specialties, such as behavioral health and social services, and coordinate care across the entire care team. Clinics also must partner with community-based organizations to help people with Long COVID, their families and caregivers access social support services.
For examples of Long COVID care model elements and management guidelines, please refer to resources such as the HHS Health+ Long COVID Human-Centered Design Report (PDF, 15,6 MB) and CDC’s guidance for management of post-COVID conditions.
The mission of AHRQ is to produce evidence to make healthcare safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable and to work within HHS and with other partners to ensure that the evidence is understood and used. For more information, visit www.ahrq.gov.
The deadline for submitting applications is June 12, 2023. Select for the full funding announcement.