When the Affordable Care Act was implemented in October 2013, a number of new federal grants became available through the Department of Health and Humans Services that correlated with the changes and benefits of "Obamacare."
While a number of these grants are intended for states in order to assist with transitioning to the Affordable Care Act, or to serve as incentives to implement new start-up programs and local services, potential grant applicants should nevertheless be advised to review the list of new or revised grants available, especially if their field or specialty is health care.
Many grants are available to physicians and medical practices, health service organizations, home or assisted living service providers, pharmacists, community and non-profit organizations, current medical students, and virtually all professionals involved in any aspects of the health care business.
There's a recurring theme in the majority of these new grants, namely to implement new plans and initiatives to provide better care while creating cost savings for both the patient and the medical service providers. In addition, some of these grants aim to address certain demographics or areas of health care that may currently be in need of help, or which may not garner the immediate attention that emergency care or standard medical services and procedures possess.
For example, there are several new grants available for youth and adolescent organizations in an effort to promote an overall healthy lifestyle early on.
The Personal Responsibility Education Program Grant is now available for states to implement strategies for educating adolescents about healthy relationships, responsible finances and budget planning, educational and career success, and other healthy life skills. This grant is especially targeted to high-risk and culturally under-represented youth populations, and is given to states which can then allot funds to community organizations, or can be also be distributed directly to an organization applicant.
There are also new grants targeting three different aspects of teen pregnancy, specifically prevention and education, abstinence education, and assistance to pregnant teens and young mothers. All three grants are available to individual states, while the prevention and education grant is also available to tribes and community organizations as well.
The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns grant is a part of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid's (CMM) "Strong Start" campaign, and is designed to assist providers of obstetric care, state Medicaid agencies, and Medicaid care organizations with funds to implement plans that reduce the frequency of premature births, produce better care, and reduce the cost for providing services to pregnant Medicaid beneficiaries.
Clearly, there is a distinct availability of new grants to help with the early stages of life and parenthood, but a number of new grants also address late-life care as well as ongoing medical services to patients with chronic or long-term medical issues.
Several grants are available for trauma services, awarded to both public and nonprofit trauma centers, tribal health centers, and hospitals, which provide money to reduce center overcrowding, establish new centers and services, and enhance existing services and transportation for immediate patients.
Attention is also paid to a number of manageable diseases that primarily affect adults. For example, a National Prevention Protection Program grant provides assistance to community-based programs and organizations that target adults who are at high risk for diabetes.
There are also a number of grants geared towards health care professionals and organizations in the interest of addressing elder care abuse. These grants allow schools and organizations to train professionals and health care providers to recognize signs of elder abuse, as well as manage abuse complaints in assisted living facilities and hospitals.
Many of the new grants provide assistance for professional health care education, and can be granted to states, universities and schools, and even organizations that fund scholarships to assist the next generation of health care workers into obtaining degrees and professional credentials. The majority of these grant funds are earmarked for scholarships to deserving candidates and underrepresented populations, although there are several that are designated for continuing education opportunities for current health care employees. There are even a half dozen grants available for medical students, nursing students, pediatric specialists and other public health workforce members that provide funds or loans to pay off education costs. These monies can be given directly to the individual to address any outstanding student loans, (generally accumulated over the past 10 years), or to provide low-interest loans for current education funding needs.
Many niches are filled with the new Department of Health and Humans Services grants, from funds for medical research projects to grants that provide ambulances and health care to rural areas, and with literally dozens of new grants enacted since 2010, it is impossible to list them all.
Essentially, the categories and grants above are just a small sample of the many new or revised grants that are now available as a result of the Affordable Care Act. For a complete list of grants available in all categories and category types, click here, and for more information on grants distributed specifically by the Department of Health and Humans Services in relation to the Affordable Care Act, visit the department's website at http://www.hhs.gov/opa/affordable-care-act/.