Reorganizing the Health Resources Administration (Again)

September 8, 2021

Pardon Our Dust

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On Aug. 31, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued a notice announcing the reorganization of several parts of the agency. This is not the first effort in recent years to reorganize HRSA. On June 3, 2020, the Trump administration issued a notice to make changes to HRSA’s organization.

The most recent notice announced the creation of the Provider Relief Bureau, which will replace the HRSA Office of Provider Support created by the Trump administration. The new bureau will be responsible for managing the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund created by the CARES Act to compensate for expenses and lost revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes at a time when providers are pushing for the release of $44 billion remaining from the CARES Act provision.

In addition, the notice details the objective and responsibilities of the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, which was established in HRSA’s Office of the Administrator in Jan. 2021 as part of the Trump administration reorganization. The Office for the Advancement of Telehealth includes the Telehealth Innovation and Services Division, which supports grant programs and technical assistance.

The notice also clarifies that the organ donation and transplantation programs will remain with HRSA’s Health Systems Bureau (formerly known as the Healthcare Systems Bureau). The Trump administration reorganization had moved the transplant programs out of the agency to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health.