COVID-19’s Continued Inequities; HHS Bolsters Community-Based Care

COVID-19 continues to take a disproportionate toll on communities of color. A recent study found that Black women are three times more likely than White men to die from COVID-19. And this month, the CDC released a pair of studies further highlighting the pandemic’s inequities, finding that Hispanic and Latino patients made up the highest proportion of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across all four census regions. A new West Health/Gallup survey of Americans found that nearly one in five skipped health care over the last year because of cost concerns; Black adults (29%) were almost twice as likely to not afford care as compared to White adults (16%). The administration is responding, in part, by targeting funds to Community Health Centers and other locations that serve more low-income patients.
In early April, HHS expanded its COVID-19 vaccine program to all health centers—nearly 1,500—and Tuesday announced $1 billion for health centers to make COVID-19 related capital investments. HHS also recently announced $145 million for health center lookalikes (community-based practices that meet Health Center Program criteria but are not grantees) to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while expanding vaccination efforts.

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