Data Collection Site Launched for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program
Tuesday, October 6, we launched the online portal www.RHCcovidreporting.com to collect data on COVID-19 testing at Rural Health Clinics.
The website is the official data collection portal for the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program which means that all RHCs that received money ($49,461.42 per RHC) from the RHC COVID-19 Testing Program are required to report through this portal per the terms and conditions of the program. If RHCs do not provide data on this website, they are opening themselves to auditing risks and could end up having to return the money back to the government.
However, we do not want RHCs to panic. The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) contracted with NARHC to create this portal and we designed it to be as simple and as straightforward as possible. We are only asking for basic data, that should be relatively easy to obtain such as:
- The Tax Identification Number of the organization that received the funding
- The number of tests and positive results by month
- The address(es) of COVID-19 testing locations
Gathering this data is important for the long-term strength of the rural health clinic program because it will serve as objective evidence that rural health clinics can rise to the occasion and deliver results for rural, underserved communities when the federal government invests in RHCs.
If Congressional staff or HHS leadership ask what RHCs and their parent organizations did with the $225 million they were appropriated, the answer cannot and must not be “we don’t know.” If we fail to provide accurate and quality data on our testing efforts, and what the country got out of that spending, it is unlikely that policymakers will trust the RHC program with future funding.
On the other hand, if we can answer this question with certainty based on the data we collect through this portal, we will instill confidence in federal policymakers that the RHC program is effective and worth supporting.
That trust, if we can build it, will be invaluable to the future of the rural health clinic program.
- NARHC COVID-19 general information: https://www.narhc.org/narhc/COVID-191.asp
- Navigating RHC COVID Reporting Requirements Webinar Recording: https://www.narhc.org/Document.asp?DocID=9146
- RHC COVID-19 Testing Program Terms and Conditions: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/terms-and-conditions-rural-testing-relief-fund.pdf
- RHC COVID-19 Testing Program HRSA FAQ: https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/coronavirus/frequently-asked-questions
- RHC COVID-19 Reporting Portal FAQ: https://www.rhccovidreporting.com/faq/
- RHC COVID-19 Reporting Questions: RHCcovidreporting@narhc.org
Director of Government Affairs
National Association of Rural Health Clinics