May 22, 2020 7:05 PM

Marshall: Federal funding delivers testing to rural Kansas

Posted May 22, 2020 7:05 PM

From U.S. Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall's Office...

WASHINGTON - The 174 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in Kansas will receive an additional $8.6 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to enhance coronavirus testing in the communities they serve.

“The U.S. is the world leader in testing and this additional investment means more tests will be available to Kansans in every corner of the state,” said U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. “President Trump made a commitment to ensuring any American who wanted a test had access to one, and I applaud him for following through on his promise. Kansas now has the testing infrastructure it needs to continue safely reopening.”

Funding for RHCs was made available through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act and will allow the state’s RHCs to expand access to testing in the rural communities they serve. Now fewer than 10 percent of the state’s counties are without a health care provider receiving direct federal funds for coronavirus testing. 

The funding to RHCs builds upon the $22.4 million in funding allocated to the state’s 19 community health centers plus the $81.2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the State of Kansas to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts and related activities. Together the State of Kansas and federally backed healthcare facilities have received more than $112.2 million for testing and related activities.

“The federal government continues to support our nation’s healthcare infrastructure, allowing our physicians to protect and serve their communities, no matter location or size,” said Rep. Marshall.

The CDC maintains a guidance for testing criteria, however, states have the authority to change the testing criteria in response to changing developments. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has updated its criteria with separate requirements for testing over the course of the outbreak.