Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $9 Million for Nursing Facility Infection Control Projects to Prevent COVID-19

June 30, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced $9 million in federal funding for nursing facilities to implement infection control projects to protect residents and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Starting July 1, nursing facility providers in Texas are encouraged to submit applications to HHSC to receive this federal funding.

"We know that older Texans are more susceptible to COVID-19, and Texas is committed to ensuring that nursing facilities have the tools they need to keep their residents and staff safe," said Governor Abbott. "The resources available through this federal funding will help maintain infection control within these facilities. We must continue to protect our most vulnerable populations, mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, and protect public health."

"Nursing facilities have this opportunity to apply for funding to enhance health and safety protections for the people they serve," said David Kostroun, deputy executive commissioner for HHSC’s Regulatory Services Division. "During this unprecedented time, we are directing providers to pursue every avenue to mitigate the spread of this virus."

Approved providers will be eligible to receive funds for infection control resources, including:

Thermometers and temperature scanning equipment for staff and residents

Decontamination and disinfecting systems

Plexiglass barriers or portable walls to ensure social distancing and droplet protection

N95 fit-test equipment

Microbe-resistant flooring and wall coverings

For more details on how to apply, visit the Texas HHS website. The deadline for applications is August 30.

HHSC is continuing to accept applications for communication technology in nursing facilities, which are eligible to receive up to $3,000 per facility to purchase devices (e.g. iPads, tablets, webcams) and accessories (e.g. headphones, protective covers). 

HHSC is allocating Civil Money Penalty (CMP) funds for this project as well as the infection control projects. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) imposes CMPs against Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing facilities found out of compliance with federal requirements. CMP funds can be used for projects and activities that benefit nursing facility residents by improving their quality of care or quality of life. Currently, HHSC is only accepting and reviewing applications for projects related to addressing COVID-19, such as infection control practices and communication technology.