OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
12:30 PM – Thursday, September 21, 2023
The U.S. government is giving $45 million to clinics that treat “long COVID” in order to help them improve care and make it more accessible.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the grants on Wednesday.
Nine clinics will reportedly receive $1 million each year for the next five years through the agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within HHS.
“Long COVID” is a condition with multiple symptoms that can appear months after a COVID-19 infection, often preventing people from working.
The condition has been linked to more than 200 symptoms, including extreme fatigue, brain fog, headaches, dizziness, chest pain, blood clots, immune issues, and even diabetes.
According to an analysis in April by the Solve Long Covid Initiative, the condition affects nearly 7% of all American adults and has cost an estimated $386 billion in lost wages and medical bills.
President Joe Biden asked HHS to create a plan to address long COVID last year.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is supporting patients, doctors and caregivers by providing science-based best practices for treating long COVID, maintaining access to insurance coverage, and protecting the rights of workers as they return to jobs while coping with the uncertainties of their illness,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.
The grants will reportedly be used for increasing in-person and virtual visits, establishing new satellite clinics, and an education initiative aimed at growing referrals.
Funding will also support social services, hiring interpreters, group patient programs, and behavioral health support.
The grants prioritize access for underserved, rural, vulnerable, and minority populations that are reportedly disproportionately impacted by long COVID.
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