The healthcare industry is complex and constantly evolving, presenting new challenges for providers when balancing patient care and organizational efficiency.
Some challenges facing healthcare providers are insufficient trained professionals, a lack of access to care for specific populations limited by socioeconomic factors, and a rapidly aging population.
Compounded with the rising cost of healthcare services, providers must find ways to incorporate new technologies, treatments, and procedures that allow them to render equitable and best possible care for patients — and grant funding is an effective way to achieve these.
Who is Eligible for Healthcare Grants
Non-profit and public entities, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), are directly eligible to apply for federal and state grants. For-profit entities are not directly eligible but can partner with non-profit entities to apply. However, they can’t be the primary applicant.
Eligible Healthcare Organizations
Non-profit and Public Entities
What are the Common Funding Priorities
Funding priorities can change year-by-year depending on the federal budget and initiatives of the Department of Health and Human Services and the President for the year. Common priorities include healthcare information technology, health professional education and training, eliminating disparities and service delivery, chronic disease management, preventative care, patient safety, and quality improvement. Due to the pandemic, funding has focused on emergency preparedness and disaster recovery in the last few years.
The year 2022 saw additional funding for public health, substance abuse, mental health, rural health, health disparities, workforce development, and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Initiatives such as the 988 hotlines for mental health support, the new gun control law that emphasizes mental health, and workforce improvement and recruitment in the healthcare sector are among the highlights of the 2022 federal budget. Grant funding priorities for 2023 are yet to be finalized, but most of these initiatives are expected to continue.
In the past year, we have also seen the government distributing stimulus grants to support healthcare providers struggling to respond to the pandemic-driven health crisis. Initially, stimulus grants were automatically deposited to most healthcare providers without the need to submit a formal application. The funds were calculated based on Medicaid billing. As time went by, providers were required to submit a simple proposal, but the process was much easier and quicker than traditional grant applications.
How and When to Apply for Traditional Grants
When applying for traditional grants, you must focus your proposal on projects, not products. For example, if you are looking at acquiring telehealth and remote patient monitoring technology for a rural health development project, you can apply for the Rural Health Network grant. Your proposal must specify how you will fit your technology needs into your project. So, when applying for a grant, you will not look for funding to purchase a product. Instead, you will get the funding to run a project, and the product is part of the requirement to complete it successfully.
It is also crucial to ensure that all the stakeholders in your organization — finance, IT, administration, relevant department heads, and the grants team, if you have one — are on the same page. This will help you ensure that others in the organization are not applying for the same grant or buying equipment that doesn’t meet the needs of the staff who will use it.
Most importantly, keep track of critical dates and deadlines, and start early. Foundation, state, and federal grants are relatively straightforward. However, grants such as the National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are more intensive, time-consuming, and require more expertise. You will need to allocate additional time to prepare for these grants.
There are also cyclical grants that come around the same time every year or every three or five years. For cyclical grants, you can get started early, and even if you miss the opportunity, you can try again the next year or whenever the cycle comes again.
Here is what a typical traditional grant application timeline looks like:
Where to Search for Funding Opportunities
There are many funding opportunities for healthcare providers in the United States. You can visit the following websites to directly search for open grants related to your funding needs and their deadlines:
- Federal grants
- State grants
- State agency pages or contacts
- State grants portals
- State representative and senator offices
- News releases
- Paid subscription services
- Local sources
- Watch for grant cycles
Stay Updated on Telehealth and RPM Grant Opportunities
Watch the on-demand HRS webinar series, Beyond COVID: What’s Next for Telehealth and RPM Funding, to explore creative ways to secure funding for health initiatives.
You can also visit HRS’ Telehealth Funding and Grant webpage to stay updated on current and future telehealth and remote patient monitoring grant opportunities.