Funding for Nursing Home Strike Teams Announced

Regulation | September 17, 2021 | by Jodi Eyigor

As part of a broader $2.1 billion investment in healthcare, state, local, and territorial public health will soon receive $500 million to fund strike teams to support nursing homes in infection prevention and control, clinical care, and staffing.

On September 17, the Biden-Harris Administration announced $2.1 billion in funding through the American Rescue Plan to improve infection prevention and control in healthcare settings. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) will issue $1.2 billion to state, local, and territorial public health departments over the next 3 years, beginning with an initial round of $885 million in October 2021. Of this initial $885 million, $500 million will go directly to supporting nursing homes.The funds are being awarded to jurisdictional health departments through a larger cooperative agreement and the total amount of funds available to each of the jurisdictions will be determined based on factors such as population and number of nursing homes in the jurisdiction. Funds will expire 1 year from the end of the public health emergency.  

Though it was announced as funding for state strike teams, CDC reports that health departments will have a great deal of flexibility in how to deploy funding, providing it addresses one of 3 key categories:

  • Clinical care
  • Staffing 
  • Infection prevention and control, including COVID-19 boosters.

The remaining $385 million being awarded in October will be used to:

  • Address infection prevention and control and issues of health equity across healthcare settings.
  • Increase lab capacity to conduct surveillance for emerging pathogens and infectious disease threats.
  • Support Project Firstline, an program aimed at educating front-line staff across healthcare settings.
  • Increase data and monitoring through the National Healthcare Safety Network to better identify infections in healthcare settings and target interventions.
  • Advance antibiotic stewardship programs, including addressing health disparities related to antibiotic use.

CDC detailed that an additional $880 million will be used over the coming years to develop new prevention interventions and capacities for infection prevention and control training, data collection, and technical assistance. While some details are still to be released, we expect more information from forthcoming guidance that CDC plans to release before October.