AHRQ seeks clinics for research lasting up to five years.
A new federal grant program aims to develop support for primary care physicians caring for patients with long COVID.
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will use up to $9 million a year to support multidisciplinary long COVID clinics that develop and implement new or improved care delivery models. The recipient programs must “expand access to comprehensive, coordinated, and person-centered care, particularly for underserved, rural, vulnerable, or minority populations,” while supporting the primary care community in long COVID education and management.
“Although living with the threat of COVID-19 is seen by many as the new normal, the debilitating effects of long COVID for both patients and members of the medical community are just coming into full view,” AHRQ Director Robert Otto Valdez, PhD, MHSA, said in a news release. “These grants will help provide resources and services to communities disproportionately impacted by long COVID while helping educate and provide information into best practices for long COVID management.”
AHRQ defines long COVID as “a chronic condition in which people continue to experience persistent, varying, and potentially disabling health impacts after the acute COVID-19 illness.” Up to one-third of people with COVID-19 experience long COVID, and clinics have emerged to treat it using care coordination and multidisciplinary care.
AHRQ will award up to $1 million a year, for up to five years, to nine qualifying care centers or clinics. Recipients will be required to provide access to multiple specialties, such as behavioral health and social services, and coordinate care across an entire care team. They also must partner with community-based organizations to help patients, families, and caregivers access social support services.
Another program goal is for recipients to use the grant money for primary care practitioner education, support, and engagement to expand primary care capacity for long COVID care.
Letters of intent to apply are due May 5, with applications due June 12. The grant program’s formal name is “Implementing and Evaluating New Models for Delivering Comprehensive, Coordinated, Person-Centered Care to People with Long COVID (U18).”