Legal Update, March 2021

Legal Update

Getting Out Your Message without Getting in Hot Water: HTC Marketing and the Grant Rules
by Elizabeth (Issie) Karan

Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) reach out to the Hemophilia Alliance with questions regarding marketing their programs. Often these questions result from tension between programmatic requirements for HTCS and the federal grant rules. However, the grant rules include important exceptions useful to alleviating these concerns.

HTCs are required to conduct outreach and education to people with bleeding and clotting disorders with a particular emphasis on connecting with underserved populations. At the same time, the grant rules contain restrictions on using federal funds for marketing. Specifically, 45 CFR §75.467, states that “costs of selling and marketing any products or services of the non-Federal entity (unless allowed under §75.421) are unallowable, except as direct costs, with prior approval by the HHS awarding agency when necessary for the performance of the Federal award.” However, the same provision goes on to indicate that program outreach and other specific purposes necessary to meet the requirements of the Federal award are allowable. (45 CFR §75.421(b)(4)) Additionally, marketing costs associated with recruitment of personnel required to perform the work of the federal grant are allowed. (45 CFR §75.421(b)(1))

These rules make clear that any activity required by the federal grant program is allowable. So, HTCs can rest assured that outreach and education to the bleeding and clotting disorder community, especially efforts focusing on underserved people, comply with the grant rules. These activities may include presenting on the importance of the annual comprehensive care visit at events targeting the bleeding and clotting disorder community or producing and disseminating materials on the services available at the HTC or even translating those same materials into other languages. Finally, HTCs may use program income to market open positions necessary to running the HTC which may be especially necessary when desiring staff with knowledge of bleeding disorders.

If you are unsure whether an activity complies with the grant rules, we are here to help. We also encourage HTCs to talk with their peers and regional coordinator about these issues and to get creative ideas on how to expand your HTC’s reach.

Also in this Issue…

Notes from Joe
· Imagine That

Washington Update
· Please Register for the Alliance Virtual Hill Day!

Payer Update

Alliance Update
· Marketing and Operations Update
· Meeting Schedule for 2021

Notes from the Community
· World Federation of Hemophilia: Global Reach. Local Impact.

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