National Health Service Corps New Site Application Cycle Open

May 17, 2019

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s 2019 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) New Site Application cycle is now open.

NHSC-approved sites are health care facilities that provide outpatient, ambulatory and primary health care services to populations residing in high-need urban and rural areas. Critical Access Hospitals and some Indian Health Service Hospitals are the only eligible inpatient facilities and must be affiliated with an NHSC-approved outpatient clinic.

Last year, the NHSC received funding to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis and expanded its site types to include outpatient substance use disorder treatment facilities. Now sites providing general substance use disorder treatment, a medication assisted treatment program, or an Opioid Treatment Program are also eligible to apply.

Interested health care organizations are encouraged to read the Site Reference Guide to learn more about the program requirements: The application cycle will close on May 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

NHSC-approved sites receive several benefits, to include:

  • Recruiting qualified providers using NHSC Loan Repayment Programs as an incentive;
  • Attracting NHSC Scholars who have completed their training and are ready to fulfill their service obligation at your site;
  • Posting vacancies to the Health Workforce Connector;
  • Participating in HRSA Virtual Job Fairs, to connect you with primary care trainees and practicing clinicians; and
  • Having direct access to state Primary Care Offices that help to increase access to primary health care services in your community.

Questions? Contact your Regional State Contact:

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 29, 2019

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion

Deadline: June 10

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) yesterday for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion (RCORP-MAT Expansion).  HRSA plans to invest approximately $8 million in rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.

Successful RCORP-MAT Expansion award recipients will receive up to $725,000 for a three-year period of performance to establish or expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in eligible hospitals, health clinics, or tribal organizations located in high-risk rural communities.

View the funding opportunity here:

Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit:

  • Rural Health Clinics, as defined by Social Security Act Section 1861(aa) and 42 CFR Parts 405 and 491;
  • Critical Access Hospitals, as defined by Section 1820 (e) of the Social Security Act and 42 CFR 485 subpart F;
  • Health Center Look-Alikes, defined as entities that meet all Health Center Program statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements but do not receive funding under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (see for more information);
  • Other small rural hospitals with 49 available staffed beds or less, as reported on the hospitals’ most recently filed Medicare Cost Reports; or
  • Tribes or tribal organizations (excluding health centers that receive Health Center Program federal award funding).

Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 25, 2019

What’s New

ARC on the State of Health Disparities in Appalachia.  The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a federal agency created by Congress to partner with state and local governments and promote economic development for the region.  This month, the ARC released three separate issue briefs on health disparities in the 13 states of the region – Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.  The briefs describe the factors unique to the region that contribute to disparities related to obesity, opioid misuse, and smoking, and provide recommendations and practical strategies for communities.

ONC Brief on Electronic Capabilities of Hospitals. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) reports that nearly all hospitals provided patients with the ability to electronically view and download their personal information in 2017.  However, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and small rural hospitals were less likely than larger and urban hospitals to be able to transmit that data and to have view, download, and transmit (VDT) capabilities.  Under the Promoting Interoperability Program (PI), hospitals are required to use electronic health records technology.  Another aspect of the program is to promote patients’ ability to view and download their personal health information.  The cost of electronic health record systems and limited access to broadband are two of the barriers to electronic capabilities in rural health care settings. See the Policy Updates section below for requests for comment on recent proposals on electronic health information networks. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 18, 2019

What’s New

Increasing Number of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.  An analysis from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, in 2016, there were over 7.2 million grandparents nationwide living with grandchildren under the age of 18.  Reports from media outlets and nonprofit organizations suggested that a recent rise in these arrangements is due in part to the opioid crisis.  To get an accurate and better understanding of what is happening, the Census Bureau examined data from its American Community Survey and data on opioid prescribing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Previous research focused on the national or state level, but levels of opioid prescriptions vary widely within states, and county level data allow for a more localized analysis.  Data analysis showed a rural-urban divide in grandparents caring for grandchildren that is similar to the higher rates of overdose deaths in rural areas.  In 2016, 32 percent of grandparents were responsible for grandchildren in urban areas, compared to 46 percent of grandparents in rural areas.  The Census Bureau created an overview of their analysis, with methods, maps and data.  See frequently asked questions answered by the Administration for Children and Families on this topic and the Funding Opportunities section below for related resources.

Call for Manuscripts: Clinical and Translational Science to Improve Rural Health. Publishers of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science have issued a call for papers for a special rural-themed edition. They are particularly interested in innovative studies with the intention of improving health care delivery and outcomes among underserved rural populations. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”