Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

December 22, 2017

Late Breaking News from FORHP

A new funding opportunity and two other late-breaking news items brings this special announcement.

What’s New

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program – February 23rd.  Up to 20 rural public and nonprofit entities forming a consortium of three or more organizations will be awarded total funding of $2 million to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network at the local level.  By emphasizing the role of networks, the program creates a platform for medical care providers, social service providers, and community organizations to coalesce key elements of a rural health care delivery system for the purpose of improving local capacity and coordination of care.  Previous Network Planning grantees have focused on behavioral health, care coordination, infrastructure, health information technology, and health education.  If you have any questions about the program, please contact Sara Afayee:

FCC Proposals for the Rural Health Care Program.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comment on possible changes to the Rural Health Care Program (RHC).  This program provides up to $400 million every year to support telecommunications for health care delivery in rural and underserved areas of the country.  The FCC is seeking input on the viability of the $400 million cap and alternative options to meet the needs of rural health care providers who take part in the program.  FORHP will soon be scheduling a webinar to discuss this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in more detail, as well as some of the key issues to consider for rural hospitals, clinics and telehealth providers.  Once the NPRM is formally published in the Federal Register, the FCC will open a 30-day window for public comment.  Watch this space for more information about these issues.

Rural Matters Podcast. Tom Morris, Associate Administrator for the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, spoke with John White in the December 12th edition of the Rural Matters podcast.  The focus of the conversation was the sobering fact borne out by research that rural Americans are dying at an earlier age and at a higher rate than urban Americans.  Some of the conditions that are leading to the higher rate of death in rural, including certain chronic diseases and opioid addiction, could be prevented through timely intervention, education, and better access to health care.  Rural Matters is a biweekly, 30-minute podcast about rural education, business, and health.  Guests include rural education decision-makers, rural business owners and entrepreneurs and rural health care representatives.