Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

November 29, 2018

 What’s New

USDA Report on Rural Individuals’ Telehealth Practices.  The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture used detailed household data to analyze three basic telehealth activities as practiced by consumers age 15 or older: 1) online health research; 2) online health maintenance (communication with health providers, including communicating with medical practitioners, maintaining records, and paying bills); and 3) online health monitoring via devices that exchange data remotely with medical personnel.  The research found that rural residents were less likely than urban to engage in these telehealth activities, and the report breaks down the findings by income, education and other demographic factors.

Suicide Surveillance Strategies for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.  The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is a federally-supported organization working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.  This November 2018 report from the SPRC summarizes their findings on suicide prevention research, in an effort “to better understand how American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities can gather information about suicide—in ways that are feasible and culturally appropriate.”  The report acknowledges the difficulty of collecting data around the sensitive topic of suicide, and also that “each tribe is different and has its own unique culture, so what works in one community might not work in another.”  Their findings and recommended strategies are meant to form a foundation for suicide surveillance in tribal communities, but the report stresses that local adaptation is critical to success.  Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued research indicating that an estimated 70 percent of AI/AN who died by suicide lived in rural areas and more than a third of suicide deaths occurred among young people, ages 10-24 years.  See the Funding Opportunities section below for notices related to this topic. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”

HRSA – Rural Residency Planning & Development Grant Program

December 5, 2018

Rural Residency Planning and Development Grant Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) Program via Grants.gov.  The purpose of this grant program is to develop new rural residency programs or Rural Training Tracks (RTT) in family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry to support expansion of the physician workforce in rural areas. The new rural residency programs or RTTs are intended to be sustainable through separate public or private funding beyond the three-year RRPD grant period of performance. Up to 28 awardees also will receive technical assistance from the Rural Residency Planning and Development – Technical Assistance Center, which was awarded via cooperative agreement in September 2018, for the duration of the project period. Hospitals, medical schools and community-based ambulatory settings that have a rural designation along with consortia of urban and rural partnerships are eligible to apply for a grant award.  Applications are due March, 9, 2019.

HRSA has scheduled a technical assistance webinar to help you understand, prepare, and submit an application for this NOFO for Monday, December 17, 2018 from 2 – 3:30 pm ET.  The webinar will provide an overview of pertinent information in the NOFO and an opportunity for applicants to ask questions. Questions about this grant opportunity can be directed to Tracey Smith (tsmith@hrsa.gov) and Jemima Drake (jdrake@hrsa.gov).

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

November 15, 2018

FY 19 Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Planning

HRSA/FORHP is pleased to announce a second round of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (Planning). The purpose of this program is to support treatment for and prevention of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, in rural communities.  In FY 18, HRSA made 95 awards and in FY 19, HRSA anticipates making approximately 120 awards.  The current Planning awardees can be found on the HRSA website.  Any domestic organization forming a consortium of four or more members in a rural community may be eligible to apply for funding.  More information on eligibility and requirements can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Interested applicants may attend a live technical assistance webinar on Friday, December 7, 2018 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM EST.

For further details on how to access this webinar, please see page (ii) in the Notice of Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov.

Applications are due on January 15, 2019, with a program start date of June 1, 2019. Please contact ruralopioidresponse@hrsa.gov with additional questions.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

November 8, 2018

What’s New

Federal Resource Guide for Substance Use Disorder in Rural Communities. This comprehensive guide was created specifically for rural communities facing substance use disorder and opioid misuse.  It organizes federal grant programs and resources by 26 categories that include prevention, treatment and recovery, but also include social services, employment, economic development, transportation and justice.  The guide was created by the Rural Opioid Federal Interagency Working Group to help address the opioid crisis by improving coordination of and reducing potential overlap among the Federal responses in the nation’s rural communities.  Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued data showing that the rate of drug overdose deaths in rural areas surpassed the rate in urban areasContinue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

November 1, 2018

What’s New

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Begins November 1.  The six-week period during which consumers may enroll in the Federal Health Insurance Exchange begins today and ends on Saturday, December 15.   Those without an employer-based plan may visit HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov to shop for plans that will begin coverage on January 1, 2019.  Eleven states and the District of Columbia have their own state-based websites for enrollment in individual/family or small business health coverage, or both.  Some states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover more people. Choose your state and household size to learn if your state has expanded and if you may qualify.

Updated State Fact Sheets from the USDA Economic Research Service.  The Economic Research Service (ERS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts research to inform public and private decision-making on economic and policy issues involving food, farming, natural resources and rural development.  The ERS State Fact Sheets provide information on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and agricultural exports. Data are available for all States, and for metro/nonmetro breakouts within States. Links to county-level data are provided where available. This release provides the latest available (2017) U.S. and State-level agricultural exports and poverty estimates. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”

HRSA Available Funding Opportunity

November 1, 2018

Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Program (ANEW)

NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (HRSA-19-003)
Fiscal Year 2019 Application Due Date: January 8, 2019

Apply for this grant on Grants.gov.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program. The purpose of this program is to support innovative academic-practice to educate primary care Nurse Practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS) and nurse midwives (NM) prepared for the unique challenges practicing in rural and underserved communities.

HRSA expects approximately $37,250,000 to fund approximately 53 recipients. You may apply for up to $700,000 per year, of which $350,000 may be used for student traineeships. In order to be eligible for an award, applicants must request both traineeships and academic-practice program infrastructure funds.

Technical Assistance

Dates: Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Time:  2 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET
Call-In:  888-989-4349
Passcode: 1359928
Web link: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/anew_oct/

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

October 18, 2018

Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Community Health and Prosperity. Rural stakeholders have until Monday, November 5th to offer comment on the Surgeon General’s efforts focusing on how local investments have the potential to improve the health and prosperity of communities.  This opportunity for public comment provides a way to ensure that the broader national effort includes a specific focus on rural issues.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working with the Surgeon General’s Office on this effort and the goal is to use the information from the public to help guide this effort.  Rural stakeholders are encouraged to submit written views, recommendations, and data about how investing in communities can improve health and prosperity and unique characteristics of rural communities that need to be taken into account in the larger effort by the Surgeon General.

What’s New

New Report: Life in Rural America.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) published a report this week with findings from a survey of rural adults “to understand the current views and experiences of rural Americans on economic and health issues.”  Respondents were optimistic overall, citing positive job prospects and connection with their communities.  Of the challenges in rural areas, more than 25 percent of those surveyed cited drug abuse as the biggest problem facing their local community.  The second largest concern, at 21 percent, was economic, including poverty and the availability of jobs.  The report challenges the idea that all rural Americans are the same and examines major differences between young and old, those with and without a college degree, and between White residents and minorities.  Earlier this year, RWJF issued its annual County Health Rankings. That report included an explicit call to action for community leaders to examine local data and learn more about the social and economic factors in each community that impact health outcomes. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 20, 2018

What’s New

HRSA Awards Rural Communities to Combat the Opioid Crisis. This includes $25.5 million to over 120 rural organizations to increase access to substance abuse prevention and treatment services serving rural populations across the country. Specifically, $19 million was awarded to 95 organizations under FORHP’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning and nearly $6.5 million to 26 rural organizations to expand the reach of the Rural Health Opioid Program. In addition, nearly $400 million is going to support 1,232 health centers across the country. To learn about HRSA-supported resources, please visit HRSA’s Opioid Crisis page.

NAS Workshop:  Achieving Rural Health Equity and Well-Being.  The National Academies of Science (NAS) convened a workshop in 2017 “to explore the impacts of economic, demographic, and social issues in rural communities and to learn about asset-based approaches to addressing the associated challenges.”  The NAS has just released a report of the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

State of Obesity 2018 Report.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health have released the 15th annual State of Obesity report, announcing an “urgent need to increase evidence-based obesity prevention programs.” Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the report finds that adult obesity rates are at or above 35 percent in seven mostly-rural states:  Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.  Also this week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released a final recommendation on behavioral weight loss interventions. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

June 21, 2018

What’s New

FCC Approves Expansion of Rural Broadband Funding.  On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve a 40 percent increase in annual funding for the Rural Health Care Program (RHCP), raising its cap to $571 million per year.  The RHCP provides subsidies that allow rural health care providers to get telecommunications services at rates comparable to urban areas, where the cost is typically lower.  In the previous two years, requests for funding superseded the $400 million annual cap.
CDC: Obesity Prevalence In Rural Areas.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data showing a significantly higher prevalence of obesity (34 percent) among adults in rural counties compared to those in urban counties (29 percent).  The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity looked at self-reported data from 2016 in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and found that  “in 24 of 47 states, obesity prevalence was significantly higher among persons in nonmetropolitan counties than among those in metropolitan counties; only in Wyoming was obesity prevalence higher among metropolitan county residents.”

EPA Provides Support to Rural Communities.  On June 14, the Environmental Protection Agency announced technical assistance for six rural communities through Healthy Places for Healthy People, a federal initiative that engages local leadership “to create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant downtowns and neighborhoods.”  Experts will meet with partners in each community – located in Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Washington state – to identify local assets that can be used to support health and economic revitalization.

CMS Opioids Roadmap.  Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a roadmap outlining the agency’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic.  Lack of resources, health care infrastructure and workforce has meant a greater impact on rural communities, and CMS provides a look at how they’re monitoring the situation and using data to better understand patterns and best practices for prevention and treatment.

Continue reading “Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy”

NHSC New Site Application Cycle is Now Open!

June 20, 2018

The 2018 NHSC New Site Application is now open and will close on August 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET. Eligible sites include health care facilities that generally provide outpatient, ambulatory, and primary health care services (medical, dental, and behavioral) to populations residing in high-need urban and rural areas.

New This Year!

NHSC recently received $105 million for future NHSC Loan Repayment Program awards that expand and improve access to quality opioid and substance use disorder treatment in rural and underserved areas. Outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities are also now eligible to apply if you provide any of these services:

  • General Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Opioid Treatment Program (OTP)

Interested sites are encouraged to read the 2018 NHSC Site Reference Guide and review the new SUD New Site Documentation for all requirements.

Continue reading “NHSC New Site Application Cycle is Now Open!”