Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 11, 2019

Funding Opportunities

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program – May 16. Through the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) will provide tuition, fees, and monthly stipend for full-time enrollment in primary health care professions training for up to four school years.  In exchange, NHSC scholars will commit to serving in a high-need urban, rural, or frontier community upon graduation.

USDA Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program – May 24. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make awards of up to $230,000 each to Land Grant Institutions, and other colleges and universities with significant minority enrollments to increase diversity in the food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce.  The program seeks projects that integrate social and biological sciences to address challenges facing agriculture and rural communities.  These include increasing food production in the face of limited natural resources, alleviating poverty through economic opportunity, and fostering healthy lifestyles and diet.

USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants Program – May 29.  In a separate program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make 15 awards of up to $750,000 each to public and private nonprofit colleges and universities to facilitate better working relationships between academia and the private sector to enhance food and agricultural sciences. Similar to the Multicultural Scholars program posted above, this grants program seeks projects that integrate social and biological sciences to address challenges facing agriculture and rural communities. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”

HRSA Available Funding Opportunity

March 29, 2019

HRSA announces the availability of $200 million in supplemental funding for Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). IBHS will increase access to high-quality integrated behavioral health services, including prevention or treatment of mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder.

Organizations currently receiving Health Center Program operational grant funding are eligible to apply for up to $145,000.

You can begin using the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) application module on Friday, April 5, 2019. HRSA will email eligible organizations’ authorizing officials, business officials, and project directors the link to access the application. We encourage you to start developing your IBHS project now using the resources available on the IBHS Technical Assistance (TA) webpage.

Applications are due in EHBs by Monday, May 13, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. ET. HRSA expects to make awards in September.

For more information:

Visit the TA webpage for details about additional TA resources. Contact the IBHS TA Team with questions.

Rural Policy Research Institute

March 28, 2019

Facility-Based Ambulatory Care Provided to Rural Medicare Beneficiaries in 2014

For decades, healthcare has been shifting from inpatient to outpatient settings. Ambulatory care refers to medical services performed same day on an outpatient basis (without admission to a hospital or other facility) and includes services ranging from wellness and disease management to surgical treatment and rehabilitation. These services are generally provided to keep patients healthy and out of the hospital.

Although it is known that access to ambulatory care is important, not much is known about the ambulatory care that rural Medicare patients typically receive. This chartbook uses available Medicare claims data to describe facility-based (i.e., excludes private practitioners) ambulatory care provided to rural Medicare beneficiaries and includes claims, costs, and common diagnoses.

Contact Information:

George H. Pink, PhD
North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
Phone: 919.843.2728
gpink@email.unc.edu

Additional Resources of Interest:

Rural Policy Research Institute

March 21, 2019

A new rural policy brief is available from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis:

Comparing Rural and Urban Medicare Advantage Beneficiary Characteristics

Abigail Barker, PhD; Lindsey Nienstedt, BA; Leah Kemper, MPH; Timothy McBride, PhD; and Keith Mueller, PhD

This brief uses data from the 2012–13 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) to describe rural and urban differences in the populations that enroll in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Combined with county-level data on MA issuer participation, this dataset also allows us to assess the degree to which issuers may engage in selective MA market entry on the basis of observed demographic characteristics. Rural and urban MA and fee-for-service populations did not differ much by any characteristics reported in the data, including age, self-reported health status, cancer diagnosis, smoking status, Medicaid status, or by other variables assessing frailty and presence of chronic conditions. Most measures of access were similar across rural and urban respondents. While rurality on its own was often a significant predictor of lower issuer participation in a county’s MA market, the addition of other demographic characteristics did not influence the prediction. In other words, we found no evidence, based upon MCBS data, that issuers exclude rural counties due to other demographics. These findings suggest that poor health – as approximated by the demographic characteristics captured in MCBS data – is also captured similarly in risk adjustment formulas, meaning that MA issuers are compensated for this observed risk.

Click to download a copy: Comparing Rural and Urban Medicare Advantage Beneficiary Characteristics

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 4, 2019

What’s New

CDC: Drug Poisoning Mortality in the United States.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the latest figures on drug poisoning deaths at the national, state, and county levels from the years 1999 through 2017.  Updated data collection and methodology over that time period allows researchers to capture death rates in counties with small population sizes or small numbers of deaths, permitting reports on urban/rural trends by state (see pull-down menu under the heading “Options”).

Who Isn’t Using Patient Portals and Why.  Experts in health management, sociology, and psychology analyzed responses to the 2017 Health Information National Trends Survey to examine characteristics of patients who do not access electronic medical records and communications from their provider through online portals.  The researchers found that of the sixty-three percent of patients who reported not using a portal during the prior year, the nonusers were more likely to be male, be on Medicaid, lack a regular provider, and have less than a college education compared to those who did access portals.  Though we don’t typically include articles requiring paid access in this space, the findings may have implications on the advancement of telehealth for rural areas. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

March 28, 2019

Funding Opportunities

HRSA: Graduate Psychology Education Program – May 7.  The Health Resources and Services Administration will award $18 million to fund approximately 40 awards.  The purpose of the program is to train doctoral health psychology students, interns, and post-doctoral residents to provide integrated, interdisciplinary, behavioral health and substance use prevention and treatment services in high-need and high-demand areas.  Eligible entities are APA-accredited doctoral schools and programs of health service psychology, APA-accredited doctoral internships in professional psychology, and APA-accredited post-doctoral residency programs in practice psychology.

DOJ:  Building Capacity for Tribal Researchers – May 13.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) will make five awards for total funding of $500,000.  The investment will provide planning grants to state, local, or tribal governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher learning to develop proposals for research projects that improve criminal justice in tribal communities. In addition, the DOJ will invest $4 million in Tribal Justice Technical Assistance – May 14 to develop strategies to address violent crime and crimes related to substance abuse and other controlled substances.   Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

March 21, 2019

What’s New

Ongoing Work on Rural Health Issues at the CDC.  In the latest edition of The Rural Monitor, Senior Policy Analyst Diane Hall answers questions about the work on rural health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What started as a series in 2017 for their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) has continued with ongoing work with representation from each of the CDC’s centers ensuring that rural communities are included in funding opportunities and projects.  The MMWR series oriented the public and policymakers to the rural specifics on topics such as drug overdose deaths, leading causes of death, suicide trends, and cancer incidence and deaths.

2019 County Health Rankings.  Released on Tuesday of this week, the 2019 ranking of health for nearly every county in the nation reminds us that health outcomes are heavily influenced by where we live.  This year’s analysis focuses specifically on homes and the way they shape the health of individuals, families and communities.  Among the key findings is evidence showing that severe housing cost burden has decreased in large urban areas since the end of the real estate crisis that ended in 2010.  In that same period of time, however, nearly half of all rural counties experienced an increase in severe housing costs. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement”

Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program

March 29, 2019

With the support of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the Health Resources Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), The National Rural Health Resource Center is thrilled to inform you that hospitals located in DRA counties (see Missouri DRA Counties Map) are eligible to participate in the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program. Continue reading “Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program”