Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

May 16, 2019

What’s New

HRSA Awards $24 Million To 120 Rural Organizations For Opioid ResponseThis week, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy awarded $24 million for the second round of Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) planning grants. Recipients across 40 states will receive $200,000 for one year to formalize partnerships with local stakeholders, conduct needs assessments, and develop plans to implement and sustain substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD), prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions.

Funding Opportunities

Contractor Sought for RWJF Rural Leadership Initiative – June 3. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will award funds of up to $500,000 for 12 months for the design and implementation of a rural leadership program.  Public and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply, and collaborations of multiple partners are welcome. The successful partner will design a program that collaborates with its learning participants and intentionally includes leaders from a range of racial/ethnic and socio-economic groups.

SAMHSA Drug Free Communities Support Program – July 8.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will make 150 awards of up to $125,000 each to support community-based coalitions that have never previously received a Drug Free Communities grant.  The purpose of the program is to prevent and reduce substance abuse for youth ages 18 and younger.  Community coalitions must include representatives from 12 sectors, including youth, parents, school, law enforcement and health care.  Proposals should detail how projects will use environmental prevention strategies aimed at changing or influencing community conditions, standards, institutions, structures, systems, and policies to shift attitudes and change behavior.

NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarships – July 31.  The National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCC) will make five awards of $8,000 each.  The scholarships are offered to students residing in rural areas who are currently enrolled in a master’s level counseling program and are committed to practicing in rural communities after graduation. Applicants must agree to a 2 year service contract.

Policy Updates

Visit the FORHP Policy page to see all recent updates and send questions to ruralpolicy@hrsa.gov.

Medicare Shared Savings Program: Submit Notice of Intent to Apply Beginning June 11 through June 28. CMS announced Notice of Intent to Apply (NOIA) and application cycle dates for a January 1, 2020 start date for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Beginning June 11, 2019, CMS will start accepting NOIAs via the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Management System (ACO-MS). You must submit a NOIA if you intend to apply to the BASIC or ENHANCED track of the Shared Savings Program, apply for a Skilled Nursing Facility 3-Day Rule Waiver, and/or establish and operate a Beneficiary Incentive Program. MSSP fast facts from January 2018 highlight that 1,210 rural health clinics and 421 critical access hospitals were included on ACO participant lists.

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

Meeting Needs of Dual Eligible Older Adults with SUD – Thursday, May 16 at 1:30 pm ET.  Older adults with substance use disorder (SUD) benefit from treatment approaches that are age appropriate, designed to address common co-occurring conditions, mobility limitations, and social factors. During this 90-minute program, experts will identify promising practices for screening, treatment, and care coordination, and demonstrate practical strategies.

Addressing Recent Trends in Syphilis Epidemiology – Thursday, May 16 at 2:00 pm ET.  The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center will discuss best practices for screening and clinical management of syphilis.  Recent news has uncovered a rise in new cases that are affecting rural areas.

AgriSafe: Hazard Communications Standards – Monday, May 20 at 1:00 pm ET.  The AgriSafe Network will hold this hour-long webinar to cover identification and safe usage of chemicals and pesticides used in the agricultural industry.

The Opioid Epidemic and Rising Hepatitis Rates – Wednesday, May 22 at 2:00 pm ET.  The National Association of County and City Health Officials will hold this hour-long webinar to discuss rising rates of hepatitis related to the opioid epidemic.  Local health departments will discuss efforts to increase hepatitis testing, prevention, and linkage to care. 

RWJF Life in Rural America Symposium – Tuesday, May 21 at 9:00 am ET.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will convene leaders from rural and tribal communities to discuss the findings of their 2018 report, Life in Rural America.  A project done in collaboration with National Public Radio and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the report gained widespread recognition for the optimism expressed by rural residents polled.  RWJF will release a second report on the day of the symposium.

Community Engagement Between Rural Hospitals & Local Stakeholders – Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 pm ET.   The Center for Optimizing Rural Health Technical Advisory Center is a HRSA/FORHP-funded initiative with the goal of understanding economic challenges, community health needs and resources, and finding ways rural hospitals and communities can keep needed care locally.  This webinar will discuss ways rural hospitals can engage with their local communities, identifying needs then creating strategies to meet them.

Improving Oral Health Care Services in Rural America – Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 pm ET.  The shortage of practicing dental professionals in rural communities is influenced by a variety of factors, especially the limited number of dentists who are able and/or willing to start a rural practice.  In this hour-long presentation, experts will discuss policy recommendations in the recent report on this topic from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.

AgriSafe: Reversing Opioid Overdose in the Agricultural Workplace – Tuesday, May 21 at 1:00 pm ET.   The AgriSafe Network will review the role of Naloxone in reversing opioid overdose in safety-sensitive agricultural occupations.

HRSA TwitterChat: Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care – Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00 pm ET.  Panelists from the National Health Service Corps, HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will participate in this hour long discussion on the significance of integrating behavioral health into primary care settings.  To participate, tweet your question or comment and include the #BHealthy hashtag.

HRSA Virtual Job Fair for the Health Workforce – Wednesday, May 22 at 6:45 pm ET.  Practicing clinicians and those in training can register for this online job fair to learn about job opportunities in underserved communities.  Connect to the 3.5-hour event using any device with access to the internet and interact with employers in real time. 

Northeast Telehealth Resource Center Regional Conference  – June 17-18.  This two-day conference in Portland, Maine features a keynote presentation by Chris Gibbons, MD, MPH – Chief Health Innovation Adviser, FCC and the Future for Digital Health, a special panel on Federal and Regional Telehealth Policy Perspectives, and other key topics from national and regional telehealth leaders.  There are more than fifteen breakout sessions on a wide variety of areas including: strategies for planning and sustaining telehealth programs, telehealth use cases across various environments, models for serving vulnerable populations through telehealth, and more. This year’s event also includes a Pre-Conference Telebehavioral Health Workshop: “A Provider’s Guide to TeleMental Health: Key Concepts and Use Cases”, and two hands-on technology labs with the National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center.

Resource of the Week

New – HRSA Training and Technical Assistance Hub.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) just launched a new resource that makes it easy to find technical assistance centers associated with many of HRSAs programs.  Browse by topic, by bureau or office, or use the search function. 

Approaching Deadlines

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program – May 16

NIH: Researching Interventions to Heart and Lung Disease Risk – May 17

HRSA: Enhancing Oral Health Infrastructure in Health Centers – May 21

RWJF Rural Learning & Coordinating Center – May 22

Request for Information: Physician Geographic Population-Based Payment Model – May 23

HRSA: Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies – May 24

USDA Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program – May 24

USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants Program – May 29

New Sites for National Health Service Corps – May 30

HHS: YES Initiative for Minority and Disadvantaged Youth – May 31

Capacity Building for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research – May 31

Comments Requested: Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) – May 31

USAC Telecommunications Program for Rural Health Care – May 31

USDA Rural Broadband Loan and Grant Program – May 31

American Indian Graduate Center Fellowships – June 1

Comment Period Extended: Proposed Rules for Interoperability of Health IT – June 3

ACF Community Economic Development (CED) Projects – June 3

Contractor Sought for RWJF Rural Leadership Initiative – June 3

Rural PREP Micro-research Grants – June 3

USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program – June 3

DOJ Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program – June 5

USDA Rural Community Development Initiative – June 5

Community Development Financial Institution Program – June 6

Native American Community Development Financial Assistance – June 6

SAMHSA Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants – June 7

Scholarships for Rural Residency Leadership Program – June 9

Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training – June 10

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion (RCORP-MAT Expansion)– June 10

RCORP – Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorders – June 10

USDA Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant – June 10

USDA Rural Health and Safety Education Grants – June 10

DOJ School Violence Technology and Threat Assessment – June 11

Brookdale Foundation Relatives as Parents Program – June 12

CDC Grants for Health and Wellness in Indian Country – June 12

Research for Smoking Cessation in Disadvantaged Populations – June 13

CDC Emergency Department Surveillance of Non-fatal Suicide Outcomes – June 14

HRSA Medical Student Education Program – June 14

NIH Research to Address Opioid Epidemic and Minority Health Disparities – June 14

Comments Requested: Proposed Changes to Payment and Policy for Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities – June 17

Comments Requested: Proposed Payment and Policy Changes for Medicare Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities – June 17

Comments Requested: Trusted Exchange Framework for Electronic Health Information – June 17

Comments Requested: Proposed Update to Hospice Payment Rate – June 18

Comments Requested: Proposed Payment and Policy Changes for Medicare Skilled Nursing Facilities – June 18

USDA Local Food Promotion Program – June 18

Comments Requested:  Proposed Updates for FY2020 Medicare Inpatient and Long-term Care Hospital Payments – June 24

Medicare Shared Savings Program – June 28

Proposals Requested:  Medicare Measures for Promoting Interoperability – June 28

Comments Requested:  CMS Issues Draft Guidance on Hospital Co-location – July 2

Request for Information: State Waivers for Health Insurance – July 2

SAMHSA Drug Free Communities Support Program – July 8

Federal Investment in Rural Transportation – July 15

NBCC Foundation Rural Scholarships – July 31

AHA Rural Hospital Leadership Team Award – August 30

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program – Ongoing through August 2019

NIH: Research for Disparities Among Minority/Underserved Children – Cycles thru May 2020

Guaranteed Loans for Rural Rental Housing – Ongoing through 2021

RWJF Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health – Ongoing

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans – Ongoing

Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects –  Ongoing

Drinking Water and Waste Disposal for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages – Ongoing

HIT Strategies for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures – Ongoing

HIT to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes – Ongoing

Community Facilities Program –  Ongoing

Summer Food Service Program – Ongoing