Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 25, 2019


 What’s New

Awards to Support Rural Veterans.  The Rural Veterans Health Access Program funds three states to improve the access to needed health care services and improve the coordination of care for veterans living in rural areas. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded grants of up to $300,000 per year for three years to the state offices of rural health in Oklahoma, Wyoming and Utah, that will work with providers and other partners. HRSA collaborates with the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) and their Veterans Rural Health Resource Programs to ensure coordination between these community organizations and the VHA programs.

Funding Opportunities

Connecting Kids to Coverage: Outreach to AI/AN Children – Letters of Intent August 19.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make 8-10 awards of up to $750,000 each to increase the enrollment and retention of eligible American Indian and Alaska Native children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  Eligible entities include tribes and tribal organizations operating a health program under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and Indian Health Service providers. To find full application instructions on the link above: 1) click on the package tab, 2) select preview the opportunity package, and 3) click on the button that says download instructions.   A letter of intent, required for all applicants, is due on August 19.  The deadline for applications is September 16.

Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts Request for Proposals – Letters of Intent August 25.  The Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE), founded in 2018, is a non-profit organization solely focused on the opioid epidemic.  FORE is interested in projects from underserved communities that address barriers to treatment for certain populations, including rural, and increase access to care.  Proposals from state or local governments and 501(c)(3) charitable organizations must present the scope of specific projects that may include, for example, expanding the use of telehealth in rural settings or working with the criminal justice system for incarcerated or post-release individuals.

Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program – October 28.  The Health Resources and Services Administration will invest approximately $1.8 million to support up to eight organizations located in the high-impact states cited in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).  Eligible organizations within these states – Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming – include National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, Department of Veterans’ Affairs hospitals or medical centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), community health centers, and agencies of any state or local government.  Grantees for this program will screen individuals for cancer and other radiogenic diseases, provide referrals for medical treatment of individuals screened, and facilitate documentation of claims for the RECA program.

Policy Updates

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

Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard Updated.  Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a scorecard to improve public transparency and accountability of two state-based programs, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and recently added new data.  The Scorecard reports measures on State Health System Performance (i.e. postpartum care and follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness), State Administrative Accountability (i.e., days to get information on State Plan Amendments), and Federal Administrative Accountability (i.e., time to approve waiver requests) with the intent of driving improvement in beneficiary outcomes and administration of the programs.  Medicaid is an important source of health coverage for rural populations covering about a quarter of nonelderly rural individuals.

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

Rural Health Clinics TA Series:  Cost Reporting – Tuesday, July 30 at 2:00 pm ET.  The National Association of Rural Health Clinics will be holding a webinar on Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Cost Reporting as part of their RHC Technical Assistance (TA) Series.  The speaker, Mark Lynn, will go over key pieces of information RHCs will need to track and collect during the course of the year to accurately complete the annual RHC cost report. The information presented will be appropriate for both independent as well as provider-based RHCs. The webinar is offered free of charge as part of a cooperative agreement with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. No advance registration is required, but it is recommended that participants log in 5-10 minutes prior to the start time. .

Delivering Recovery Supports to People with OUD – Wednesday, July 31 at 2:00 pm ET.  This hour-long online session hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is the second part in a series about recovery supports for people who are participating in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD).  Presenters will discuss peer-led recovery strategies and considerations for people with co-occurring disorders in MAT treatment.  The next session on Wednesday, August 1 at 2:00 pm ET will focus on people with OUD who are considering MAT.

HRSA Virtual Job Fair – Wednesday, August 7 at 7:00 pm ET.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will hold a three-hour virtual job fair to connect job-seeking primary care trainees and practicing clinicians with employment opportunities at participating health care facilities.

CMS National Training Program Workshops – July 30 through September 12.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold five workshops around the country, each lasting 2-3 days, to increase knowledge about updates to the Medicare program.  Attendees of the workshops will learn about new changes and innovations for this program that provides significant support for rural health care delivery, including information on opioids and other current topics. Click for more information on the agendas in each of the five cities – Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Arlington, and Providence.

Save the Date: 3RNet 2019 Annual Conference – September 24-26 in Wichita, KS. The National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) is a nonprofit that matches health care professionals to employers in rural and underserved areas.  Attendees at their annual two-day conference will network with other 3RNet members, learn strategies for rural recruitment and retention, and gain insight from experienced leaders in health professions staffing.  Last year, 3RNet made more than 2,500 clinician placements in rural, frontier, and underserved urban communities.

Resource of the Week

Partnering with Rural PhilanthropiesEarlier this year, the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) launched a toolkit that provides steps and resources for connecting with philanthropic organizations focused on rural health.  The RHIhub recently released two videos featuring participants and highlights of the seventh annual Public-Private Collaborations in Rural Health Meeting that took place in May. The agenda this year included topics related to housing and the opioid epidemic, and featured a discussion of the Surgeon General’s Health and Prosperity Initiative.

Rural Health Philanthropy: An Incubator for New Solutions

Rural Health Philanthropy: Coming Together to Meet the Need

Approaching Deadlines

NIFA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network – July 25

Bureau of Justice Assistance – Rural Responses to the Opioid Epidemic – July 26

CDC National Harm Reduction Syringe Services Program Monitoring and Evaluation – July 26

Capital Magnet Fund for Community Development Financial Institutions – July 26

DOJ Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Program – July 29

USDA Telehealth Innovations for Women, Infants, Children – July 29

Planning Grants for Community Mobility Design Challenge – August 1

ACF Community Economic Development – Social Enterprises – August 5

DOL YouthBuild Grants – August 6

USDA Tribal Colleges Research Grants – August 9

CMS Requests Feedback Reducing Regulatory Burden – August 12

ACL Alzheimer’s Disease Program Initiative – August 13

RWJF: Health Care’s Role in Meeting Patients’ Needs – August 15

ACF Leadership Academy for Preventing Trafficking among Native Youth – August 16

Connecting Kids to Coverage: Outreach to AI/AN Children – Letters of Intent August 19

Mini-Grants for Research Into Children’s Agricultural Health and Safety – August 19

Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts Request for Proposals – Letters of Intent August 25

NRHA Rural Health Fellows Program – August 27

AHA Rural Hospital Leadership Team Award – August 30

HRSA Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program – August 30

Comments Requested: CY 2020 Home Health Proposed Rule – September 9

NIH Research for Tobacco Control Policies – Letters of Intent September 11

Comments Requested: Methods for Assuring Access to Covered Medicaid Services-Rescission – September 13

Small Rural Hospital Transition Project – Letters of Intent September 15

Comments Requested: Specialty Care Models to Improve Quality of Care and Reduce Expenditures – September 16

Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program – October 28

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

SBA Guaranteed Loans for Small Business – Ongoing

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund – Ongoing

Seeking Nominations: National Advisory Committee on Migrant Health – Ongoing

HUD Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program – Ongoing

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