Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

July 2, 2020

FORHP Awards Rural Health Network Development ProgramThe Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has recently announced that 44 rural health networks were awarded approximately $13 million for the new competitive funding cycle of the Rural Health Network Development (RHND) Program.  The RHND Program is a three-year grant program designed to provide support to integrated health care networks who address the health care needs of their rural communities. Recipients are expected to achieve efficiencies, expand access to and improve the quality of essential health care services, and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. Awarded applications range in a variety of focus areas including care coordination, value based care, chronic disease management, and behavioral health services. As FORHP continues to focus on sharing program outcomes, the identification and dissemination of rural evidence-based models maintains a priority. The Rural Health Information Hub (RHI hub) consists of a number of resources, including successful program models and evidence-based toolkits.

COVID-Related Provider Relief Funds for Medicaid and CHIP Providers – July 20.  Providers participating in state programs for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) may still apply for emergency funding related to the pandemic distributed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to support the health care safety net. The initial Medicare-targeted General Distribution of funds through the CARES Act and the Payment Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided payments to nearly 320,000 providers who bill for Medicare fee-for-service. The Medicaid and CHIP Targeted distribution will make the Provider Relief Fund available to an additional 800,000 providers. The payment to each provider will be at least two percent of reported gross revenue from patient care; the final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted. Applicants must submit their data in the online portal created for this purpose by July 20. 

ONDCP Rural Community Toolbox.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) developed this resource to serve as a clearinghouse for funding, technical assistance, and other information from 16 Federal departments and agencies to support local action against opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural America. The toolbox also houses a Community Assessment Tool, which gives county-specific data about overdose deaths and factors that may make a community more vulnerable to OUD, and a Rural Community Action Guide, providing rural leaders with recommended action steps to address OUD in their communities.

NACo: Nursing Homes & COVID-19The National Association of Counties (NACo) gives an overview of COVID-19 cases in nursing home facilities across the U.S., many of which are county-owned and operated. The brief is a resource for counties on federal guidance, policies, and data and includes a case study on expanding testing in rural Linn County, Oregon.

Request for Information: NIH Seeking Input on Health Disparities in Neurological Disease and Care – July 15.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks input from scientists, clinicians, patients, families, caregivers, advocates, and the broader community on the most important knowledge gaps, health and research needs, and promising opportunities to help guide the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s (NINDS) research. These disparities and inequities may exist across several demographic factors, including race/ethnicity, food/housing insecurity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, educational attainment, age, disability, etc. Responses are encouraged from all interested stakeholders.

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19.  A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs.  Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, and ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA). New this week: a COVID data tracker map includes county-level data on cases and deaths

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties.  The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States.  An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.  The Rural Health Information Hub has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.