Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

Date: April 14, 2022

Preview New Opportunity for Delta Workforce Training Program. Next Thursday, April 21, join the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for a preview of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that will be released soon. The Delta Region Rural Health Workforce Training Program will train future and current health professionals in critical administrative support professions, preparing them for high-quality jobs in the rural counties and parishes of the federal Delta Regional Authority. Jobs supported by this funding include medical coding and billing, insurance claims processing, health information management, clinical documentation, business operations for healthcare organizations, and supply chain and materials management. The hour-long call will take place on Zoom at 2:00 pm ET. The program coordinator will highlight key changes to the NOFO that make it easier for interested applicants to apply.

Rural Playbook for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The new legislation promises billions of dollars for high-speed internet, improvements to roads and bridges, clean drinking water, and modernized wastewater systems. The playbook is intended to help communities understand the available funding set aside for rural areas and how to apply for these federal dollars.

Successful Federal Efforts to Address SDOH. Social determinants of health (SDOH) include factors such as housing, food and nutrition, transportation, social mobility, and environmental conditions as having significant impact on health outcomes. In this series of policy briefs, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services describes the Department’s strategic approach to SDOH and provides successful examples of current federal programs. 

The Persistence of Poverty in Rural America. The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit focused on improving conditions in the poorest rural places. In this policy brief, HAC identifies 377 persistent poverty counties in the United States – those classified by the Census Bureau as having poverty rates of 20 percent or more for three consecutive decades.  Approximately 81 percent of these counties are outside of metropolitan areas.

Earth Day Brings Federal Focus to Climate Change. Over three days next week, the newly formed federal Office of Climate Change and Health Equity will host experts speaking about the impact that climate change has on health and well-being. Each hour-long event will take place at noon on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April 19-21. See the link to learn details about speakers and the topics that will be covered, and contact GoGreen@hhs.gov with questions.

Ongoing: HRSA Payment Program for RHC Buprenorphine-Trained Providers. In June 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched an effort to improve access to substance use disorder treatment by paying for providers who are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) still have the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment on behalf of each provider who trained to obtain the waiver necessary to prescribe buprenorphine after January 1, 2019.  Approximately $1.2 million in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Send questions to DATA2000WaiverPayments@hrsa.gov. There is ongoing availability of a free online course for waiver eligibility training from the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine and the Providers Clinical Support System.