Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

September 3, 2020

Deadline for COVID-Related Provider Relief Fund Extended to September 13.  Providers participating in state programs for Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children’s Health Insurance Program, dental providers, and certain Medicare providers may still apply for emergency funding related to the pandemic.

Three Federal Departments Team Up for Rural Health Initiative.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new effort to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission to promote broadband services and technology to rural areas.

Comments Requested: NAM Framework for Allocating COVID-19 Vaccine – September 4.  Responding to a request from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAM) have formed a committee to study and help plan for equitable allocation of vaccines against COVID-19.  Input from the public, especially communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, is needed to develop a discussion draft for the committee.  The comment period opened on September 1 and closed at 11:59 p.m. ET, September 4.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website in July with data on the COVID-19 response at federal, state, and local levels.  The hub includes estimated and reported hospital capacity by state, with numbers updated daily.

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, including a section specific to rural health care, and a Toolkit for Tribal CommunitiesNew this week: MMWR Weekly COVID-19 Briefing is now a podcast series with the latest scientific information published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

GHPC’s Collection of Rural Health Strategies for COVID-19.  With support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) provides reports, guidance, and innovative strategies gleaned from their technical assistance and peer learning sessions with FORHP grantees.

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 posted a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.  Now including Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in their communities.

SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings.