Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

June 24, 2021

HRSA Makes Awards for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $1.9 million to 20 awardees for this one-year, community-driven program designed to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network at the local level. By emphasizing the role of networks, the program creates a platform for both rural and urban medical care providers, social service providers, and community organizations to coalesce key elements of a health care delivery system for the purpose of improving local capacity and coordination of care in rural communities. Administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) at HRSA, the Network Planning program is an opportunity for health care providers to implement new and innovative approaches to care that may in turn serve as a model for other rural communities. The incoming cohort of Network Planning grantees have projects that focus on care coordination, health information technology/data analytics, behavioral health (including mental health and substance use disorder), elder care, and COVID-19. Visit the Rural Health Information Hub online to learn more about successful program models and evidence-based toolkits that have come from the work of FORHP-funded projects.  

An Update on COPDThe rural-focused publication, The Rural Monitor, provides details on recent efforts to close the rural-urban disparity gap for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that disparity in 2017; later that year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute launched the COPD National Action Plan. A new website from the Dorney-Koppel Foundation provides testimonials from those affected by the disease, as well as links to resources.

UPDATED: CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions.  Includes information on terms and conditions, attestation, general and targeted distributions, and how to report capital equipment purchases. Reporting and Auditing requirements FAQs were updated on June 11.

AHRQ: COVID-Related Hospitalizations in 13 States.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) examines the differences in month-to-month hospitalizations by patient location (metropolitan to rural) from April to September 2020.

NACo: Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Counties Post-COVID.  The National Association of Counties (NACo) presents a video recording of testimony from rural healthcare and economic organizations to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Topics include rural economic concerns following COVID-19, county-level responses to the pandemic, rural hospitals and workforce issues, broadband access, and federal programs serving rural communities. Transcripts from this hearing are available on the congressional website.