Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

Date: February 24, 2022

New RMOMS Program Awardee Summaries. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy released new Summaries of the FY2019 Cohort Award Recipients of the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) Program – the Bootheel Perinatal Network in Missouri, the Rural OB Access and Maternal Services Network (ROAMS) in New Mexico, and the TX-RMOMS Comprehensive Maternal Care Network in Texas. The summaries describe the network structures and strategies awardees are using to expand care, such as telehealth and patient navigation. Applications for the next cohort are due on April 5.

HRSA Telehealth Learning Series: A Session on Innovative Rural Health Programs – Monday, February 28 at 3:00 pm ET. This session features two recipients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Telehealth Network Grant Program that delivers consultation services for Emergency Departments in rural areas. 

Comments Requested: CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids – Deadline April 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is in the process of updating the 2016 guidelines and values feedback from health care professionals and members of the public who experience acute or chronic pain. 

New Considerations for Assessing Seasonal Farmworker Communities (pdf). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an addendum to their Rapid Community Assessment (RCA) field guide. An RCA is a process for quickly collecting community insights – e.g., observations, surveys, listening session – about a public health issue to inform program design. The addendum was developed in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, the National Center for Farmworker Health, CDC’s Global Migration Task Force, and Oregon and Yuma County Farmworker Deployment Teams.

Spread the Word About Vaccine Boosters. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released new resources – posters, flyers, videos, and talking points – to help promote the extra protection from COVID-19 boosters. All vaccinated adults aged 18+ are eligible for a booster. A few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded booster eligibility to include adolescents ages 12 to 17, recommending that they receive a booster shot five months after their initial vaccination. The CDC also released a new resource, based on input from rural health departments and organizations, with 12 strategies to increase vaccine uptake in rural communities (pdf). Search by zip code to find nearby locations providing adult and pediatric vaccines and boosters for COVID-19 and the flu at vaccines.gov.

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 $1.5 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.