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Technical Assistance
FORHP Announcements - February 6
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2/6/2020 @ 10:30:00 AM
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Contributor: Karri Cornejo

FORHP Header with Logos 

February 6, 2020

What's New

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation – April 24. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 89 awards of $1 million each to rural communities to enhance substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder service delivery. Over the course of a three-year period of performance, grant recipients will implement a set of core prevention, treatment, and recovery activities that align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Five-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis. Award recipients are strongly encouraged to leverage workforce recruitment and retention programs like the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply, and all services must be provided in HRSA-designated rural areas (as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer). The applicant organization must be part of an established network or consortium that includes at least three other separately-owned entities. At least two of these entities must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area. FORHP will hold an hour-long webinar for applicants on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 from 1-2 p.m., ET. A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend. Please reference page (ii) in the NOFO for the dial-in and playback information for the webinar, and contact with questions.

Comments Requested: HRSA Telehealth Resource Center Program – March 6. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting feedback from the public about a future funding opportunity for Telehealth Resource Center (TRC) Program. Specific questions pertain to use of TRC services and their effectiveness. HRSA may use the responses collected to inform policy development and program decision making, among other purposes. The responses and/or a summary of the responses will be shared with the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth in HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

Office of National Drug Control Policy Releases Rural Community Action Guide. Breaking down stigma, improving data availability, and increasing access to care with broadband and better transportation are just three of the recommendations in this guide for rural policy leaders at the local level. Created with input from a series of roundtables around the country, the guide includes action steps for each of the challenges faced by rural communities.

GAO Report: Barriers to Medicaid Beneficiaries’ Access to Treatment Medications. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) identifies state and federal policies that can impose barriers to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. A 2018 study found that about 40 percent of states may not provide Medicaid coverage for some MAT medications as required by law. A 2016 study of rural physicians found that more than half of providers with waivers to prescribe medications to treat addiction were not accepting new patients.

Insurer Participation in State Insurance Marketplaces. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports on changes in health insurer participation from 2014-2020 for all counties in the U.S. with charts, tables, and interactive maps.

2020 Census Response Rate Challenge. The U.S. Census Bureau created a toolkit designed to help local leaders improve their communities’ response rate in the upcoming national census. The toolkit is downloadable and contains ideas and resources for creating a local challenge, promotional materials, and general information about the 2020 Census.

Comments Requested: Proposed Research on Maternal Mortality – February 21. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) request insight on the needs of the maternal mortality research field. NIH is considering a two-pronged approach researching disparities: 1) a multi-site community-based participatory research effort to evaluate and implement effective maternal mortality interventions; and 2) research opportunities to address risk factors, particularly in minority and underserved populations.

Funding and Opportunities

ARC Economic Revitalization in Coal-Affected Appalachia – Letters of Intent February 28. The Federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will provide funding for workforce and economic revitalization activities in communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in the coal industry. Eligible applicants are state and local governments, tribes and tribal consortiums, institutions of higher learning, and public or private nonprofit organizations. Deadline is March 27; applicants are required to submit a letter of intent by February 28.

FTA Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities – March 30. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) expects to make 300 awards from a total investment of more than $454 million to assist in the financing of buses and capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing, and/or leasing buses or bus-related facilities. Eligible applicants are state and local governments and Federally recognized tribal governments. Past projects of the grant program include several rural communities.

SAMHSA Rural Emergency Services Training – March 30. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will make 25 awards with a total investment of $5 million to recruit and train emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural areas.

Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course - Ongoing. The National Association of Rural Health Clinics offers this course designed to teach directors, clinic administrators, and other Rural Health Clinic leaders how to operate a successful Rural Health Clinic. Upon course completion and the attainment of an 80 percent or higher exam score, participants will earn Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional certification.

Rural Health Research

Research in this section is provided by the HRSA/FORHP-supported Rural Health Research Gateway. Sign up to receive alerts when new publications become available.

Are Rural Infants Benefiting from Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) Food Package Rule Changes? In 2009, revisions were made to the WIC program to promote and support breastfeeding among those who are able and to improve infant feeding practices. This study compared breastfeeding initiation for rural and urban WIC participants, as well as changes in breastfeeding and infant feeding practices before and after the WIC Food Packages revisions.

Variation in Use of Home Healthcare Among Fee-for-Service Medicare Beneficiaries by Rural-Urban Status. Despite incentive payments for home health care in rural communities, available data showed a significantly lower percentage of beneficiaries using home health in the most remote rural counties. The brief is the work of the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center.

Policy Updates for Rural Health

Visit the FORHP Policy page to see all recent updates and send questions to

Nominations: HRSA National Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality – February 24. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) seeks nominations for the Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, a public-private partnership advising the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on activities to reduce infant mortality and improve the health status of pregnant women. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued data about infant deaths in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties.

Comments Requested: Proposed Changes to 2021 Health Insurance Marketplace – March 2. Last week, CMS posted its proposed changes to the Notice of Benefits and Payment Parameters and its draft Annual Letter to Issuers, which provide guidance to states and insurers for the administration of the American Health Benefit Exchanges (aka “the Marketplace”) in 2021. Proposals address the cost of prescription drugs, determining eligibility for other public programs, the user fee rate, and the display of quality rating information on State-based Exchanges. Application submission dates and requirements for Essential Community Providers (e.g., Rural Health Clinics, Critical Access Hospitals) are unchanged from 2020. CMS has also extended for one year the policy allowing issuers to continue offering plans that do not meet all Marketplace reforms, if approved by the State.

New Opportunity for Medicaid to Serve Healthy Adults. CMS announced last week a new demonstration opportunity for States to offer Medicaid coverage to adults under age 65 who are not otherwise eligible. As part of this, States will have the flexibility to create value-based payment designs for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and potentially other safety net providers, such as Rural Health Clinics. Financing for these demonstrations would be through a defined budget target, set on either a total expenses or per-enrollee basis.

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

NNLM: Access to Food in Rural Communities – Thursday, February 6 at 2:00 pm ET. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) will host a one-hour webinar on an innovative approach to food scarcity in rural areas. Learn about the Fresh Food Collective and the role libraries can play in addressing rural food deserts.

Cultural Competence in the Care of HIV Patients – Monday, February 10 at 1:00 pm ET. The National Center for Health in Public Housing hosts this 90-minute webinar to move organizations past cultural stereotypes and biases (e.g., based on race, sexual orientation, or gender identity) to offer client-centered services for HIV care.

Nurse Licensure Compacts for Practice in Multiple States – Tuesday, February 11 at 3:00 pm ET. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization for nursing regulatory affairs. In this 60 minute webinar, NCSBN will provide an overview of the Nurse Licensure Compact, under which nurses can practice in other states without having to obtain additional license.

Strategies for Combating Racism in Health Systems – Thursday, February 13 at 3:00 pm ET. The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality will hold a one-hour webinar to provide guidance for identifying and addressing racism and racial bias.

How Small and Rural Libraries Support Health Information Needs – Friday, February 14 at 2:00 pm ET. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine hosts this one-hour webinar to describe its partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries to support health information needs.

Learn About HRSA Grants – Tuesday, February 18 at 3:00 pm ET. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)'sOffice of Regional Operations, will host three Grants 101 webinars for health and human services organizations, training programs, and educational organizations interested in learning about HRSA grants. Webinars will highlight how to find HRSA funding opportunities, the HRSA grant application process, resources to assist with putting together your application, and much more. Webinar #2: Creating a Competitive Grant Proposal – Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 11:00 am ET. Webinar #3: HRSA Grants 101 – Thurs. February 27 at 2:00 pm ET. Organizations are welcome to register and attend all three webinars.

NCTRC: Opioid Use and Augmented Reality – Thursday, February 20 at 2:00 pm ET. The HRSA/FORHP-supported National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers hosts this webinar. Learn how the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is developing immersive holograms to promote substance use dialogue in Alaska Native communities.

Resource of the Week

GAO Report on Alternative Drinking Water Systems for Very Small Communities. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) provides an overview of five alternative drinking water systems used by communities with fewer than 500 people and the barriers to implementing new systems and technologies. The report identifies four federal funding systems that support technical assistance and training for small drinking water systems serving communities of fewer than 10,000.

Approaching Deadlines

DOJ Enhanced Training and Services to End Elder Abuse – February 6

EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative – February 7

NIH Practice-Based Research - Pediatric Mental Health in Primary Care Settings – February 10

DOJ Culturally Specific Services - Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence – February 12

DOJ Grants to Tribal Governments - Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction – February 12

DOJ Grants Addressing Violence - Women/Children Underserved Populations – February 12

HRSA Funding for Postdoctoral Training in Dentistry – February 12

SAMSHA Disaster Response Services for Adults – February 12

SAMSHA School-Based Services for Disaster Response – February 12

HRSA Nurse Training for Behavioral Health Integration – February 19

RWJF Change Leadership Programs – February 19 and March 11

AHRQ Research for Improving OUD in Older Adults – February 20

HRSA/FORHP Rural Health Research Program – February 21

Comments Requested: Proposed Research on Maternal Mortality – February 21

Nominations: HRSA National Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality – February 24

NIH Research for Mental Health in Low-Resource Settings – February 24

NRHA Rural Health Awards – February 24

Apply for CMS Direct Contracting Model Options – February 25

DOJ Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation to Address Crime – February 25

HRSA Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program – February 25

ARC Economic Revitalization in Coal-Affected Appalachia – Letters of Intent February 28

Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program – February 28

Comments Requested: Proposed Changes to 2021 Health Insurance Marketplace – March 2

DOJ: STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program – March 3

HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students – March 3

NIH Researching Factors in Lung Cancer Disparities – March 4

Comments Requested: HRSA Telehealth Resource Center Program – March 6

Comments Requested: Medicare Advantage Advance Notice for 2021 Plan Year Risk Adjustment – March 6

HRSA Black Lung Clinics Program – March 6

HRSA Black Lung Data and Resource Center – March 6

Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program – March 6

SAMSHA Strategic Prevention Framework for Substance Use – March 6

SAMHSA Infrastructure for Family Wellness in AI/AN Communities – March 9

SAMSHA Expansion of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics – March 10

HRSA Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program – March 12

HRSA Rural Health Care Coordination Program – March 12

Nominations for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – March 15

USDA Rural Broadband Loan and Grant Program – March 16

CDC Partnerships to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening – March 17

NIMHD Research on Biopsychosocial Factors of Social Connectedness and Isolation – March 17

Comments Requested: Federal Health IT Strategic Plan – March 18

Comments Requested: Guidance for Federal Grants and Agreements – March 23

Comments Requested: Coordinating Out-of-State Care for Chronically Ill Children – March 23

SAMSHA Grants to Implement National Strategy for Suicide Prevention – March 23

CDC Programs to Support Ending the HIV Epidemic – March 25

HRSA Capacity Development for Ryan White/HIV AIDS Program – March 26

FTA Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities – March 30

SAMHSA Rural Emergency Services Training – March 30

HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS – Dental Reimbursement Program – April 3

HRSA Support for Opioid-Impacted Families – April 13

Host Sites for the CDC Public Health Associate Program – April 14

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation – April 24

PCORI Grants for Research Addressing Disparities – May 5

NIH: Research for Disparities Among Minority/Underserved Children – May 7

Guaranteed Loans for Rural Rental Housing – Ongoing through 2021

AHRQ Research to Improve Patient Transitions through HIT – Ongoing through December 2022

Ongoing Opportunities

Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course

Community Facilities Program

Community Food Projects Technical Assistance

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

Drinking Water and Waste Disposal for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages

Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects

HIT to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes

HIT Strategies for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

HUD Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program

Nominations for Federal Advisory Commission on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Nominations for National Advisory Committee on Migrant Health

RWJF Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health

SBA Guaranteed Loans for Small Business

Summer Food Service Program

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

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