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Technical Assistance
FORHP Announcements - May 14
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5/14/2020 @ 10:17:00 AM
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Contributor: Karri Cornejo

FORHP Header with Logos 

May 14, 2020

What's New

New Funding Opportunity: Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning) – July 13.  The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be making approximately 50 awards of $200,000 each to rural communities to enhance capacity to address substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder.  Over the course of an 18-month period of performance, grant recipients will conduct a series of planning activities, engage multi-sector consortiums, and participate in the RCORP-Planning learning collaborative. All domestic public and private entities, nonprofit and for-profit, are eligible to apply. Applicant organizations may be located in an urban or rural areas; however, all activities supported by this program must exclusively target HRSA-designated rural areas (per the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer).  FORHP will hold an hour-long webinar for applicants on Wednesday, May 27 at 3:00 pm ET.  A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend.  For call-in and recording playback information, see page (ii) in the Notice of Funding Opportunity  (click the Package tab, then Preview, then Download Instructions). 

USDA on Extreme Poverty Counties Found Solely in Rural Areas.  The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies trends in poverty using the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.  For the most recent year studied, 2018, there were 664 high poverty counties in which an average of 20 percent or more of the population had lived below the Federal poverty level since 2014. 

Request for Comments: BPC Behavioral Health Integration – May 30.  The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a think tank combining ideas and solutions from both parties.  The organization’s Behavioral Health Integration Task Force is inviting comments for solutions that support improving the bi-directional integration of primary care and behavioral health care.

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. New this week: Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus was the subject of a recent webinar for clinicians, part of ongoing Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA).

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 has created a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19.




Funding and Opportunities

Please note that many deadlines for Federal funding opportunities have been extended.  See Approaching Deadlines section below.

HRSA Rural HIV/AIDS Planning Program – July 10.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will make 10 awards with a total investment of $1 million to support the planning and development of integrated health networks for HIV care and treatment in rural communities. The program is designed  specifically for consortia or networks of health care providers that  do not have a history of formal collaborative HIV efforts.

CDC Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences – July 13.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will make four awards of up to $500,000 each to build a state-level surveillance infrastructure to collect and analyze data related to Adverse Childhood Experiences and implement strategies to prevent them. 

AHA Rural Hospital Leadership Team Award – August 31.  The American Hospital Association (AHA) will recognize an exceptional leadership team that has guided their hospital and community through health care reform.  Applicants must be the chief executive officer, president, or administrator of an AHA member hospital located in a rural area.  Eligible applicants include Rural Health Clinics, ambulatory patient care centers, and health centers operated by the Indian Health Service or tribal organizations, among other entities.  Either the applicant or the consortium's primary training partner must be located in a rural area.

NIH Research – Alcohol and Other Substance Use – Dates Through August 2022.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will provide grants to support dissemination of research findings on alcohol and other substance use to healthcare professionals engaged in direct patient care and clinical service delivery. Applications from eligible applicants will be accepted in the spring, summer and fall of each year until August 2022.

ASA Rural Access to Anesthesia Care Scholarship – Ongoing.  The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) provides stipend scholarships for medical students to complete a rural rotation designed to teach future physicians about anesthesia in rural areas. Applicants will work with a mentor at a designated rural site.  Applicants must be a third- or fourth- year medical student in an approved U.S. program and a medical student member of the ASA.

Opportunity Zones for Economic Development – Ongoing.  Supported by the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, the Opportunity Zone Program is designed to encourage economic development and job creation in distressed communities through tax benefits. Investors may defer taxes on most capital gains up to Dec. 31, 2026 by making an eligible investment in a designated Qualified Opportunity Zone (Excel spreadsheet).

Rural Graduate Medical Education Planning and Development – Ongoing.  RuralGME.org and its regional hubs provide training and technical assistance for development of new rural family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry residency programs. 

USDA Summer Food Program – Ongoing.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers funding on a per-meal basis to organizations providing meals to low-income children during the summer.  Use the Summer Meal Site Finder to find local providers.  Community organizations that would like to become a Summer Meal Site should contact their state’s agent for the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service




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. 

Most Rural Hospitals Have Little Cash Going into COVID.  Days cash on hand is an estimate of the number of days an organization could operate if no cash were collected or received.  Many rural hospitals have a history of low cash levels and other short-term assets and are therefore ill-prepared for the loss of revenue during the pandemic. 

Considerations for Defining Rural Places in Health Policies and Programs.  Rural definitions used to direct resources for federal and state policies mostly rely on a combination of population density and economic integration with urbanized areas.  This paper from the Rural Policy Research Institute examines the methods that have been used for defining rural areas and presents a number of options for adjustment.




Policy Updates

Visit the FORHP Policy page to see all recent updates and send questions to ruralpolicy@hrsa.gov.

Comments Requested: Proposed Updates for FY2021 Medicare Inpatient and Long-term Care Hospital Payments - July 10. On May 11, CMS released proposed policies and payment updates for acute care and long-term care hospitals for the 2021 Federal fiscal year. In recognition of the significant impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS has limited annual rulemaking required by statute to focus primarily on essential policies. Of note to rural hospitals, CMS has decided to delay a proposed update to the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating methodology in recognition of the significant impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency. CMS noted its intention to return to this topic in future rulemaking. CMS is also proposing to expand the definition of displaced resident under the Graduate Medical Education policy to provide greater flexibility.

CMS Issues Final Rule for the 2021 Annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. On May 7, CMS released the final annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters and Letter to Issuers for the 2021 benefit year. This final rule and Letter set forth payment parameters and instructions to insurers participating in the Health Insurance Exchanges or “Marketplaces”. Among the changes for 2021 are counting drug manufactures coupon toward the annual limitation on cost sharing and promoting the adoption of Value-based Insurance Designs (VBID). CMS also announced a one-week extension of the Qualified Health Plan (QHP) certification and rate review timelines to help issuers and states to better collect and assess data around the effects of COVID-19 and thereby establish more accurate premium rates. Generally, more information on rural health insurance issues is available from the RHIhub.




Learning Events and Technical Assistance

AgriSafe: COVID-19 Weekly Think Tank – Thursday, May 14 at 12:00 pm ET.  The AgriSafe Network holds a weekly discussion with rural health and safety professionals to identify risks that farmers, farm workers, and ranchers face as it relates to COVID-19.

Bipartisan Policy Center: COVID-19 and Rural Hospital Struggles – Thursday, May 14 at 12:00 pm ET.  The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a think tank combining ideas and solutions from both parties.  In this hour-long webinar, BPC will build on their recent report on rural health and listen to rural hospital leaders on the specific challenges they face. 

AAMC on Maternal Health Equity: Bridging Urban-Rural Divide – Thursday, May 14 at 1:30 pm ET.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) will address maternal health disparities across Appalachia and Indian Country.

AgriSafe: How Mediation Can Help Farmers – Wednesday, May 20 at 1:00 pm ET.  The AgriSafe Network explains how mediation can help resolve conflicts and reduce stress unique to agricultural producers. 

HRSA: Intimate Partner Violence/Sheltering in Place – Wednesday, May 20 at 3:00 pm ET.  This one-hour webinar will address domestic violence during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  The event is hosted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Administration for Children and Families, and will include Dr. Kimberly Chang, a physician from Asian Health Services.

Application Assistance for RCORP-Planning Funding – Wednesday, May 27 at 3:00 pm ET. Applicants to the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning) funding opportunity, can get assistance during this 90-minute webinar.  Call-In Number: 1-888-469-0646; Participant Code: 4761843. Those who cannot make the call can access a recording at 1-888-704-1108; passcode 52720.




Resources of the Week

Introduction to Grants.gov Video Series.  Applicants for federal funding can learn about the portal website, how to use the site’s search function, the contents of a grant opportunity, and steps for applying.

APHA and NAM: COVID-19 Conversations.  The American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) hosted a webinar series over the last seven weeks with experts from the fields of public health, infectious disease, risk communication, and crisis standards of care.  The recordings of past sessions are available here. 




Approaching Deadlines

DOJ Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Program – May 14

DOL National Farmworker Services for Career Training and Housing – May 14

National Health Service Corps Scholarship ProgramExtended to May 15

NIH Cancer Research in Geographically Underserved Areas – May 15

CDC Integrated Viral Hepatitis Surveillance and Prevention – May 18

DOJ Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking – May 18

DOJ Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program – May 18

DOT Accelerating Innovative Mobility Challenge Grants – Extended to May 18

SAMSHA State Opioid Response Grants – May 19

DOJ Comprehensive Substance Abuse Site-Based Program – May 21

DOL Building State Capacity for Apprenticeship – May 21

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Programs – Extended to May 21

AHRQ Patient-Centered Evidence for Preventing Heart Disease/Stroke – May 22

ACL Alzheimer’s Disease Programs/Dementia Capability in Indian Country – May 26

CDC Public Health Programs to Address Alzheimer’s Disease – May 26

DOJ Future Victim Specialists to Serve AI/AN Victims of Crime – May 26

DOJ Preventing Trafficking of Girls – May 26

HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Implementation – Extended to May 26

Rural PREP Microresearch Grants – May 26

Comments Requested: SBA Interim Final Rule on the Paycheck Protection Program – May 28

NIH Addressing Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality/Morbidity – May 29

Request for Comments: BPC Behavioral Health Integration – May 30

CDC Supporting Tribal Public Health Capacity/Coronavirus Response – May 31

Request for Information: Maternal/Infant Health Care in Rural  – Extended to May 31

Delta Regional Authority Economic Development Assistance – May 31

USDA Grants for Household Water Well Systems – May 31

Comments Requested:  Medicare Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency – June 1

HRSA Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention/Simulation Training – June 1

Native American Agriculture Fund Grants – June 1

SAMHSA Treatment, Recovery, and Workforce Support Grants – June 1

CMS Minority Research Grant Program – June 2

USDA Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program – June 3

DOT Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone Program – Extended to June 3

HRSA Nursing Workforce Diversity-Eldercare Enhancement Program – June 4

USDA Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program – June 4

Rural Training Track Program Director Development – June 7

NIH Utilizing Cohort Studies to Address Outcomes in Cancer Survivors – June 7

CDC Drug Free Communities – Extended to June 8

HRSA Nurse Practitioner Residency Integration Program – June 8

Comments Requested: Proposed Rule for Hospice Providers – June 9

Comments Requested: Proposed Updates for FY 2021 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities – June 9

Comments Requested: Proposed Rule for Skilled Nursing Facilities – June 9

HRSA Supporting Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Screening and Intervention ProgramJune 9

DOJ Innovations in Community-Based Crime Reduction – June 11

Comments Requested: CMS Proposed Rule for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities – June 15

DOL Senior Community Service Employment Program – June 15

HRSA Demonstration Sites Focusing on Black Women with HIV – June 15

HRSA Telehealth Network Grant Program – Extended to June 15

Comments Requested: CDC Data Collection for COVID-19 Response – June 16

Comments Requested: Perspectives on Pain and Pain Management – June 16

HRSA Rural Telementoring Training Center – June 16

USDA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network – June 23

ACL Alaska Native Tribal Resource Center on Domestic Violence – June 26

DOL Mine Health and Safety Grants – June 30

HRSA Rural Residency Planning and Development (RRPD) Program  – June 30

HRSA Telehealth-Focused Rural Health Research Center Program – Extended to July 1

ACF Basic Center Program for Runaway/Homeless Youth – July 3

Comments Requested: CMS Issues Second COVID-19 Interim Final Rule – July 7

Comments Requested: Proposed Updates for FY2021 Medicare Inpatient and Long-term Care Hospital Payments - July 10

HRSA Rural HIV/AIDS Planning Program – July 10

CDC Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences – July 13

HRSA Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning – July 13

USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants – July 13

DOL Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities – July 29

Request for Information: Clinical Experience in Suicide Prevention in Primary Care Settings – August 7

AHA Rural Hospital Leadership Team Award – August 31

NIH Researching Long-Term Effects of Disasters on Systems Serving Disparity Populations – September 7

NIH Research on Minority Health/Health Disparities – September 8

USDA Capacity Building for 1890 Land-Grant Institutions – September 10

FCC High Speed Broadband/Rural Opportunity Fund – October 22




Ongoing Opportunities

Hardship Exception for Hospital Interoperability – September 1, 2020; November 30 for CAHs

NIH Research – Alcohol and Other Substance Use – Dates Through August 2022

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

ASA Rural Access to Anesthesia Care Scholarship

EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

HUD Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program

NARHC Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course

NIH Research to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes Through HIT

NIH Strategies for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in HIT

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

Nominations for National Advisory Committee on Migrant Health

Opportunity Zones for Economic Development

Rural Graduate Medical Education Planning and Development

RWJF Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health

RWJF Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals

SBA Guaranteed Loans for Small Business

USDA Community Facilities Program

USDA Community Food Projects Technical Assistance

USDA Drinking Water and Waste Disposal for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

USDA Guaranteed Loans for Rural Rental Housing – through 2021

USDA Summer Food Program

USDA Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans

USDA Rural Energy Savings Program

USDA Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects



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