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ORHP Funding Opportunity Announcement: Rural Network Allied Health Training Program

January 30, 2015

In response to the White House Job-Driven Training initiative, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the Rural Network Allied Health Training Program (Allied Health Training), a new one-time funding opportunity.

The Allied Health Training Program supports the President’s Rural Health Care Initiative by focusing on rural recruitment and retention activities and builds upon the accomplishments of the Rural Health Workforce Development (RHWD) pilot program, which ended in 2013.  As a result of the RHWD Program, approximately 4,000 program participants completed their rural training/rotation, and of these, almost half said they plan on returning to practice in a rural area and a number of them have.  Moreover, there was a significant economic impact of $19 million within rural America from FORHP’s $12 million investment via the RHWD Program.


ORHP Funding Opportunity Announcement: Rural Outreach Benefits Counseling

January 30, 2015

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is pleased to announce the release of the Rural Outreach Benefits Counseling Program (Benefits Counseling), a new one-time funding opportunity.

FORHP is committed to increasing health insurance coverage for all of rural Americans and is providing funding for this new community-based pilot program. The Benefits Counseling Program is targeted to improve outreach and service delivery in local and regional rural communities. The purpose of the three-year program is to expand health insurance outreach, education and enrollment efforts to eligible uninsured and newly insured individuals and families in rural communities. FORHP plans to award up to 10 new awards for $75,000 per year.


EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge

January 29, 2015

Last Friday, ONC held and Million Hearts held the ONC EHR Innovations for Hypertension Control (aka “protocols) Challenge phase 2 kickoff. The video recording and slide set are attached. On the video the two phase 1 challenge winners discuss their progress incorporating hypertension protocols into their EHRs and into their delivery systems. The next phase of the challenge will be to spread the tools described by the winners on the video.

Webinar recording:

EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge website:

View the EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge Webinar document.

Rural Assistance Center Health & Human Services Update

January 28, 2015

The Rural Assistance Center will be hosting a two part webinar series from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. Part one in the series will focus on the policy briefs the committee has issued on rural healthcare. Part two in the series will cover the briefs issued on rural human services. Please join RAC for these free webinars.

Featured Speakers:
Committee Chair Ronnie Musgrove, along with several other NACRHHS members

Part One of Two

Title: Health Update from The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services
Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Time: 11:00 am Pacific, 12:00 pm Mountain, 1:00 pm Central, 2:00 pm Eastern
Register Now

The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services has issued several recent Policy Briefs on rural healthcare. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Committee has focused much of its work on how the ACA would be implemented in rural America. The webinar will address two briefs that cover enrollment in and pricing of insurance plans and premiums for rural populations on the 2014 Health Insurance Marketplaces. The third brief discusses the provision of hospice benefits to the rural population.


Part Two of Two

Title: Human Services Update from The National Advisory Committee on Rural and Human Services
Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015
Time: 11:00 am Pacific, 12:00 pm Mountain, 1:00 pm Central, 2:00 pm Eastern

Register Now

The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services will discuss its recent Policy Briefs on Rural Humans Services. In its first Policy Brief, the Committee examined the intersection of federal human services programs and rural poverty and included two case studies about two different types of anchor organizations to coordinate rural Human Services. In the other Policy Brief they discuss the unique needs and characteristics of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in rural America.

 About the Rural Assistance Center

The Rural Assistance Center is a free, federally funded resource that provides information to help build quality health and human services in rural America. RAC is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

Connecting to the Webinar
Please note, there are a limited number of seats available; however, we hope to make a recording available on our website after the live event. This webinar is free. A phone connection and high-speed internet are required to participate. Connection details will be emailed to you prior to the event.

If you have questions or problems with the registration process, please contact Cathy Westerhausen at or 701.777.0584.

Registration Open – National Rural EMS Conference

January 26, 2015

National Rural EMS Conference: Building Integration & Leadership for the Future

WHEN: May 5-6, 2015

WHERE: Cheyenne, Wyoming

COST: $200 (includes meals)

WHO’S INVITED: Rural EMS Directors, State EMS Officials, State Offices of Rural Health, Flex Program Managers, hospital administrators, elected officials, medical directors & other interested EMS partners.

LEARN ABOUT: The future of rural EMS, community paramedicine, systems of care, performance improvement, ambulance service sustainability, rural EMS education, simulation in motion, and more.

DRAFT AGENDA: Click here.



Little America Hotel, 2800 West Lincolnway, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009
For reservations phone: 800.445.6945
Group rates from $99 – $129, depending upon your needs and room availability.
Room block name: Rural EMS Conference

HOST: Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care

  • National Association of State EMS Officials
  • National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
  • National Rural Health Resource Center
  • National Rural Health Association


TRAVEL TO CHEYENNE: There are a number of options for getting to Cheyenne.

  1. Air: Great Lakes Airlines – offers connections to United Airlines and Frontier Airlines.
  2. Rental Car:  Cheyenne is 100 miles or 90 minutes from Denver.
  3. Shuttle: GreenRide – 888.472.6656 or


QUESTIONS: Contact Stephanie Hansen at 208.375.0407

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

January 20, 2015

Hot Off the Presses

1. The 26th Annual Rural Health Policy Institute will take place February 3rd-5th, 2015 in Washington, DC. This event marks the largest rural health policy gathering in the country and includes updates from Federal partners, Administration officials and other rural health policy stakeholders. Dr. Mary Wakefield, HRSA Administrator, will present an update from HRSA on Tuesday, February 3rd. On Thursday, February 5th, Doug O’Brien, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development in the US Department of Agriculture, will give an update on the work of the White House Rural Council. Following his presentation will be two important panels on recent rural health research topics. The first presentation, featuring Gopal Singh of the HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau and two ORHP grantees, Alana Knudson of the National Opinion Research Center and the University of North Dakota Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center and Jan Probst of the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, will focus on new data that highlight current trends in rural health disparities. The second presentation, focusing on rural hospital closures, will feature Sarah Young and Sarah Bryce from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and Mark Holmes and George Pink from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. To view the latest agenda, registration information and preconference details, please visit:


Stroke Webinars

January 15, 2015

Midwest Affiliate Small, Rural & Critical Access Hospital Bi-Monthly Get With The Guidelines Stroke Webinars

Save the Date – Center for Patient Safety Conference

January 14, 2015

2015 Center for Patient Safety 9th Annual Conference

Conference Opportunity — Missouri Location!

January 5, 2015

2015 Annual Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic Conferences with a conference location in Branson, Missouri.

See Conference Brochure, Registration Form, Conference Speaker Bios, & more….

Help Promote the Coalition Conference

December 31, 2014

Registration is now open for the 2015 Oral Health Policy Conference!

Visit the Coalition website to learn about the conference and register:
Register online now. <>


Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

December 22, 2014

Hot Off the Presses

1.  The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is pleased to announce several organizational changes.  We have established an Administrative Operations Division and have elevated the Policy Research Team to division status.  In addition, the word “Federal” has been added to the beginning of our name to reinforce the statutory charge in our authorizing language (Section 711 of the Social Security Act) to advise the Secretary and others in the Department on rural health issues.   For more information about the Office, please visit the FORHP website at For more information about the organizational changes, the Federal Register Notice can be found here.


MOHEC Stakeholder Preview

December 17, 2014

Podcast Series Focuses on Transgender and Gender-Expansive Youth Health

Today we will release a podcast series regarding transgender and gender-expansive youth health.  MOHEC has developed the podcast in partnership with TransParent with support from the Missouri Foundation for Health. There is a 17 minute summary piece that accompanies the complete podcast (4 segments totaling about 60 minutes). All can be found at:   I am reaching out to you as key stakeholders to help us spread the word. This series can be spread widely and is meant to be an educational tool and our hope is that it will raise awareness and promote health equity.

I would also like to and to extend a special invite to our feedback sessions. During these sessions we will look to our partners in health equity work to give insights as to how to make this tool even more effective. Register here:

Shannon Canfield

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

December 12, 2014

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Hot Off the Presses

1.  On December 8, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Medicare Shared Savings Program:  Accountable Care Organizations Proposed Rule in the Federal Register.  Comments are due by February 6th.  The rule includes the following proposals:

  • Changes to encourage ACO participation in risk-based models by:
    • Enabling existing ACOs under a one‑sided participation agreement (“Track 1” – shared savings, not losses) to continue for an additional 3-year period at a lower sharing rate
    • Adopting an alternative risk-based model (“Track 3”) that includes proposals for a higher shared savings rate and prospective attribution of beneficiaries.
    • Seeking comment on the waiver of Medicare payment rules and regulations related to telehealth, qualifying hospital stays for skilled nursing facility (SNF) admission, and qualifications for home health services and post-acute care referrals
  • Revisions to beneficiary assignment* that may be of interest to rural stakeholders include:
    • Including the claims from non-physician ACO professionals (NPs, PAs, and CNSs) in Step 1 of the beneficiary assignment rule.
    •  Clarifying how primary care services furnished in Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) will be considered in the assignment process.  CMS proposes that all primary care services furnished by FQHCs and RHCs would be considered in Step 1 of the beneficiary assignment method.
  • Streamlining ACO access to beneficiary claims data while continuing to enable beneficiaries to opt out from having their claims shared with the ACO.
  • Seeking comments on alternative methods for establishing, updating, or resetting ACO financial benchmarks for determining shared savings/losses, including using regional expenditures rather than national expenditures to set the benchmark.

*{Note: The existing method assigns beneficiaries to ACOs in 2 steps based on having the plurality of primary care services furnished 1) by primary care physicians; or 2) by specialists, nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and clinical nurse specialists (CNSs).}


Rural Assistance Center Health & Human Services Update

November 25, 2014

The Rural Assistance Center is a collaborative effort of the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health, and the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI); and is funded by a grant through HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy.  View the RAC Online newsletter.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

November 13, 2014

Hot Off the Presses

1. ORHP is pleased to announce the release of the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (Network Planning).  This is a one-year community-driven program targeted to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network.  Health care networks can be an effective strategy to address a broad range of challenges unique to rural communities by bringing together rural providers and other community organizations.  For grantees, this funding provides an opportunity to implement new and innovative approaches to adapting to a changing health care environment that may serve as a model to other rural communities to better align and coordinate local health care services.  The increasing focus on showing value in health care delivery creates incentives to develop regional systems of care that preserve local autonomy for rural communities while also ensuring access to the appropriate continuum of care for the local service population.  Previously funded projects supported efforts related to workforce, behavioral health, telehealth, care coordination, health information technology, and outreach and enrollment.  Network planning activities that model evidence-based frameworks or models that work are encouraged.