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Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

November 20, 2013

Funding Opportunities 

  1. Due to the government shutdown, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has made changes to the Rural Health Network Development funding opportunity, pushing back the due date for all applications to December 6, 2013.  For more information on this funding announcement please visit 

Webinars and Technical Assistance 

  1. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be hosting a webinar today, November 19, 2013 from 2-3pm EST.  Focusing on a new regulation that requires all medical examiners that provide physical exams for bus and truck drivers be trained and listed in national registry.  The line will be limited to 200 participants.  If you are unable to call in the webinar will be archived on the FMCSA website.  For more information please visit 

Register today at:
Call in: (800) 260-0719
Participant Access: 307684 

  1. In honor of National Rural Health Day, November 21stthe Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health will be holding a webinar on the Affordable Care Act in Rural America. Thursday, November 21st 3:00pm-4:00pm EST


  1. On Friday, November 22nd HRSA will host a webinar highlighting USDA Broadband Programs for Safety Net Providers; providing an overview of available programs to support telecommunications and broadband infrastructure development and improvement.  
    Register at: 

The Affordable Care Act 

  1. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will be holding weekly office hours on Wednesday, November 20th from 3-4pm EST focused on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. 
    Call-in Number: (800) 857-3749
    Passcode: ORHPACA
    Adobe Connect Session: 

These weekly office hours are open to all rural health stakeholders.  If you have any question before or after the call please email or visit 

Other ACA updates:

Cancelled Insurance Plans

As you might have heard, President Obama announced on Thursday, November 14, that, subject to state insurance commissioners’ decisions, insurance companies can elect to continue to offer insurance policies to individuals who currently have them even if the plans fail to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s rules for minimum benefits and individual protections.  These policies include those that have issued notices of cancellation.  For more information, please consult the Letter from the Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight to State Insurance Commissioners has a webpage devoted to assisting consumers who have recently received cancellation notices.  Keep in mind, however, that many insurers are still deciding how to implement the policy change across recently cancelled plans. 

First-Month Enrollment Numbers Released

On Wednesday, November 13, HHS released the first month of enrollment numbers and other key numbers related to the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid expansion.  Here is the press release.  You can also view pages 9-10 of the accompanying report for the numbers in your particular state.  The Kaiser Family Foundation has a webpage devoted to tracking these numbers from Marketplaces run by the federal government and individual states. 

Local Activities

Click here to view a list of the Rural Health Coordinators in each CMS regional office.  Along with the state leads and Regional Administrators, these are great resources to know in each regional office.  Please also take a look at the events calendar and see if there are events in your region in which you can participate.  If you have an event planned, please let us know – we will try to get it posted.  We are also interested in hearing what worked and what did not work at each of your events. 

Other Useful Information and Resources 

  1. CMS is requesting nominations for positions on the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment.   Nominations are open until December 31st for the five positions. This panel advises CMS on payment changes for the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). It also recommends levels of supervision for various outpatient therapeutic services. Panel members must have at least 5 years of relevant experience and be employed full time by an organization paid under OPPS. This is an opportunity for rural stakeholders to nominate qualified applicants with expertise on payment issues. Additional information about the panel and instructions for submitting nominations are available at:


  1. On Thursday, November 21, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORHH), all 50 State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders throughout the country will celebrate National Rural Health Day for the third consecutive year.  NOSORH created National Rural Health Day in 2011 as a way to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” and showcase the good work being performed in rural communities across America.  The celebration also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the unique healthcare issues facing rural citizens and promote the efforts of State Offices of Rural Health, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, networks and other rural stakeholders in addressing those issues.

Top 5 things you might want to do for National Rural Health Day if you don’t already have something planned…

  • Go to to get our logo and post it on your website
  • Plan an email, tweet, press release, event or webinar of your own to thank rural providers and stake holders.
  • Share success stories about efforts to improve rural health in your state.
  • Join NOSORH for free webinars to be conducted on November 21st.  For more information look under the resource tab.
  • Reach out to policy makers and leaders in your state to listen in on NOSORH webinars to learn more about rural health issues or organize a call and invite them to listen in to the needs of rural people in your community.  

Please feel free to call or email NOSORH , if you have any questions or suggestions; you can also visit the National Rural Health Day website at for additional information and a host of resources to help you plan your celebration.

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