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Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

December 11, 2013

Funding Opportunities

  1. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is pleased to announce the release of the fiscal year 2014 Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program.  The purpose of this program is to assist in the development of an integrated healthcare network. Applications must be submitted into by January 16, 2014.To access the application visit: and type in HRSA-14-043 in the funding opportunity box. 
  2. 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. Are you a Rural Health Clinic?  Are you interested in what your role can be in the prevention, testing and treatment of HIV/AIDS?  Please join the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and the National Association of Rural Health Clinics for a webinar on HIV prevalence in rural areas and clinical resources available to Rural Health Clinics. Thursday, December 12th at 3:00pm EST
    Call in number:  888-469-0986
    Access code:  2255226
  2. In coordination with HRSA the Office of the National Coordinator has released a series of trainings on  The trainings target rural communities and Critical Access Hospitals and will assist in navigating Health IT and Meaningful Use.   

 The Affordable Care Act

  1. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will be holding weekly office hours on Wednesday, December 11th from 3-4pm EST.   As you know, in rural communities, it is often women who are the gatekeepers to their family’s health and therefore are a critical audience for outreach and enrollment efforts.  As such, we are very excited on our next call to talk about the ACA Opportunities to Improve Women’s Health.  Next week’s featured speakers, Dr. Sabrina Matoff-Stepp , Director of the Office of Women’s Health, and Rita Vandivort-Warren, Senior Public Health Analyst in Office of Policy Analysis of the Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation, will discuss current ACA efforts around women’s health in the United States.Call-in Number: (800) 857-3749Passcode: ORHPACA
    Adobe Connect Session: 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 Userful Information and Resources

  1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have proposed a new timeline for the implementation of meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) proposed a more regular approach to update ONC’s EHR certification regulations.Under this revised timeline, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2. The goal of this change is two-fold: first, to allow CMS and the ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2; and second, to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.This is an opportunity for rural area providers and hospitals to become involved with Meaningful Use activities and allows for the adoption and implementation of EHR’s in a way that fits all communities including rural.  More information is available at
  2. 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:
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