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Category Archives: Current Affairs

CMS Region 7 Update

June 16, 2017

View the update.

New Funding Opportunity: Rural Health Opioid Program

June 16, 2017

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is pleased to announce a new pilot grant program: the Rural Health Opioid Program (HRSA-17-022).

This program will bring together health care providers, such as local health departments, hospitals, primary care practices, and substance abuse treatment centers, as well as social service and faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and other community-based groups to respond with a multifaceted approach to the opioid epidemic in a rural community.  Approximately $3 million will be awarded annually for up to 12 grantees during the 2017 – 2020 cohort.  Applications are due July 21, 2017.

The goal of the Rural Health Opioid Program is to reduce the morbidity and mortality related to opioid overdoses in rural communities.  Consortiums will work towards identifying individuals at-risk of overdose and guide them towards recovery by providing outreach and education on locally available treatment options and support services.  Consortiums are further encouraged to implement care coordination practices to organize patient care activities and support individuals in recovery by establishing new or enhancing existing behavioral counselling and peer support activities.  It is expected that consortiums will also educate the greater community about local opioid issues and what role community members can play in response to the crisis, in an attempt to gather support and reduce stigma throughout the community.

For additional information on the Rural Health Opioid Program please join us for a technical assistance webinar on July 13th at 2:00 pm EDT.  Additional information about this webinar can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=284888.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Michael Blodgett:  mblodgett@hrsa.gov or 301-443-0144.

New Notice of Funding Opportunity: the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Cooperative Agreement

June 16, 2017

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is pleased to announce a new notice of funding opportunity: the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Cooperative Agreement.

This purpose of this cooperative agreement is to enhance health care delivery in the Delta region through intensive technical assistance to providers in select rural communities.

This includes Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), small rural hospitals, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and other healthcare organizations. The funds will support HRSA’s collaboration with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to develop a pilot program to help underserved rural communities identify and better address their health care needs and to help small rural hospitals improve their financial and operational performance.

Approximately $2 million will be awarded annually to one entity for up to three years, based on availability of appropriated funds. Eligible applicants include domestic public, private, and non-profit organizations, including tribes and tribal organizations, faith-based and community-based organizations, and universities. Applications are due July 17, 2017.

For additional information on the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Cooperative Agreement, please join us for a technical assistance webinar on June 28th at 1:00 pm EDT.  Additional information about the program can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=294657.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Rachel Moscato:  rmoscato@hrsa.gov or 301-443-2724.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

June 15, 2017

What’s New

Combating Drug Addiction – TODAY, Thursday, June 15 at 2:30 pm ET. The White House and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will hold the first meeting of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.  The meeting will be streamed online for live public viewing on the White House website.  Anyone wishing to submit comments or questions for the Commission may send an email to commission@ondcp.eop.gov, with notice that written comments, including name and contact information of the submitter, may be posted publicly on the ONDCP website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have tracked a significant increase in opioid-related overdose across the country, with higher rates in rural areas.

Funding Opportunities

Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP) – June 29.  Health professionals who are U.S. citizens from a disadvantaged background may be eligible to receive payment assistance for their educational loans in exchange for a two-year commitment on the faculty of a health professions school.  FLRP supports the next generation of the health workforce by recruiting degreed professionals to pursue faculty roles in their respective health care fields.  Health care workforce with cultural understanding of the patients they serve is particularly important in rural areas, where it’s more difficult to recruit and retain professionals.

CPC+ Expands to 4 New (Mostly Rural) Regions – July 13. CMS announced the Round 2 regions selected for the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model: Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and the Greater Buffalo Region of New York.  The CPC+ model is an advanced primary care medical home model that offers an innovative payment structure, including a monthly care management fee, to support primary care practices to improve quality, access, and efficiency.  Physician practices in these regions can apply for 2018 participation via on online portal.

Repair or Rehab Housing for Low-income Rural Residents – July 17. State and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized tribes are invited to submit pre-applications for the USDA Rural Housing Service Housing Preservation Grant program, which provides funds to repair and rehabilitate homes and rental properties for low-income rural residents (income at 80% or less of area median income). Many rural communities continue to face substandard housing conditions which contribute to poorer health outcomes. Complete pre-applications should be submitted to your local USDA Rural Development state office.

Expanding Medication Assisted Treatment – July 31.  Seventeen states with the highest rates of admissions for treatment of opioid use disorder are eligible to apply for funding that will expand or enhance access to medication assisted treatment.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will make five awards of $2 million per year for up to three years.  See eligible states in Appendix E of the grant program guidance.  Last month, the Rural Health Research Centers released a report showing 60% of rural counties have no physicians with a waiver required to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder.

First Responders – July 31.  States, tribal organizations and local government entities are eligible to apply for funding of up to $41.3 million over four years for an anticipated 30 grantees.  SAMHSA will enter into cooperative agreement with successful applicants to train and provide resources to first responders on carrying and administering a drug or device approved by the FDA for emergency treatment of opioid overdose. First responders are vital to the outcome of an overdose, yet many rural emergency services lack the resources to respond as quickly and effectively.

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Rural Health Information Hub

June 14, 2017

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

Grant Opportunity

June 14, 2017

View the grant opportunity.

New tool: Guide to Selecting Population Health Management Technologies for Rural Care Delivery – supports high performance rural health systems

June 14, 2017

New from Rural Health Value:

The Rural Health Value team has released a new tool for rural clinics and care systems to determine what technology can best help them manage the preventive and chronic care of their patient populations.

Guide to Selecting Population Health Management Technologies for Rural Care Delivery – This guide is a six-step process to plan for and implement technology to manage the health of existing patient populations. A key resource within the guide is Population Health Software Capabilities which helps organizations understand and prioritize the capabilities of population health software.

Link:  https://cph.uiowa.edu/ruralhealthvalue/TnR/phmt/phmt.php

A related resource:

Understanding the Social Determinants of Health: A Self-Guided Learning Module for Rural Health Care Teams – Developed to help rural health care organizations learn more about the concept of social determinants of health, and encourage rural leaders and care teams to support activities that help address these issues and improve health in their communities. No time? Try the Brief Overview and Discussion Guide