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Category Archives: Health Care

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 29, 2019

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion

Deadline: June 10

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) yesterday for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion (RCORP-MAT Expansion).  HRSA plans to invest approximately $8 million in rural communities as part of this funding opportunity.

Successful RCORP-MAT Expansion award recipients will receive up to $725,000 for a three-year period of performance to establish or expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in eligible hospitals, health clinics, or tribal organizations located in high-risk rural communities.

View the funding opportunity here:

Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, non-profit or for-profit:

  • Rural Health Clinics, as defined by Social Security Act Section 1861(aa) and 42 CFR Parts 405 and 491;
  • Critical Access Hospitals, as defined by Section 1820 (e) of the Social Security Act and 42 CFR 485 subpart F;
  • Health Center Look-Alikes, defined as entities that meet all Health Center Program statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements but do not receive funding under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (see for more information);
  • Other small rural hospitals with 49 available staffed beds or less, as reported on the hospitals’ most recently filed Medicare Cost Reports; or
  • Tribes or tribal organizations (excluding health centers that receive Health Center Program federal award funding).


Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 25, 2019

What’s New

ARC on the State of Health Disparities in Appalachia.  The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a federal agency created by Congress to partner with state and local governments and promote economic development for the region.  This month, the ARC released three separate issue briefs on health disparities in the 13 states of the region – Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.  The briefs describe the factors unique to the region that contribute to disparities related to obesity, opioid misuse, and smoking, and provide recommendations and practical strategies for communities.

ONC Brief on Electronic Capabilities of Hospitals. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) reports that nearly all hospitals provided patients with the ability to electronically view and download their personal information in 2017.  However, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and small rural hospitals were less likely than larger and urban hospitals to be able to transmit that data and to have view, download, and transmit (VDT) capabilities.  Under the Promoting Interoperability Program (PI), hospitals are required to use electronic health records technology.  Another aspect of the program is to promote patients’ ability to view and download their personal health information.  The cost of electronic health record systems and limited access to broadband are two of the barriers to electronic capabilities in rural health care settings. See the Policy Updates section below for requests for comment on recent proposals on electronic health information networks. (more…)

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 18, 2019

What’s New

Increasing Number of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.  An analysis from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, in 2016, there were over 7.2 million grandparents nationwide living with grandchildren under the age of 18.  Reports from media outlets and nonprofit organizations suggested that a recent rise in these arrangements is due in part to the opioid crisis.  To get an accurate and better understanding of what is happening, the Census Bureau examined data from its American Community Survey and data on opioid prescribing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Previous research focused on the national or state level, but levels of opioid prescriptions vary widely within states, and county level data allow for a more localized analysis.  Data analysis showed a rural-urban divide in grandparents caring for grandchildren that is similar to the higher rates of overdose deaths in rural areas.  In 2016, 32 percent of grandparents were responsible for grandchildren in urban areas, compared to 46 percent of grandparents in rural areas.  The Census Bureau created an overview of their analysis, with methods, maps and data.  See frequently asked questions answered by the Administration for Children and Families on this topic and the Funding Opportunities section below for related resources.

Call for Manuscripts: Clinical and Translational Science to Improve Rural Health. Publishers of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science have issued a call for papers for a special rural-themed edition. They are particularly interested in innovative studies with the intention of improving health care delivery and outcomes among underserved rural populations. (more…)

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcement

April 11, 2019

Funding Opportunities

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program – May 16. Through the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) will provide tuition, fees, and monthly stipend for full-time enrollment in primary health care professions training for up to four school years.  In exchange, NHSC scholars will commit to serving in a high-need urban, rural, or frontier community upon graduation.

USDA Higher Education Multicultural Scholars Program – May 24. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make awards of up to $230,000 each to Land Grant Institutions, and other colleges and universities with significant minority enrollments to increase diversity in the food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce.  The program seeks projects that integrate social and biological sciences to address challenges facing agriculture and rural communities.  These include increasing food production in the face of limited natural resources, alleviating poverty through economic opportunity, and fostering healthy lifestyles and diet.

USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants Program – May 29.  In a separate program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make 15 awards of up to $750,000 each to public and private nonprofit colleges and universities to facilitate better working relationships between academia and the private sector to enhance food and agricultural sciences. Similar to the Multicultural Scholars program posted above, this grants program seeks projects that integrate social and biological sciences to address challenges facing agriculture and rural communities. (more…)

HRSA Available Funding Opportunity

March 29, 2019

HRSA announces the availability of $200 million in supplemental funding for Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS). IBHS will increase access to high-quality integrated behavioral health services, including prevention or treatment of mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder.

Organizations currently receiving Health Center Program operational grant funding are eligible to apply for up to $145,000.

You can begin using the HRSA Electronic Handbooks (EHBs) application module on Friday, April 5, 2019. HRSA will email eligible organizations’ authorizing officials, business officials, and project directors the link to access the application. We encourage you to start developing your IBHS project now using the resources available on the IBHS Technical Assistance (TA) webpage.

Applications are due in EHBs by Monday, May 13, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. ET. HRSA expects to make awards in September.

For more information:

Visit the TA webpage for details about additional TA resources. Contact the IBHS TA Team with questions.

Rural Health Information HUB

April 3, 2019

View the Rural Health Information Update.

Rural Health Research Gateway

April 3, 2019

View the Research Alert