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Category Archives: Webinar

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

August 30, 2018

Funding Opportunities

SAMHSA Rural Opioids Technical Assistance Grants – September 20.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will make 15 awards with total funding of $8.25 million to develop and disseminate training and technical assistance for opioid use disorder efforts in rural communities.  Successful applicants will be current USDA Cooperative Extensions grantees with a focus on opioids that will provide research-based knowledge to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of families, communities and agriculture enterprises.

Johns Hopkins American Indian Scholars Program – November 1.  American Indian and Alaska Native scholars, health leaders, health professionals, and paraprofessionals serving tribal communities can apply for financial support to attend training at Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. The scholarship covers travel to and from Baltimore, hotel accommodation in a room shared with another student, course materials including books, and full academic credit tuition for one 5-day course.  A Bachelor’s degree is required, with a minimum GPA of 2.75.  The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health works in partnership with tribal communities, which are mostly rural, to design culturally-appropriate public health programs.

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program – November 30.  Public or private nonprofit organizations forming a consortium of three or more health providers in a rural community may be eligible to apply for funding administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy at the Health Resources and Services Administration.  The purpose of the Network Planning program (a one-year planning grant) is to strengthen the rural health care system through community-level networks that can align resources and strategies, achieve economies of scale and efficiencies, and address challenges more effectively as a group than as single providers.   (more…)

HRSA – Office of Regional Operations – Region VII

August 29, 2018

FY19 Federal Funding Opportunities Webinar 

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Office of Regional Operations-Kansas City, will host the FY19 Federal Funding Opportunities Webinar. The goal of this webinar is to provide participants with an overview of HRSA’s core programs and current funding opportunities.  We will also share information on websites to assist organizations in obtaining data and how to request technical assistance to support their grant application efforts.  In addition, representatives from HUD, OASH, USDA, ACL, SAMSHA, and the DOJ will provide grants and resource information from their respective agencies.

Date: October 9, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am CST

Register Here

Webinar Invitation: Working Together to Eradicate Pediatric Obesity

HRSA Office of Regional Operations (ORO) – Region VII – Kansas City (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)

Working Together to Eradicate Pediatric Obesity

 Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018  –   Time: 2pm – 3 pm ET / 1pm – 2pm CT

 The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) is hosting a free webinar featuring experts from the University of Kansas Medical Center that have developed treatment recommendations for pediatric obesity. During this webinar, you will hear about the prevalence of pediatric obesity and the use of telehealth for the treatment of pediatric obesity. Registration is available here. For more information, contact Carlos Mena at or Nancy Rios at

This webinar is part of HRSA’s Telehealth Learning Webinar Series. The series’ goal is to highlight successful projects/best practices as well as resources to promote and further the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education, and health information services.


CMS Region 7 Update

July 2018

View the:  CMS Update 062918


Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

July 26, 2018

What’s New

Identifying Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Statistical Analysis.  This week, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) released a new study on health indicators in each of the Appalachian Region’s 420 counties.  Researchers first identified 19 county-level outcome measures that capture the overall health of a community, including infant mortality rate, cancer mortality rate and prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and depression.  They then identified 29 county-level drivers that affect health, including social determinants, health behaviors, and access to health care services.  From this data they found 42 “Bright Spot” counties, each defying predictions for health with better-than-expected outcomes.  The report includes case studies on ten of these bright spots and data files for all 420 counties.

HRSA Recognizes Success of Rural Quality Improvement Projects. This week, FORHP’s parent agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized 13 organizations for their work in improving chronic disease health outcomes and advancing the quality and delivery of rural health care.  Through FORHP’s Small Health Care Quality Improvement Program, these organizations have invested resources into quality improvement projects across rural America that have improved patient health outcomes through activities such as care coordination, telehealth and patient education. (more…)

Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

July 25, 2018

View the Research Alert

Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

Average Beneficiary CMS Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) Risk Scores for Rural and Urban Providers

Risk adjustment mechanisms predict whether a given patient, or group of patients, is likely to be more or less costly to treat than the average population and provides a way to adjust payment accordingly. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) risk adjustment model is a hierarchical condition category (HCC) score. Use of the HCC model is expanding, and there is concern over whether it functions as intended. If CMS-HCC risk scores do not accurately reflect patient health status because of factors such as coding practices or capacity, then payments may not be associated with the true cost of treatment.

Existing evidence suggests that there may be cause for concern. Rural populations experience worse health outcomes than their urban counterparts. By contrast, rural Medicare beneficiaries have lower average CMS-HCC risk scores than urban beneficiaries, suggesting that rural beneficiaries are healthier and less costly. Additionally, preliminary analyses suggest that smaller physician practices, which are disproportionately located in rural areas, have the lowest average CMS-HCC risk scores. On the other hand, rural Medicare beneficiaries are younger than urban beneficiaries, and it may be the case that patients with more complexity systematically seek care in urban areas.

This brief investigates potential differences in urban and rural CMS-HCC risk scores at the provider’s patient panel level. We used the 2015 Medicare Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File to compare patient panel CMS-HCC risk scores between urban and rural providers across provider specialties, census divisions, and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participation requirements. (more…)