Announcements From The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

February 29, 2016
Posted by AAIP News on 02/29/2016
FORHP Header

February 24, 2016

What’s New

FORHP Grants in Motion.  In a new feature spotlight on the successes of FORHP grantees, the Rural Health Information Hub’s Rural Monitor provides insight into community work supported by the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant, which closes its window for funding application at the end of next week.  Learn about how the Northeast Oregon Network used their funds to implement an evidence-based quality improvement model that helped to lower the body mass index among patients in their community. Awards for the next cohort of Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement grantees are expected to be made in July of this year.  

Sign up to get weekly updates from the Rural Health Information Hub and learn about features like this one along with rural health news stories, public and private funding opportunities, upcoming events and a library of resources and technical assistance. 

HRSA Seeks Grant Reviewers with Rural Health Expertise.  The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) uses subject experts as peer reviewers to objectively evaluate grant applications against criteria in HRSA’s Funding Opportunity Announcements. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy wishes to identify qualified reviewers who have expertise in social, cultural, or health care issues of rural populations. Each eligible application is read by at least 3 reviewers who then discuss their evaluation and initial scores with other reviewers on their panel. This process is completed for each application using the internet and telephone, a process that most often takes 3 days or less.  Non-federal participants receive an honorarium, but your knowledge about health in rural communities is invaluable.

Policy Update

Critical Access Recertification Checklist.  On February 12, CMS issued guidance to State Survey Agencies (S&C: 16-08-CAH) about the process for re-evaluating the compliance of currently certified CAHs with the status and location requirements at 42 CFR 485.610. Of note for CAHs and State Offices of Rural Health, this guidance includes a revised list of documentation that can be used to verify CAH Necessary Provider status; allowable documentation now includes an edition of the State’s Rural Health Plan, published in 2005 or earlier. 

Final List of Essential Community Providers. On February 19, CMS released the final updated list of Essential Community Providers (ECPs). ECPs serve predominantly low-income, medically underserved individuals, and must be on this list to be included in Qualified Health Plans in states’ Health Insurance Marketplaces. To see the non-exhaustive list, click on the first link and scroll down to “Other Qualified Health Plan Application Resources.”

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

Using Technology to Enhance Addiction Treatment – Thursday, February 25th at 3:00 pm ET.  This webinar from the SAMSHA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions and the American Telemedicine Association will “explore a variety of the latest technology-based interventions for delivery of addictions treatment and recovery services in safety-net settings.”

Accountable Health Communities Deep Dive – Thursday, February 25th at 11:30 am ET and 2:30 pm ET.  Co-sponsors including the Public Health Institute and the American Public Health Association will discuss the Accountable Health Communities initiative and explore requirements for aligning clinical and community services. 

Getting to Know Your Rural and Public Health Partners – Monday, February 29 at 3:00 pm ET.  This month’s webinar from the Rural Health Learning Collaborative will help participants “identify reports, research, and program models to support the implementation and development of healthcare programs and services in rural communities” and locate funding opportunities targeted for rural health projects.  Speakers from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the Rural Health Information Hub, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and CMS’s Quality Innovation Network National Coordinating Center will share valuable resources for rural health stakeholders. 

Rural Health Clinics (RHC) Technical Assistance Webinar – Tuesday, March 1 at 1:00 pm ET.  This session will provide information and resources for RHCs available through the Rural Health Information Hub (formerly Rural Assistance Center).  The session will include information about Federal grant opportunities available to RHCs and how to request technical assistance for applications.  In addition, participants will learn about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, one of the largest Federal investments supporting clinician practices, and about technical assistance available through this initiative from the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium. You can participate via the web-based connection at and by phone at 1-888-469-0985, using conference passcode 5452357. As with all other technical assistance for rural health clinics, this session will be recorded and can be accessed on FORHP’s RHC TA page.  The previous RHC Technical Assistance Webinar on Chronic Care Management Services is currently available on the FORHP website.

School-Based Health Care via Telemedicine – Tuesday, March 1 at 2:00 pm ET.  Hosted by the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers, this webinar will examine the most recent Telehealth Network Grant Program with a look at the challenges and potential solutions for school-based health care and review existing data for outcomes.

Medical-Legal Partnership Fundamentals – Wednesday, March 2 at 3:00 pm ET. HRSA is hosting this webinar to about the basics of the Medical-Legal Partnership, which incorporates civil legal aid to help meet the housing, income, education and other needs of low-income populations. The 90 minute session will cover the skills, resources and capacity of the civil legal aid community  and opportunities for engagement across all health centers and civil legal aid offices. Free registration in advance is required.  For more information, contact Valerie Gallo at 415-437-8095  or

NHSC Facebook Chat: Finding Primary Care Jobs in High-Need Locations – Thursday, March 3 at  8:00 pm ET; Join the National Health Service Corps on Facebook for an event that connects job seekers with recruiters at rural and tribal sites. The Q&A-style chat will feature the NHSC Jobs CenterVirtual Job Fairsstories, and videos. Stick around and enjoy networking opportunities from 8:30-9:00 pm ET.

Approaching Deadlines

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program – February 25. 

Panel Forming for Patient Assessment Data – February 26.

Request for Comments: New Quality Measures – March 1.

Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder – March 4.

Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program – March 4.