FORHP Announcements - November 30

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November 30, 2023

What's New

New Opportunity: CMS Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model – Apply by March 18.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks eight states to participate in a new model program designed to improve population health while curbing costs. Eligible applicants are state Medicaid agencies, state public health agencies, state insurance agencies, or other entities with the authority and capacity to enter into an agreement with the federal government.  As with all CMS Innovation Models, selected states will receive tools and resources to help move the entire healthcare system toward value-based care, with improved outcomes for all participants in that system – patients first, but also providers, and the public and private insurers that pay providers.  The AHEAD Model will have a focus on engaging rural and safety net hospitals and primary care providers, including Critical Access Hospitals, Rural Emergency Hospitals, and Rural Health Clinics.  See Resources of the Week below to learn more about rural-specific aspects of the program. 

Learn About Funding and Opportunities from HHS Catalytic Program for the Climate – TODAY, November 30 at 12:00 pm ET Eastern.  The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) was established in 2021 to address the impact of climate change on the health of people living in the United States and territories.  The office will coordinate efforts across 12 operating divisions in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS); from the beginning, it identified rural areas as uniquely vulnerable, with safety net health organizations serving people greatly affected by storms, heat waves, and wildfires. Today’s online information session gives focus to a “catalytic program” that OCCHE will launch in early 2024 – providing funding, tax credits, grants and other supports made available by the Inflation Reduction Act.  The opportunities are meant for health care organizations, especially safety net providers, to improve energy efficiency, infrastructure resilience, and more.  Register to attend the program kick-off happening today at noon Eastern.  If you can’t make it, check the page in the headline link for a recording later today or tomorrow. 

CDC Research: Geographic Variation in Health Insurance Coverage. A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examines how health insurance coverage varies by age, state, region, and urbanization level. Using data from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey, researchers found that the percentage of uninsured adults aged 18-64 was about 14 percent for those living in both nonmetropolitan counties and large central metropolitan counties. Within the same age range, the percentage of adults with public insurance (i.e., Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, military plans, and other government-sponsored health plans at the state level) was highest in nonmetropolitan counties, at 30 percent. This new information corresponds with historical data showing higher rates of uninsurance in rural areas and a higher rate of enrollment in public sources of coverage.

HHS Establishes Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Long COVID. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made the announcement last week and invites nominations to bring perspectives from outside the government to help inform federal action.  Committee activities will focus on health equity, needing a diverse membership of persons with multidisciplinary expertise – clinical, medical, public health, behavioral health, human services, employment, data science, and research – as well as those with Long COVID experience.  Researchers and even insurers have already considered that long COVID could be “a mass disabling event” affecting economic productivity. A more recent study suggests a higher prevalence among nonmetropolitan adults. As of December 2022, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the top five states for self-reported symptoms are mostly rural: Montana, Wyoming, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alaska.

Trends in the Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  A review of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System showed the prevalence of COPD has remained stable overall, but with disparities based on rural residence.  Specifically, between the years 2011 and 2021, prevalence increased for adults 75 years and older, for those living in rural areas, and for those who smoked.  Researchers suggest the COPD National Action Plan provides a comprehensive framework for COPD prevention, treatment, and management strategies. These can be tailored to address risk factors specific to various populations. In rural areas, for example, there are higher rates of smoking, history of asthma, and exposure to lung irritants, but limited access to pulmonologists.  The Rural Health Information Hub recently updated the Rural Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Toolkit, with models for effective COPD programs, issues to consider when implementing, and resources for funding and sustainability. 

Ongoing: Updates to Requirements for Buprenorphine PrescribingAs announced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in January 2023, clinicians no longer need a federal waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorder.  Clinicians are still required to register with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to prescribe controlled medications.  On June 27, the DEA began to require that registration applicants – both new and renewing – affirm they have completed a new, one-time, eight-hour training.  Exceptions for the new training requirement are practitioners who are board certified in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry, and those who graduated from a medical, dental, physician assistant, or advanced practice nursing school in the U.S. within five years of June 27, 2023.  Watch this 11-minute video that explains the changes.  Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) still have the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment on behalf of each provider who trained between January 1, 2019 and December 29, 2022 (when Congress eliminated the waiver requirement).  Approximately $889,000 in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.  Send questions to

COVID-19 Resources

Learning About Long COVID & Fatiguing Illness  – Thursday, December 14 at 3:00 pm Eastern.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fund this monthly webinar-style ECHO learning session to rapidly disseminate Post-COVID Conditions (PCC) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) findings and emerging best practices. The series offers didactic presentations by subject matter experts, examples of emerging best practices and models of care, and a facilitated Q&A. This program is intended primarily for providers who care for patients with PCC and ME/CFS but is open to all healthcare professionals and all Long COVID and ME/CFS patient-lived experience experts interested in learning more about the treatment of Long COVID and ME/CFS.

HHS/DoD National Emergency Tele-Critical Care Network.  A joint program of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is available at no cost to hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients. Teams of critical care clinicians - critical care physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other specialized clinical experts – are available to deliver virtual care through telemedicine platforms, such as an app on a mobile device. Hear from participating clinicians, and email to learn more and sign up.

Mobilizing Health Care Workforce via Telehealth. was created through the CARES Act by the Federation of State Medical Boards and HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. The site provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing by state as well as a provider portal to connect volunteer health care professionals to state agencies and health care entities. 

Online Resource for Licensure of Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, and Social Workers.  The site provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing in each state.

Funding and Opportunities

National Center for Healthy Housing Mini-Grants for Rural Lead Poisoning Prevention – December 8.  The national nonprofit provides funding and technical assistance to build capacity and advance evidence-based efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning in rural communities. 

Frontline Indigenous Partnership Ohiyesa Premedical Program – January 31.  A year-long educational program designed to engage and support Native American tribal and/or community college students interested in pursuing a health care career, with a program focused on the physician pathway. The program includes quarterly virtual group meetings, individual meetings with faculty sponsors and mentors, and a three-week summer program on-site at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Department of Labor YouthBuild Grants – February 1.  The federal grants go to organizations providing pre-apprenticeship services that support education, occupational skills training, and employment services for at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24, while performing meaningful work and service to their communities. The YouthBuild program model contains wrap-around services such as mentoring, trauma-informed care, personal counseling, transportation support, and employment. Applications from rural, urban, and Native American organizations are encouraged.  Each of 75 grantees will receive up to $1.5 million.  Last year’s YouthBuild grantees included 15 projects in rural areas

HRSA Regional AIDS Education and Training Centers – February 5.  HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau provides funding to operate an AIDS education and training center program for primary health care clinicians to counsel, diagnose, treat, and medically manage people with HIV disease.  Applicants should demonstrate a plan to market and provide services for health care professionals in community-based organizations, local health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, interprofessional health care teams serving minority, rural, and underserved populations.

USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program – February 6.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides grants to support higher education programs that attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences (FANH) professional and scientific workforce.  An estimated 22 awards, each up to $1.2 million, will go to institutions with a minimum of 25 percent undergraduate full-time enrollment. 

Policy Updates

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Application Assistance for Rural Residency Funding – Apply by February 12.  Learn more about what’s needed to apply for the newest funding opportunity for establishing rural residencies, the Rural Residency Planning and Development Program (RRPD). The FORHP-supported RRPD provides start-up funding for new residency programs to address physician workforce shortages in family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, preventive medicine, or obstetrics and gynecology. Eligible applicants are rural hospitals and graduate medical education consortiums that may include universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and/or Tribal organizations. A maximum of 15 awardees will receive up to $750,000 for a three-year grant period to develop new and sustainable programs approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, especially programs specifically designed for underserved areas and populations. Research has shown that physicians from a rural background and those trained in rural settings are more likely to continue practicing in rural areas after completing their residencies.

CMS Final Rules Overview - Impacts for RHCs Monday, December 11 at 2:00 pm Eastern. Recent final rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) include payment and policy changes that are important to CMS-designated Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). During this webinar, policy experts will provide an overview of changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System that will go into effect on January 1, 2024.  Among many, these changes include:

  • expanded services covered under the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code G0511 (chronic care management and behavioral health care provided by RHCs);
  • an extension of payment for telehealth services until December 31, 2024;
  • the addition of marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors as provider types billable for substance use treatment;
  • the establishment of intensive outpatient programs for substance use treatment.

Additional time will be provided for Q&A.  Advance registration is required.

Proposed Updates: Health Insurance Marketplaces and Insurers for 2025 – Comment by January 8.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services propose new standards for health insurance plans on State and Federal Marketplaces, as well as new requirements for agents, brokers, web-brokers, direct enrollment entities, and other assisters that help Marketplace consumers. Proposals include requiring state Marketplaces to develop standards for time and distance to receive care that are at least as stringent as those under the Federally facilitated Marketplace plans; allowing states to add routine dental services as an essential health benefit; easing consumers’ transition to new coverage under special enrollment periods; and establishing standards for Marketplace call centers to have live representatives available during hours of operation.  The number of issuers offering plans in rural areas has increased in recent years making Marketplace plans an important source of health insurance coverage for those living in rural areas.

Medicare Finalizes Rule on Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure.  Published on November 15, the final rule for Nursing Home Ownership Disclosure requires nursing homes enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid – upon initial enrollment or when revalidating – to disclose additional information regarding their owners, operator, management, and entities that lease or sub-lease property to nursing homes.  The rule also finalizes definitions of private equity company and real estate investment trust for Medicare provider enrollment purposes and makes these disclosures public.

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

MCHB Reports on New Maternal/Child Health Research – Tuesday, December 5 at 1:00 pm Eastern.  HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) will delve into findings from the latest National Survey of Children’s Health in this hour-long session.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program in Rural Areas – Monday, December 11 at 1:00 pm Eastern.  The Rural Health Information Hub hosts an hour-long look at recent recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services.  The session will present findings from the Committee’s work, including participation from HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and include a discussion of the resulting policy brief. 

UVM Center on Rural Addiction: PTSD Treatment in Individuals with OUD – Wednesday, December 13 at 12:00 pm Eastern.  This hour-long presentation will discuss effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in individuals with co-occurring opioid use disorder (OUD).  The University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction is one of three FORHP-supported Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorders

Resources of the Week

New CMS Initiatives Added to Catalog for Rural ProvidersUpdates from the Rural Health Value team includes summaries for the States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model (see What’s New section above) and the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model, announced last week with applications due on January 30.  The Rural Health Value team is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

Telehealth Policy Resource Center Fact Sheet for 2024 Physician Fee Schedule.  The fact sheet covers telehealth services made eligible by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the 2024 Physician Fee Schedule.  These are services that can be delivered by telehealth, remote monitoring services, physician supervision, diabetes self-management training, and more.  The Center for Connected Health Policy is supported by HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. 

Approaching Deadlines

CDC Rape Prevention and Education – November 30

CMS Making Care Primary Model – November 30

HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program – November 30

Advisory Committee Seeks Input on Rural Participation in Alternative Payment Models – Comment Period Extended to December 1

CDC Rigorous Evaluation of Policy-Level Interventions to Prevent Overdose – December 1

Commonwealth Fund/Harvard Fellowship in Minority Health Policy – December 1

HRSA National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program December 7

National Center for Healthy Housing Mini-Grants for Rural Lead Poisoning Prevention – December 8

HRSA Healthy Start: Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health – December 15

DOJ/CDC Reaching Rural: Collaborative Solutions for Substance Misuse – December 15

ACL Small Business Innovation Research Program – December 18

NIH Research Centers in Minority Institutions – December 18

National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation Rural Scholarships – December 31

USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program – December 31

Comments Requested:  Disincentives for Health Care Providers that Commit Information Blocking – Comment by January 2

Comments Request: No Surprises Act Federal Independent Dispute Resolution Operations for FY 2024 – Comment by January 2

USDA Technical Assistance/Training for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Systems – January 2

AmeriCorps State and National Grants – January 4

Proposed Update: Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans Comment by January 5

CDC Community Health Worker Services for HIV in Rural Communities – January 5

NARHC Bill Finerfrock Health Policy Fellowship – January 5

Proposed Updates: Health Insurance Marketplaces and Insurers for 2025 – Comment by January 8

NIDA Seeking Telemedicine/Remote-Based Platforms for SUD Treatment – January 8

Request for Information: Upcoming ICD-11 – Comment by January 12

NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program – January 23

Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship – January 24

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program – January 26

HHS Environmental Justice Community Innovator Challenge, Phase 1 – January 30

EPA Small Communities, Big Challenges Competition – January 31

Frontline Indigenous Partnership Ohiyesa Premedical Program – January 31

Department of Labor YouthBuild Grants – February 1

HHS Innovation Challenge: Preventing Human Trafficking/Women and Girls – February 1

HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program – February 5

HRSA Regional AIDS Education and Training Centers – February 5

RWJF Summer Health Professions Education Program – February 5

USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program – February 6

HRSA Rural Residency Planning and Development Program – February 12

CMS Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) Model – March 18

Ongoing Opportunities

HRSA Needs Rural Reviewers for Grant Applications

Economic Development Administration Public Works/Economic Assistance Program (CARES Act Funding)

Extended Public Comment Period for FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program

FCC Affordable Connectivity Program for Broadband Service

National Indian Health Board Vaccination Event Funding – Ongoing while funds last

SAMHSA 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Volunteer and Job Opportunities

USDA Disaster Repair Grants for Rural Community Facilities – Ongoing while funds last

USDA Water Infrastructure Grants for 2022 Disaster Areas – Ongoing while funds last

ACF Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

ACF Rural Community Development Program for Rural Water Systems

Addiction Policy Forum: Sites for Anti-Stigma Pilot

AgriSafe Mental Health Training for Agricultural Producers & Families

American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) Foundation - Accreditation Grants

American Heart Association Rural Health Care Outcomes Accelerator

American Indian Public Health Resource Center Technical Assistance

AmeriCorps American Connection Corps for Broadband in Rural Areas

Appalachian Community Fund Technical Assistance Grants

Appalachian Regional Commission J-1 Visa Waivers for Doctors

ASA Rural Access to Anesthesia Care Scholarship

CDC Direct Assistance to State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Health Agencies

CDC Training Pediatric Medical Providers to Recognize ACEs

CORH Targeted Technical Assistance for Rural Hospitals Program

Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program

Delta Regional Authority Community Infrastructure Fund

Delta Doctors J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Department of Commerce: Economic Development Assistance Programs

DRA Technical Assistance for Delta Region Community Health Systems Development

EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

EPA Water Infrastructure and Innovation Act Program

FEMA/SAMHSA Post-Disaster Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program

GSA Federal Surplus Property Available for Public Use

GPHC & RWJF: Rapid Cycle Research and Evaluation Grants for Cross-Sector Alignment

HRSA/SAMHSA Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Training and Mentoring

HRSA Seeking Nominations for Migrant Health Advisory

HRSA Technical Assistance for Look-Alike Initial Designation for the Health Center Program

Housing Assistance Council: Housing Loans for Low-Income Rural Communities

HUD Distressed Cities and Persistent Poverty Technical Assistance Program

HUD Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program

IHS Tribal Forensic Healthcare Training

IHS/DOD Medical Supplies and Equipment for Tribes (Project TRANSAM)

NARHC Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course

National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence Technical Assistance

National Indian Health Board Vaccination Event Funding

National Indigenous Women's Resource Center Technical Assistance for Domestic Violence Programs

Native Americans into  Medicine

Host Sites for National Environmental Public Health Internship

NIH Addressing the Impact of Structural Racism and Discrimination – Various dates until October 2025

NIH Native American Research Centers for Health – Various dates until July 2026

NIH Project Talk Initiative Host Site Applications

NIH Research to Improve Native American Health – October 2024

NIH Researching Mental Health Practices in Low-Resource Settings – September 2024

NIH Researching Social, Behavioral, and Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Underserved/Vulnerable Populations – September 2024

NIH Researching the Role of Work in Health Disparities – Various dates until September 2024

NIH Special Interest Research – Pandemic Impact on Vulnerable Children and Youth – May 2024

NIH Researching Barriers to Care for HIV-Associated ComorbiditiesMay 2025

NIH Research to Address Vaccine Hesitancy in Health Disparity Populations – June 2026

NIH Research to Understand Disparities in Maternal Morbidity and Mortality – Various dates until October 2026

Nominations for Federal Advisory Commission on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

NRHA Chief Nursing Officer Certification Program for Rural Hospitals

Oweesta Native CDFI Loan Funds and Technical Assistance

Primary Care Development Corporation Community Investment Loans

Rural Community Assistance Corporation Community Facility Loans for Western States and Pacific Islands

Rural Community Assistance Corporation Environmental Infrastructure Loans for Western States

Rural Graduate Medical Education Planning and Development

RTT Collaborative: Rural Training Track Directors University

RWJF Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health

RWJF Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals

SAMHSA Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program for Communities Post-Disaster

SAMHSA Training to Provide Medication Assisted Treatment

SBA Guaranteed Loans for Small Business

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Loans

Tribal Grant Writing Training

Treasury Department Opportunity Zone Economic Development Program

United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc Tribal Health Program Support

USDA Community Facilities Program

USDA Community Food Projects Technical Assistance

USDA Drinking Water and Waste Disposal for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages

USDA Economic Impact Initiative Grants

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

USDA Healthy Food Financing Initiative Technical Assistance

USDA Intermediary Relending Program

USDA Multifamily Housing Loan Guarantees

USDA National School Lunch Afterschool Snack Program

USDA Rural Business Development Grants

USDA Rural Business Investment Program

USDA Rural Energy Savings Program

USDA SEARCH – Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (for Water/Waste Projects)

USDA Summer Food Program

USDA Technical Assistance for Healthy Food Financing Initiative

USDA Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Loan Guarantees

USDA Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects

USDA Water and Waste Disposal Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Tribal Lands and Colonias

USDOT Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (R.O.U.T.E.S)

Veterans Affairs Health Professional Scholarship Program

Veterans Affairs Virtual Living Room - Using Technology to Address the Critical Healthcare Needs of Veterans in Rural Areas

Western Region Public Health Training Center – Future Leaders Program

WWAMI Area Health Education Center Scholars Program

3RNET Recruitment and Retention Assistance