FORHP Announcements - January 25

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January 25, 2024.

What's New

HRSA Targeted Technical Assistance for Rural Hospitals – Apply by February 7. Applications are being accepted to receive two years of technical assistance through this FORHP-supported program for rural hospitals seeking to enhance their financial and operational capacity.  Technical assistance for this project is provided by the Center for Public Health Practice and Research at the Georgia Southern University, and will begin March 2024.  The original deadline for applications, January 31, is extended to February 7.

Get Ready for the CMS Innovation in Behavioral Health (IBH) ModelLast week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new state-based model that focuses on community-based behavioral health practices for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries.  In Spring 2024, CMS will open the application process for the IBH Model; up to eight states will receive funding for activities and capacity building. The project period is expected to begin in Fall 2024 and run for eight years to implement an approach to community health that integrates mental treatment with primary and specialty care.  By the start of year 4, states may be selected to implement a Medicaid payment model that includes a per-beneficiary-per-month payment, and additional performance-based payments for model years 4-8.

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

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Period 6 . The Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal opened January 1 and will remain open until March 31, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Providers who received one or more PRF (General or Targeted) and/or American Rescue Plan Rural payments exceeding $10,000, in the aggregate, from July 1 to December 31, 2022 must report on their use of funds during Reporting Period 6 to comply with PRF Reporting Requirements. More information and resources can be found on the PRF Reporting webpage.

Learn About Long COVID & Fatiguing Illness  – Thursday, February 8 at 3:00 pm Eastern.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fund this monthly webinar-style ECHO learning session to rapidly disseminate findings about Post-COVID Conditions (PCC) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). The series offers 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.

COVID-19 Home Tests Available.  Every home in the U.S. is again eligible to receive four (4) free at-home tests ordered at  Delivery is free through the U.S. Postal Service. 

Home Test to Treat is a new program funded by the National Institutes of Health focused on providing COVID-19 care and treatment for adults who are at greater risk of being affected by COVID-19.  Adults who do not currently have COVID-19 or flu may enroll and receive free tests if they are uninsured or are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Affairs health care system, or the Indian Health Services. Individuals who are currently positive for COVID-19 can enroll to receive telehealth services for COVID-19 and treatment (if prescribed) at no cost. Enrollees may also be invited to participate in a completely optional research component of the program. Informational flyers are available in English and Spanish.

Mobilizing Health Care Workforce via Telehealth. was created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (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

HRSA Continuation Contracts for National Health Service Corps Loans – February 27.   Clinicians currently serving in the National Health Service Corps can receive additional funds to repay their health professions training loans in exchange for extending their service by one year.  HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce announced FY24 continuation award amounts of $20,000 per year for full-time clinicians, and $10,000 per year for those working half-time. 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholarships – March 7.   A four-year leadership development program for full-time doctoral students is designed to advance health equity by combining research from a variety of disciplines (e.g., urban planning; political science; economics; anthropology; education; social work; sociology; engineering; geography; lab/bench sciences).  Applicants must be from historically marginalized backgrounds and be able to describe how their background, identity, or lived experiences have positioned them to contribute to the goals of the program.

Department of Commerce Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program – March 22.  The program estimates 200 awards, each ranging from $1 million to $50 million.  The funds are to be used for broadband infrastructure as well as projects promoting adoption and use of broadband services.  This opportunity was originally listed in our newsletter under the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) with a January 23 deadline.  The deadline for applications has been extended to March 22. 

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – March 31.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides financing and grant funding for agriculture producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems or complete energy efficiency improvements.  An example of a potential project may be the installation of solar panels for hospitals or clinics to improve energy costs. 

Policy Updates

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CMS Finalizes Rule for Interoperability and Prior Authorization.  Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule that advances federal efforts toward interoperability.  Through this rule, “impacted payers” of health plans designed by CMS – including, but not limited to, state issuers of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Fee-for-Service programs, Medicare Advantage organizations, and Qualified Health Plan issuers on Federally Facilitated Exchanges – are required to implement and maintain application programming interfaces.  Also known as APIs, these interfaces are relied on by the federal government to uphold global standards for the electronic exchange of health care information.  Beginning in 2026, impacted payers will also be required to streamline their processes for prior authorization (PA), a common practice of insurance organizations that requires providers to get advanced approval before delivering a service to patients.  They must send authorization to providers within 72 hours for urgent requests, and within seven calendar days for non-urgent requests.  Beginning in 2027, impacted payers must implement an approved application programming interface for prior authorization, where providers can access the list of covered items and services and get support with their requests. Additionally in 2027, hospitals, including Critical Access Hospitals, and Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians will have to attest to using this electronic interface to submit PA requests as part of their Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program reporting requirements. While the use of various electronic exchange methods among hospitals and physicians has increased in recent years, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently found that use among small and rural hospitals is lower than that of other hospitals.  Federal officials and other stakeholders told GAO that these and other federal provisions could be helpful for small and rural providers because it could make the exchange of data less costly. 

Department Seeks Further Comments on Proposals Related to No Surprises Act – Comment by February 5.  Along with the Office of Personnel Management, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Departments of Labor and Treasury, HHS seeks comments on proposed rules related to the Federal independent dispute resolution process established under the No Surprises Act. The proposal includes new requirements for disclosing information along with the initial payment or notice of denial of payment for certain items and services subject to surprise billing protections.  Initially opened in the Federal Register on November 3, 2023, the proposal was republished on Monday of this week; comments will be accepted until February 5. 

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

HHS Catalytic Program for the Climate – Thursday, January 25 at 12:00 pm Eastern.  The federal Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) was established in 2021 to address the impact of climate change on health, an issue that has disproportionate impact on rural areas of the country.  They will hold a series of monthly sessions, January through April, to help health care organizations understand funding, tax credits, and other support provided by OCCHE’s Catalytic Program for the Climate.  A separate series for essential hospitals will begin on February 1. 

BPC on the Future of Remote Patient Monitoring – Thursday, January 25 at 1:00 pm Eastern.  The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a national nonprofit that provides research and expertise to policymakers.  For this hour-long virtual session, they will discuss emerging technologies and address questions about appropriate regulation, payment, and equitable access. 

Accelerating Innovative Cervical Cancer Care - Thursday, January 25 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Join HRSA's Office of Women's Health (OWH) and Bureau of Primary Health Care for a webinar. Attendees will learn about learn about innovations in cervical cancer prevention and screening. This webinar is being held in observance of Cervical Health Awareness Month and will feature speakers from HRSA and the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. Download resources from OWH’s page for the Federal Cervical Cancer Care Collaborative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite lack of access to screening as a reason for higher prevalence of cervical cancer in rural areas.

Let’s talk about States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity Approaches and Development (AHEAD) – Monday, January 29 at 2:00 pm Eastern.  The FORHP-supported Rural Health Value team will identify rural-related opportunities for organizations interested in the newest state-based payment model from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, announced in November of last year

Strategies for Addressing Stigma in Rural Areas – Wednesday, January 31 at 12:00 pm Eastern.  This presentation will share results from the National Report on Rural Substance Use Disorder Stigma and Treatment Needs and discuss strategies for addressing stigma in rural areas.  The hour-long presentation is hosted by the Center on Rural Addiction at the University of Vermont, one of three FORHP-supported  Rural Centers of Excellence on Substance Use Disorders.

Identifying and Managing Recovery Pathway Bias in Peer Support – Wednesday, January 31 at 1:00 pm Eastern. With support from HRSA’s Health Centers Program (Bureau of Primary Health Care) experts will discuss strategies for bias that occurs when peer support specialists join teams providing treatment for substance use disorder. 

SAMHSA on Medicaid Coverage of Medicines for OUD – Wednesday, January 31 at 1:30 pm Eastern.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will discuss the availability of, and access to, medications for treating alcohol and opioid use disorders within state Medicaid plans.  The webinar will coincide with the release of SAMHSA’s upcoming report, Medicaid Coverage of Medications to Reverse Opioid Overdose and Treat Alcohol and Opioid Use Disorders.

Applicant Webinar: HRSA Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program – Wednesday, January 31 at 2:00 pm Eastern.  Project officers from HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will provide assistance to State Offices of Rural Health applying to a program that helps Critical Access Hospitals, emergency medical services, clinics, and health professionals work together to increase quality of care in rural communities.  Applications for the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (first mentioned in our newsletter last week) are due on April 16. 

Resource of the Week

Multi-State Licensure Compacts for Telehealth.  Multi-state compacts make licensing easier to navigate by streamlining the application process. Visit this page at to learn how multi-state licensing compacts work and specifics on the compact for your discipline, including physicians and nurses, allied and auxiliary health care workers, and emergency medical services personnel.  Get more telehealth resources, including funding opportunities, from HRSA’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth

Approaching Deadlines

Submit Nominations for Medicaid Commission – January 25

Rural Health Network Development Planning Program – January 26

USDA Supporting Community Agriculture and Local Education Systems (Project SCALES) – 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

HHS Requests Input on Maternal Mental Health – Comment by January 31

Department of Labor YouthBuild Grants – February 1

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

CMS Enforcement of State Medicaid Renewal Requirements – Comment by February 2

EPA Training/Technical Assistance for Safe Drinking Water in Small Public Water Systems – February 2

Department Seeks Further Comments on Proposals Related to No Surprises Act – Comment by February 5

HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program – February 5

HRSA Regional AIDS Education and Training Centers – February 5

RWJF Summer Health Professions Education Program – February 5

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Funding: Broad Pragmatic Studies – Letters of Intent February 6

PCORI Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Topical Studies – Letters of Intent February 6

USDA Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program – February 6

HRSA Targeted Technical Assistance for Rural Hospitals – February 7

Indian Health Service Community Opioid Intervention Prevention Program – February 7

Department of Justice Mentor Site Initiative for Jail-Based Medication-Assisted Treatment – February 9

HRSA Rural Residency Planning and Development Program – February 12

Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions – February 15

USDA Sustainable Community Projects for Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk – February 15

ARC Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Grants for the Appalachian Region – Letters of Intent February 16

NOSORH Rural Health Grant Writing Institute – February 16

HHS Assistance for Tribal Self-Governance Negotiation – February 19

USDA Rural Utilities Service – Community Connect Grants – February 20

HRSA School-Administered Loans for Public Schools – February 21

SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Partnerships for Communities – February 21

SAMHSA Strategic Prevention Framework/Partnerships for States – February 21

CMS’ Proposed Rule Addresses Appeals Rights for Certain Changes in Patient Status – Comment by February 22

HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program – February 26

SAMHSA FentAlert Challenge: Empowering Youth for Safe Choices – February 26

HRSA Continuation Contracts for National Health Service Corps Loans – February 27

Indian Health Service Scholarship Programs – February 28

USDA Produce Prescription Program – February 28

USDA Rural Business Development Grants – February 28

Become a Host Site for the CDC Public Health Associate Program – February 29

Institute of Museum and Library Sciences Native American Library Services Basic Grants – March 1

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholarships – March 7

USDA Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants – March 14

HRSA Physician Assistant Rural Training in Behavioral Health – March 15

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

SAMHSA Rural Emergency Medical Services Training – March 20

NIHB/CDC Strengthening Tribal Public Health Systems – March 21

Department of Commerce Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program – March 22

HRSA Behavioral Health Integration Evidence Based Telehealth Network Program – March 22

CMS Accepting Applications for New Physician Residency Slots – March 31

HRSA Provider Relief Reporting Period 6 – March 31

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – March 31

HRSA State Maternal Health Innovation – April 2

HRSA Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program – April 16

AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine: Improving Antibiotic Use – June 2024

Ongoing Opportunities

HRSA Needs Rural Reviewers for Grant Applications

Resources for Medicaid/CHIP Renewals

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

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

NIH Researching Firearm Injury and Mortality Prevention – February 2026

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

NIH Planning Grants for Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) – various dates until July 2026

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

NIH Data Informed, Place-Based Community-Engaged Research to Advance Health Equity – January 2027

NIH/UVA Seeking Rural Individuals to Participate in Weight Loss Study (iREACH) – until 2027

NIH Project Talk Initiative Host Site Applications

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

Rural Grocery Transition Specialist Program

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