$4.2 Million in Federal Grants Open to Rural Physicians

February 15, 2016 03:17 pm News Staff

Calling all family physicians who work in public or nonprofit settings in rural communities across America: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently released a funding announcement(www.grants.gov) for the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program that would fund as many as 21 recipients to the tune of up to $200,000 each annually for three years.

[Small rural community covered in snow]

Nearly $4.2 million in federal grant money would be divided among successful applicants each year for federal fiscal years 2016-2019.

The funds would be used to improve the overall health status of patients and reduce ER visits related to chronic disease.

Successful grant applicants must provide health care services in a rural area and include entities such as

  • family physicians and other primary care professionals,
  • rural health clinics,
  • community health centers and
  • federally qualified health centers.

All CMS-certified critical-access hospitals(www.flexmonitoring.org) and rural health clinics(narhc.org) are eligible to apply if they meet the geographic eligibility requirements.

The application period closes March 4.

The AAFP National Research Network (NRN) is prepared to assist family physicians with the application process; potential applicants can email questions about the project to AAFP NRN Director of Evaluation Natalia Loskutova, M.D., Ph.D.

In other news pertaining to rural health care, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt recently announced CMS' plan to create a Rural Health Council.

The announcement came during Slavitt's Feb. 2 speech(blog.cms.gov) at the 27th Annual Policy Institute of the National Rural Health Association in Washington.

He said the council would oversee the agency's work in three strategic priority areas, which he defined as

  • improving access to care for patients in rural settings,
  • supporting the "unique economics" of delivering health care in a rural setting and
  • ensuring that the "health care innovation agenda" is achievable in rural areas of the country.

"The Rural Health Council will help promote a strategic focus on access, economics and innovation issues across rural America," Slavitt told his audience. "They will help us review each of our regulations for impact on the fundamentals of rural health care markets."

Stay tuned for more specifics about the council and its goals when CMS releases additional details.

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