FOA to Address Rural Health Innovation


CMS issued the CMS Rural Health Strategy to elevate rural health as an important focus of provider payment policies. This funding opportunity seeks to provide innovative mechanisms for the federal government to work collaboratively to provide technical assistance to rural healthcare stakeholders.

HRSA posted the grant notice “Rural Health Innovation and Transformation Technical Assistance Program” (RHIT-TA) on November 23, 2018, to provide technical assistance to rural stakeholders and the public so this population will understand and engage in value-based care when pertaining to rural healthcare.

Unique economic factors affect rural providers implementing value-based care initiatives and may be different in rural low-volume settings. For example, low patient volumes along with low margins in rural settings can make it more difficult to absorb the financial risks associate with value-based care. Start-up costs for value-based care may seem prohibitive for some, while small volumes may make it more difficult to measure value and may increase the risk of skewed outcomes.

At the same time, value-based care initiatives are evolving towards risk-based models, and there is a need to help stakeholders and the public understand how these changes affect rural healthcare. One of the goals is to maximize the use of health technology by promoting interoperability and at the same time, boost transparency around price and quality.

The funding will also be used to conduct discussions with stakeholders to help rural providers and communities participate in value-based care models, pioneer bold new models in Medicare and Medicaid, and lastly, remove government burdens and barriers especially impeding care coordination.

Eligible applicants can include domestic public, private, and non-profit organizations, include tribes and tribal organizations, and domestic faith-based and community based organizations. Estimated total program funding is expected to be $500,000 with one award. The closing date for applications to be February 22, 2019.

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