The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of Rural Health (OPH) released an RFP in June titled “Rural Provider and Health Care Staff Training and Education Initiative” (RPSTI) seeking applications from entities wishing to implement locally-based training and education programs in rural facilities.
This training can include training for healthcare providers such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, other clinical staff, and healthcare support staff that work in rural VHA facilities. These rural facilities may include Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC), Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs, and outreach clinics.
Results from a recent survey indicate that both rural VA primary care providers and nurses are very interested in receiving clinical training on how to provide care for patients with TBI, diabetes, cognitive decline, and other complex chronic diseases.
Training is also needed for health and delivery issues such as patient referrals both in and out of the VA system, communicating with parent facilities, timely access to patient records, Patient Aligned Care Team training, access to specialty care training, and training on the appropriate and effective use of telemedicine.
In addition, the VA workforce has indicated that they would like training on how to handle walk-ins, designing efficient use of clinic space, how to effectively use telehealth equipment, ways to recruit more providers, reimbursement issues, and how to communicate effectively with the surrounding community.
The VHA’s OPH will provide the funds to the VA facilities and applicants may apply for up to $250,000 per year in program support for up to three years. The funds may be used for medical care and support, for administrative support, and for telehealth and video conferencing equipment that is directly related to training at remote sites. However, IT equipment will not be funded.
The eligibility criteria for the facilities applying for funding for organized education and training programs for providers and staff include VAMCs located in rural or highly rural areas that have CBOCs, Outreach Clinics, or Telehealth Clinics in designated rural or highly rural areas.
The response to the RFP is due August 30, 2012 to ORH via the VISN Rural Consultant. For more information, email Nancy Maher, Program Analyst at Nancy.Maher@va.gov or call (201) 461-1774.