My critical access hospital is designated as rural by my state, but is not considered rural by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Are we still eligible to apply for focused technical assistance?
The application can be found on the National Rural Health Resource Center's RHPTP website.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; however, a deadline is assigned for each project year. Once the deadline for an upcoming project year has passed, organizations may begin applying for the next project year at any time.
No, the application cannot be saved while in progress. However, the application should take only 10 minutes or less to complete.
Applicants will be notified in September, with project activities beginning in October, and running through August.
Yes, a new application will need to be submitted for each new project year. The application is short and should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Health care organizations that are located in geographic areas that are defined as rural are eligible to apply for RHPTP. Use the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer to determine eligibility.
Eligible applicants include small rural hospitals and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-certified rural health clinics (RHCs).
Hospitals must meet all three eligibility requirements listed below; clinics must only meet the “rural area” requirement listed below.
- "Eligible small rural hospital" is defined as a non-federal, short-term general acute care hospital that: (1) is located in a rural area as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d) and (2) has 49 available beds or less, as reported on the hospital's most recently filed Medicare Cost Report.
- "Rural area" is defined as either: (1) located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA); (2) located within a rural census tract of a MSA, as determined under the Goldsmith Modification or the Rural Urban Commuting Areas; or (3) is being treated as if being located in a rural area pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1395ww (d)(8)(E).
- Eligible hospitals may be for-profit or not-for-profit, including faith-based. Hospitals in U.S. territories as well as tribally operated hospitals under Titles I and V of P.L. 93-638 are eligible to the extent that such hospitals meet the above criteria.
Yes, applications can be submitted by a single organization (a certified RHC, a critical access hospital [CAH], a small rural hospital) or by a combination of organizations (a CAH or small rural hospital and a certified RHC; a consortium of certified RHCs).
Yes, both certified independent and provider-based RHCs may apply.
No, FQHCs are federally funded and therefore not eligible to apply.
Yes, as long as the organization is not currently participating in an advanced alternative payment model as defined by CMS.
Please contact Rhonda Barcus at the National Rural Health Resource Center to discuss eligibility for this scenario.
No, if your hospital is in the process of or has received an REH designation, it would not be eligible to apply for focused technical assistance. Once a hospital has the REH designation, it is no longer considered a small rural hospital for the purposes of RHPTP's eligibility requirements.
Yes, if the hospital meets the definition of rural defined as "is being treated as if being located in a rural area pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1395ww (d)(8)(E)," and if the hospital can provide a copy of the state regulation or law validating the state rural designation, the hospital could be eligible to apply for RHPTP — provided that all RHPTP program eligibility criteria are satisfied.
No, RHPTP eligibility requires that applicant organizations must not be currently participating in an advanced alternative payment model (advanced APM), as defined by CMS.
Selected organizations must be ready, willing, and able to undertake a comprehensive consultation project, as well as meet participation expectations. Selected organizations unable to meet project and readiness requirements, including deadlines, will be placed back in the queue for future consideration.
Selection Process Questions
Five applicants are selected each year to receive virtual, focused technical assistance. Twenty additional organizations will be selected to participate in learning collaborative to assist them in preparing for a transition to value-based care.
60-minute phone interviews are held with all eligible applicants. The interview questions focus on organizational leadership commitment and engagement, time and staff resources to support project participation, strategic planning process, past and current efforts toward population health; current quality improvement structure; and organizational infrastructure such as telehealth focused on value-based care. Responses to interview questions are scored to determine each applicant's readiness and need for RHPTP technical assistance.
Technical Assistance Questions
Technical assistance begins in October and is completed on August 31st, however, there are two post-project follow-up calls as part of the RHPT Project.
No. The focused TA provided to the selected cohort requires a more detailed list of participation expectations to ensure participants effectively benefit from the project. Applicants chosen to participate in the learning collaborative will be asked to commit by signing a memorandum of understanding to assure consistent participation and engagement. Since the learning collaborative has limited space, we want to ensure that selected organizations will take full advantage of the opportunity.
Selected organizations will receive focused virtual technical assistance (TA) and the potential for one on-site visit. RHPTP TA includes:
- Consultations and coaching to support the implementation of best practices and adoption of recommendations for the transition to VBC strategies.
- Assessment and training in the areas of efficiency, quality, patient experience, and safety of care.
- Assessment of the organization’s readiness for assuming financial risk.
- Access to learning collaboratives designed to support project implementation and sustainability.
- Access to the Health Education and Learning Program (HELP) webinar series focusing on a variety of advanced payment models and/or VBC topics.
- Recommendation Adoption Progress (RAP) follow-up calls.
After each new cohort has been selected, 20 additional hospitals/clinics that were not selected will be invited to receive TA through a virtual learning collaboration series. These sessions promote knowledge-based support readiness for future RHPTP TA. Applicants not selected to participate in the project are also invited to participate in RHPTP's Health Education and Learning Program (HELP) webinars, which guide small rural hospitals and certified RHC leaders and staff to:
- A greater understanding of, and key strategies for, transitioning to VBC.
- Increased organizational preparedness for participation in VBC.
- Key resources and best practice tools.
Webinars are tailored to guide small rural hospitals and certified RHCs not currently participating in VBC to prepare for and position their organizations to be effective participants in a health system focused on value.
HELP webinars are recorded and housed on the RHPTP website.
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