Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

Where can I apply for the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP)?

When does the application open and close?

Can I save my application and return to it later for completion?

When will applicants be notified if they've been selected? 

Do I need to submit another application to be considered for the next RHPTP project year? 

Eligibility Questions

Who is eligible for participation in RHPTP? 

Can my organization apply in combination with another organization? 

Can an independent rural health clinic (RHC) apply for focused technical assistance? 

Can a federally qualified health center (FQHC) apply for focused technical assistance? 

Can an organization that is participating in an accountable care organization (ACO) apply for focused technical assistance? 

Can a hospital that is licensed for more than 49 beds, but does not regularly staff for more, apply for technical assistance? 

Can a hospital converting to the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation apply for focused technical assistance? 

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? 

Can my organization apply for RHPTP's focused technical assistance if we are currently participating in an advanced alternative payment model?

What are the project expectations? 

Selection Process Questions

How many organizations will be selected to receive focused technical assistance? 

How are organizations selected to receive focused technical assistance? 

Technical Assistance Questions

If selected, how long will our organization receive focused technical assistance? 

Are participation expectations the same for both the focused TA and the "RHPTP Eligible Learning Collaborative?" 

If selected, what kind of focused technical assistance will my organization receive? 

What if my organization is not selected to receive focused technical assistance? 

If my organization is selected to receive focused TA, what quality improvement TA topic areas can we choose from? 

 

Application Questions

Where can I apply for the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP)? 

The application can be found on the National Rural Health Resource Center's RHPTP website

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When does the application open and close? 

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.

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Can I save my application and return to it later for completion? 

No, the application cannot be saved while in progress. However, the application should take only 10 minutes or less to complete.

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When will applicants be notified if they've been selected? 

Applicants will be notified within 30 days of the application closing for that particular project year. 

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Do I need to submit another application to be considered for the next RHPTP project year? 

Yes, a new application will need to be submitted for each new project year.  The application is short and should only take about 10 minutes to complete.

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Eligibility Questions

Who is eligible for participation in RHPTP? 

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.

  1. "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.
  2. "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).
  3. 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.

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Can my organization apply in combination with another organization? 

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).

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Can an independent RHC apply for focused technical assistance? 

Yes, both certified independent and provider-based RHCs may apply. 

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Can a federally qualified health center (FQHC) apply for focused technical assistance?

No, FQHCs are federally funded and therefore not eligible to apply. 

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Can an organization that is participating in an accountable care organization (ACO) apply for focused technical assistance? 

Yes, as long as the organization is not currently participating in an advanced alternative payment model as defined by CMS. 

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Can a hospital that is licensed for more than 49 beds, but does not regularly staff for more, apply for technical assistance? 

Please contact Rhonda Barcus at the National Rural Health Resource Center to discuss eligibility for this scenario. 

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Can a hospital converting to the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation apply for focused technical assistance?

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.  

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My CAH 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? 

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.

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Can my organization apply for RHPTP's focused technical assistance if we are currently participating in an advanced alternative payment model? 

No, RHPTP eligibility requires that applicant organizations must not be currently participating in an advanced alternative payment model (advanced APM), as defined by CMS.

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What are the project expectations? 

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. 

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Selection Process Questions

How many organizations will be selected to receive focused technical assistance? 

Five applicants are chosen each year to receive focused technical assistance. Twenty additional organizations will be selected to participate in peer-to-peer education through the virtual Health Equity Learning Collaborative.

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How are organizations selected to receive focused technical assistance? 

Phone interviews are held with all eligible applicants. The questions asked focus on the applicant's organization: its leadership team and the team's ability to support participation in RHPTP; past and current efforts toward population health; current quality improvement structure; and infrastructure, such as telehealth focused on value-based care. Responses to interview questions are scored to determine each applicant's readiness to participate in RHPTP.

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Technical Assistance Questions

If selected, how long will our organization receive focused technical assistance? 

Selected organizations will receive focused TA for approximately 12 months. 

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Are participation expectations the same for both the focused TA and the RHPTP Eligible Learning Collaborative?

No. The focused TA provided to the selected cohort of five requires a more detailed list of participation expectations to ensure participants effectively benefit from the project. Applicants chosen to participate in the RHPTP Eligible Learning Collaborative will be asked to make a commitment via 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. 

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If selected, what kind of focused technical assistance will my organization receive? 

Selected organizations will receive focused on-site/virtual technical assistance services that include the following:

  • 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.

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What if my organization is not selected to receive focused technical assistance? 

After each new cohort of five organizations has been selected to receive focused TA, 20 additional hospitals/clinics will be invited to receive virtual TA through "RHPTP Eligible Learning Collaborative" sessions to promote knowledge base and support readiness for future focused, onsite/virtual 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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If my organization is selected to receive focused TA, what quality improvement topic areas can we choose from? 

Building Infrastructure that Embeds Quality Improvement in Practice

This might be for you if…

Your organization is seeking to establish a shared and consistent approach to quality improvement based on mutual understanding of a standard methodology, to improve efficiencies, workflow, and communication.

Improving Patient Safety Culture

This might be for you if…

Your organization is seeking to build processes and performance on a firm foundation of safety, teamwork, and accountability to reduce harm to patients and staff.

Improving Coordination of Care

This might be for you if…

Your organization is seeking to improve patient outcomes and lower costs by improving the coordination of patient care across health care settings and with community service support organizations.

Improving Patient Experience

This might be for you if…

Your organization is seeking to improve the holistic experience of patients’ care, and to ensure the voice of patients and caregivers are incorporated into the design of health care processes and delivery. 

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