Eligibility and Application

The Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP) is designed to help strengthen value-based care (VBC) for health care organizations by building recipients' foundation for VBC in efficiency, quality, patient experience, and safety of care.

RHPTP’s goal is to guide small rural hospitals (SRH) and certified rural health clinics (RHC) not currently participating in VBC to prepare for and position their organizations for future participation in alternative payment and care delivery models (APM).

Eligibility Requirements

You may download a PDF version of the Eligibility Requirements:

RHPTP Eligibility

RHPTP Eligibility (PDF Document - 2 pages)

  1. "eligible small rural hospital" is defined as a non-federal, short-term general acute care hospital that: (i) is located in a rural area as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d) and (ii) 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 (RUCAs) or (3) is being treated as if being located in a rural area pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1395ww (d)(8)(E); and,
  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.

Applicant organizations must:

  • Not be currently participating in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (Advanced APM) as defined by CMS
  • Be financially stable. Applicants should consider their past and present performance as compared to national benchmarks on variables such as key performance indicators (days cash on hand, total margin, operating margin, patient revenue, days in net accounts receivable, payor mix, etc.)  as well as non-measurable variables such as leadership stability and a succession planning for retiring primary care providers. Resources to assist you in determining include Prediction of Financial Distress among Rural Hospitals, CAHMPAS, and Small Rural Hospital and Clinic Finance 101 – An Update.
  • Be interested and motivated to become part of an APM
  • If a SRH, be meeting quality data reporting requirements of Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR), Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR), or Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP)
  • Not be a current participant in the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) Program, Vulnerable Rural Hospital Project, or any program that is duplicative in services.

SRH and RHC are encouraged to apply under a single application for technical assistance (TA).

Application Process

Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project (RHPTP) applications can be completed at any time during the year. To be considered for the next project year (November 2021 - August 2022), applications must be completed in their entirety by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 1, 2021.  The top 10 applicants will be contacted by Friday, October 8, 2021 to set-up a 60-minute virtual application interview.  These calls will take place during the month of October, and the final five applicants selected to participate in the upcoming project year will be notified in early November.

Begin RHPTP Application >

RHPTP accepts applications from each of the following scenarios. The same application process applies to each scenario:

  • A small rural hospital and certified rural health clinic apply together.
  • A small rural hospital applies alone.
  • A certified rural health clinic applies alone.
  • A consortium of certified rural health clinics applies together.

The following table outlines the steps in the application process:

Step Notes
Part One: Pre-Application Screening Completed by Application Primary Contact.
Part One: Eligibility Check

Automated step.

The application process ends if basic eligibility requirements are not met.

Part One: Lead Organization & Primary Contact Information Completed by Application Primary Contact.
Part One: Additional Organizations

Completed by Application Primary Contact.

This step is skipped if only one organization applies.

This step provides an opportunity to define Organization Designees who will complete Part Two of the application process.

Email Instructions Delivered

Automated step.

This step is skipped if there are no Organization Designees.

The application system will email each Organization Designee a unique link to complete their section of the application.

Part Two

Completed by Application Primary Contact or Organization Designee.

Part Two is completed once for each organization included on the application.

Part Two: Contact Information

Completed by Organization Designee.

This step only occurs when Organization Designees use their unique link to complete Part Two of the application.

Part Two: Organization Details Completed by Application Primary Contact or Organization Designee.
Part Two: Hospital Specific Demographics

Completed by Application Primary Contact or Organization Designee.

This step only occurs if the organization is a hospital.

Part Two: Participation Expectations and Verification Statements Completed by Application Primary Contact or Organization Designee.

Download the RHPTP Application Guide for a more complete overview of the application process:

Program Contact

For questions regarding the online application and/or application process, please contact Rhonda Barcus at (904) 321-7607 or rhptp@ruralcenter.org.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U5ERH39345 as part of a financial assistance award totaling $800,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.