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

RHPTP Eligibility

RHPTP Eligibility (PDF Document - 2 pages)

Small rural hospitals must meet all three eligibility requirements listed below.  Rural Health Clinics must be certified as a rural health clinic as described by CMS, and meet the definition of rural, defined in eligibility requirement number two:

  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, or the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model;
  • 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

We are currently updating the RHPTP application and will be accepting new applicants for the 2022-2023 project year soon. Stay tuned!

Please contact the RHPTP Team at rhptp@ruarlcenter.org with any questions regarding the project or application process.

RHPTP offers the following application options:

  • A small rural hospital and certified rural health clinic applying together
  • A small rural hospital applying alone
  • A certified rural health clinic applying alone
  • A consortium of certified rural health clinics applying together

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.