Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application Questions
Where can I apply for the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project?
What is the application deadline for the first cohort?
When will the next round of application acceptance begin?
Can I save my application and return to it later for completion?
When will applicants be notified of the five selected organizations?
Do I need to submit another application to be considered for the next RHPTP project year?

Eligibility Questions
Who is eligible for RHPTP?
Can my organization apply in combination with another organization?
Can an independent Rural Health Clinic (RHC) apply for direct technical assistance?
Can a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) apply for direct technical assistance?
Can an organization that is participating in an ACO apply for direct technical assistance?
Can a hospital that is licensed for more than 49 beds, that does not regularly staff for more, apply for direct technical assistance?
If my CAH is designated as rural by my state, yet is not considered rural by FORHP, are we still eligible to apply for direct technical assistance?
Can my organization apply for direct 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 direct technical assistance?
How are organizations selected to receive direct technical assistance?

Technical Assistance Questions
If selected, how long will our organization receive direct technical assistance?
If selected, what kind of direct technical assistance will my organization receive?
Are participation expectations the same for the direct TA, and the Learning Collaborative?
What if my organization is not selected to receive direct technical assistance?
If my organization is selected to receive direct TA, what TA topic areas can we choose from?

Where can I apply for the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project?
The application can be found on the National Rural Health Resource Center’s RHPTP website.

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What is the application deadline for the first cohort? 
January 15, 2021.

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When will the next round of application acceptance begin?
After the first cohort of five organizations has been selected to receive one year of direct technical assistance in 2021, applications will be accepted ongoing throughout the year for the next year (2022) of direct technical assistance.

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Can I save my application and return to it later for completion?
No. Once you begin completing your application, it cannot be saved midway through. Applicants are encouraged to download the Project Application Guide in advance to prepare for the completion of the online application.

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When will applicants be notified of the five selected organizations?
Applicants from the first round of application acceptance will be notified mid-February 2021.

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

Not necessarily.  If you have previously submitted an application, RHPTP staff will contact you to see if you would like your application to be considered for the next project year.

If yes, a copy of your application can be emailed to you for your review. If you identify a few areas in need of minor updating, you can send your revisions to RHPTP staff to update your application on your behalf.  If you determine that more significant changes are necessary, you are encouraged to submit a new application to ensure that it is at its most competitive prior to the review process.

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Who is eligible for RHPTP?
Eligible small rural hospitals are non-federal, short-term general acute care facilities located in a rural area of the United States and the territories, including faith-based hospitals. They may be for-profit, not-for-profit, or tribal organizations.
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)

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. There are four application options in which organizations can apply for RHPTP direct technical assistance:

  • Small Rural Hospital and certified Rural Health Clinic applying
  • together under a single application
  • Small Rural Hospital applying alone
  • Certified Rural Health Clinic applying alone
  • A consortium of certified Rural Health Clinics applying together

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Can an independent Rural Health Clinic (RHC) apply for direct 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 direct technical assistance?
No. FQHCs are federally funded, therefore are not eligible to apply.

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Can an organization that is participating in an ACO apply for direct technical assistance?
Yes.  As long as the organization is not currently participating in an Advanced Payment Model as defined by CMS.

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Can a hospital that is licensed for more than 49 beds, that 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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If my CAH is designated as rural by my state, yet is not considered rural by FORHP, are we still eligible to apply for direct 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 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 direct 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 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

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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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How many organizations will be selected to receive direct technical assistance?
Five applicants will be chosen each year to receive direct technical assistance. Twenty additional organizations will be selected to participate in peer-to-peer education through a Learning Collaborative to promote knowledge base, and support readiness for the more in-depth and comprehensive TA.

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How are organizations selected to receive direct technical assistance?
The scored application questions focus on exploring the SRC/RHC leadership and organizational strengths to support participation in RHPTP; past and current efforts towards population health; current quality improvement structure; and infrastructure such as telehealth focused on VBC. 
Each application will be scored to determine the strength of the application. Higher application scores are considered to be indicative of stronger applications. Organizations identified as “most ready” will participate in an interview with Center staff and are required to be considered for direct TA. This interview will provide Center staff the opportunity to more fully explore some of the application questions. This information is used to select the five applicants to receive direct TA.

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If selected, how long will our organization receive direct technical assistance?
Selected organizations will receive direct TA for approximately 18 months.

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Are participation expectations the same for both the direct TA, and the Learning Collaboratives?
No. The direct TA provided to the selected cohorts 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 make a commitment to be fully engaged, and demonstrate consistent participation. Being as there are only 20 spaces available for this TA, we want to ensure that the chosen organizations will take full advantage of the opportunity.

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If selected, what kind of direct technical assistance will my organization receive?
Selected organizations will receive direct onsite/virtual technical assistance (TA) 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 clinical areas of focus include efficiency, quality, patient experience, and safety of care
  • Assessment of the organization’s readiness for assuming financial risk
  • Learning Collaboratives to support project implementation and sustainability
  • Health Education and Learning Program (HELP) Webinar series on a variety of Advanced Payment Models, and/or Value-based Care topics
  • Recommendation Adoption Progress (RAP) follow up calls

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What if my organization is not selected to receive direct technical assistance?
After the first cohort of five organizations has been selected to receive direct TA, 20 additional hospitals/clinics will be invited to receive virtual TA through Learning Collaboratives to promote knowledge base and support readiness for future “direct, onsite/virtual TA”. Services for this cohort include:

  • Peer-to-peer support, and education on tools that assist organizations in preparing for VBC
  • HELP webinar series on a variety of Advanced Payment Models, and/or Value-based Care topics

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If my organization is selected to receive direct TA, what TA topic areas can we choose from?
Organizations can request technical assistance in one of four quality topics below. Use the following table to help determine the best fit for your organization.

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 healthcare processes and delivery. 

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