Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application Questions
Where can I apply for the Rural Healthcare Provider Transition Project?
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 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 ACO apply for focused technical assistance?
Can a hospital that is licensed for more than 49 beds, that does not regularly staff for more, apply for focused 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 focused technical assistance?
Can my organization apply for RHPTP 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?
If selected, what kind of focused technical assistance will my organization receive?
Are participation expectations the same for the focused TA, and the Learning Collaborative?
What if my organization is not selected to receive focused technical assistance?
If my organization is selected to receive focused TA, what TA quality improvement 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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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. Once you begin completing your application, it cannot be saved midway through. However, the application should take 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. 

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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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. 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)

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's focused technical assistance:

  • Critical Access Hospital or Small Rural Hospital and certified Rural Health Clinic(s) combination
  • Small Rural Hospital only
  • Critical Access Hospital only
  • Certified Rural Health Clinic only
  • Consortium of certified Rural Health Clinics

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Can an independent Rural Health Clinic (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, therefore are not eligible to apply.

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Can an organization that is participating in an ACO apply for focused 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 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 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 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 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 focused technical assistance?
Five applicants will be chosen each year to receive focused technical assistance. Twenty additional organizations will be selected to participate in peer-to-peer education through the "RHPTP Eligible 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 focused technical assistance?
Phone interviews will be held with all eligible applicants each year.  The interview 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 interview question will be scored to determine the readiness of each organization to particpate.

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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 an MOU to demonstrate consistent participation and to be fully engaged . Being as there are only 20 spaces available for this learning collaborative, we want to ensure that the chosen 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 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 focused technical assistance?
After each new cohort of five organizations have 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.  HELP webinars guide small rural hospital (SRH) and certified rural health clinic (RHC) leaders and staff to:

  • A greater understanding of, and key strategies for transitioning to Value-Based Care (VBC)
  • Increased organizational preparedness for participation in VBC
  • Key resources and best practice tools nationwide

Content is tailored to guide SRH 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 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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