Federal Flex Updates: January 2016

January 2016

Happy New Year! 

We're hitting the ground running at the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) with several events, webinars, and resources rolling out this month, in addition to planning for the Flex Reverse Site Visit this summer! Below I'll give an overview but before, I wanted to express my gratitude for having the opportunity to meet with the hospital administrators, providers, and researchers serving on the Rural Hospital Issues Group (RHIG) on January 11th.

Being able to have RHIG in town is a tremendous resource and learning opportunity for us in the Federal Office to hear from those in the field. These face-to-face meetings are so valuable; serving as a platform for us to listen and ask important questions - knowing we'll get candid responses and constructive feedback. There are certainly no shortage of challenges in rural when it comes to health care, but I don't think we could ask for a more passionate and eager base working to meet those challenges. I hope to continue these conversations at the NRHA Policy Institute in February and. We know the policy institute can be quite busy, but if you're in town and want to chat, let us know! We look forward to seeing familiar and new faces.

Our Technical Assistance (TA) partners, TASC and RQITA, are assisting us with these initiatives and many, many more sprinkled in between. Look for more information in coordinator emails from the Flex Team (Sarah Young, Yvonne Chow, Christy Edwards), TASC and the TASC website which will also have an important updates and reminders.

Flex reminders and important dates to keep on your calendars:

January: 
January 27th: Flex Orientation webinar 
January 30th: Federal Financial Reports (FFRs) are due in Electronic Hand-Book (EHB)! This is a hard deadline and you must have it in if you plan to submit a carry-over request

February:
February 18th: Flex Quality Improvement Virtual Knowledge Group 
February 29th: Last day for Carry-Over (CO) Requests submission via Prior Approval in EHB – MUST contact your FORHP Project Officer prior to submitting

March:
March 9th: TASC 90 Webinar - Flex Program Core Competencies for Excellence
Tentative March 16th: Flex Non-Competing Continuation Available for submission in EHB ending May 16th
March 31st: Flex Quality Improvement Virtual Knowledge Group 

April: 
April 11-13th: Flex Program Workshop in Duluth, Minnesota for new or existing Flex Program Staff

July:
July 20-21st: Flex Program Reverse Site Visit in Rockville, Maryland

Policy Related:

April-May:
Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule is generally published by the end of April 

June: 
Hospital Outpatient Payment Proposed rule is generally published
Note: The payment rates in these rules don't impact CAHs but other policies often do.

Stay tuned for specific updates related to published rules open for public comment.