Federal Flex Updates: February 2016

February 2016

It was great to see so many familiar faces at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) Policy Institute held in Washington DC, and seeing some new faces as well! 

I found this year's sessions around delivery system reform and the transition to value to be tremendously relevant to the work we're doing with the Flex program. As we know, the market and regulatory challenges facing rural and critical access hospitals are steep and the ability to adjust can be difficult, but we are not short on innovative leaders and liaisons playing a key role to help meet those challenges and needs of their rural communities. The future of rural health care necessitates fostering new relationships, creating networks and collaboratives and pioneering solutions to complex problems. The configuration for how this is done isn't an exact science, but there are a variety of approaches one can take on the journey to a value based health model. The Flex program along with its partners strives to establish a framework for these approaches and the tools necessary to be a part of this process. As always, FORHP and its partners are working hard to ensure the tools and resources you need are updated and relevant.

As always, we look forward to sharing these tools and resources with you assisting your journey toward value. 


We have a couple of important reminders and updates! 

Grant Related Items:

Carry Over Requests – (Due: 3/1) If you’re requesting carryover you must work with your Project Officer prior to submitting your request in EHB. As a reminder the office sent out an email in January providing an example of a carry-over request. Let your PO know if you’d like to see it again. 

Flex Non-Competing Continuation (Available 3/15; Due 5/16) – The non-competing continuation (NCC) for Flex will be available for reporting in EHB Mid-March. The office will have more details about what will be expected as part of the Non-Competing Continuation application process and required components in March (stay tuned!). 

Please note the Non-Competing Continuation process is a far less intensive application compared to a full competing competition. It is an opportunity to describe the work done thus far, challenges, successes, and updated work plans. Again, the specifics of the required narrative elements will be shared soon.  

Quarterly Reports  - (Due: 3/31) For grantees with a quarterly reporting requirement only (check your Notice of Award) the current reporting period (months of December, January and February) will be coming to a close and submission of progress in EHB should be available in March. Utilize the template provided earlier in the grant period, or ask your PO if you cannot locate the template. This report will align with the Flex NCC. 

Flex Related Items:

Thursday 2/18 – MBQIP Virtual Knowledge Group (VKG) kicked off.

Wednesday (2/24) Program Year 2015-2016 Performance Improvement Measures (PIMS) Review and Webinar 3-4PM ET: 

The webinar will be recorded

At the end of every grant year, FORHP collects work plan data related to CAH participation, activities conducted and the number CAHs that improved under those activities. This reporting requirement is listed within your Notice of Award (NoA).

Those familiar with PIMs saw changes to the collection tool in EHB this past fall. 

Further changes to simplify PIMs have been made and submitted for approval.

A 30 Day Federal Register Notice (FRN) was published indicating the office’s intent to collect program data at the end of the grant year. It can be found here:


March 9th State Flex Program Core Competencies for Excellence Webinar:

See TASC Events page for details!

March 23rd Flex Non-Competing Continuation Webinar 3-4 PM ET

Details forthcoming

Kevin Chaney

Flex Coordinator

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,009,121 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.