Federal Flex Updates: November 2016

November 2016

Happy National Rural Health Day! I hope you happily celebrated the power of rural on November 17. Here in Rockville, Maryland, we shared rural health information with our Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Indian Health Services (IHS) colleagues, broadcast the NOSORH webinar series on a big screen, enjoyed the telehealth demonstration and hosted a charity fundraising bake sale and brownie contest. (I made chocolate cranberry brownies which were good, but they didn’t beat the addicting peanut butter crispy topped Better Than … Brownies from Sarah B.)

Everyone submitted their Performance Improvement Measurement System (PIMS) reports on time and almost everyone has finished making any corrections requested by their project officer (PO). Thank you again for working hard on the data and letting us know about any problems or questions you found while completing the reports. We will be analyzing PIMS data along with the Flex Monitoring Team and sharing preliminary results with you in January or February. 

With one report completed, it’s on to the next. The Federal Financial Report (FFR) is due January 30, but grantees can submit them as soon as they are completed. I realize many of you don’t complete that report yourself—it’s done in the finance office. However, you do want to check on the FFR status if you think you might have unspent funds that you want to request to carryover for the FY16 grant year. If you are considering asking for carryover, talk to your PO about your plans. We can help you ensure that your proposal is within the scope of your grant and that you include all of the necessary information with the prior approval request. Watch for an updated carryover template in early December. 

If you would like to listen to a replay of the HRSA Grants Conference call from October 18, it is now available on the Manage Your Grant web page. Scroll two-thirds of the way down the page to Quarterly Calls. The October call reviewed the new forecast feature in Grants.gov as well as new Electronic Handbook (EHB) features, common audit findings and other HRSA grant management information. 

Thank you for your hard work on behalf of critical access hospitals and rural communities. 

Sarah Young

Flex Program Coordinator