Federal Flex Updates: January 2017

January 2017

I hope you have been taking advantage of the great Virtual Knowledge Group (VKG) webinars we have had lately. Thank you for the examples you shared on January 9th: Lara (Oklahoma), Emerson and Stacie (Oregon), Penny (Wisconsin) and Lisa (Georgia). The recordings are available in the Flex Program Forum.

As far as Flex grant operations this month, Federal Financial Reports (FFRs) are due January 30 and carryover requests are due no later than March 1 (30 days after the FFR due date). Flex Programs are welcome to request carryover if you have unobligated funds, but only if it makes sense to do so for your program. You don’t need to carry over unobligated funds and it is fine to not request carryover if it doesn’t help your Flex Program. We will reject any initial carryover requests submitted in the Electronic Handbook (EHB) after March 1, although Flex Programs may continue working with their project officers to revise existing requests after March 1. Even though there is still time, we encourage you to submit carryover requests as soon as you can so it can be approved and your program can get started on the projects without delay.

In MBQIP news, I shared an email with the listserv on Monday, January 23, about the glitch preventing critical access hospitals (CAHs) from reporting outpatient population and sampling data to the secure online portal in QualityNet. Please continue to contact RQITA by email at tasc@ruralcenter.org if you have questions about this issue or other problems with quality reporting.

I hope you all saw the January 13 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) with data on the higher death rates seen in rural areas and a discussion on strategies including targeted needs-based prevention efforts and improved access to treatment for chronic conditions to reduce excess deaths in rural areas. This MMRW is the first of a series of reports on rural issues that will be published by the CDC in collaboration with FORHP. Articles from the series will also be highlighted in the weekly FORHP Announcements—you can subscribe to the Announcements at the bottom of the FORHP webpage.

Thank you to everyone who has shared feedback on the Performance Improvement & Measurement System (PIMS). You are helping us iterate and improve Flex Program data collection. Please keep the questions and suggestions coming.

Sarah Young

FORHP Flex Program Coordinator