We’ve had a busy month! Thank you to everyone who responded on short notice to the $2 million in new emergency medical services (EMS) project funding coming from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations. Christy Edwards did a lot of work in a very short timeframe to create the EMS Sustainability Projects, and I can’t wait to see the innovative ideas you propose to help promote sustainable emergency services in the rural communities of your state. Based on the letters of intent we received, we expect to fund 41 EMS Sustainability Projects in FY 2018.
The second big piece of funding news was the $3 million increase to primary Flex awards that we announced on April 20 and discussed in the webinar on April 24. As discussed in the webinar, we allocated that increase in funding among the 45 Flex states by calculating the number of critical access hospitals (CAHs) served by each state Flex Program and the number of CAHs that are likely to have higher needs because they are geographically remote or financially distressed.
Please let us know what you think of these calculations and data for estimating CAH needs. Are there other national data sources we should look at that would also inform us about CAH and Flex Program needs? Does this discussion of the funding increase suggest any changes or additional information you would like to see in the Flex Program data visualizations to better understand the CAH landscape?
As a reminder of upcoming deadlines, the prior approval administrative supplement request for FY 2018 EMS Sustainability project funding is due on May 18; the prior approval extension with funds request and progress report for FY 2018 Flex funding is due on May 24. We extended the progress report due date from May 9 to May 24 to give you additional time to revise your budgets based on the increased funding announced April 20.
I know it is confusing for all of us to have two separate funding requests due within a week of each other! We all appreciate your patience and attention to detail to ensure that these two submissions are clearly separate funding requests with separate budgets. During implementation you can, of course, coordinate your primary Flex activities with any EMS Sustainability activities in your state, however, these submissions must be separate requests.
Please reach out to TASC and your project officer when you have questions about your Flex progress report or about planning your activities for next year. We are all available to help.
Flex Program Coordinator