Thank you for your patience with the delayed release of the Flex application instructions. I know you are all eagerly waiting for the notices of funding opportunity (NOFOs) for the primary Flex award and for the Flex emergency medical services (EMS) supplement. Please keep watching the Flex Coordinators email list for updates. We will set new due dates based on when the NOFOs are published and our goal is to make sure the application period is at least 60 days.
While you are waiting for the Flex NOFO I want to remind you to review the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Structure for FY 2019 – FY 2023 on the TASC Flex Program Guidance page. This resource digs in to the details of program areas and activity categories for the next period of performance. You can use this document to gain ideas for Flex Program activities and your project officers will use it when reviewing state Flex Program work plans and answering questions about activities that are allowable within Flex. The Flex Structure also defines key Flex terms and includes a program measurement framework for identifying appropriate outcome measures.
In the meantime, our usual annual reporting processes continue for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 award year. This is an extension year, but your Federal Financial Reports (FFRs) for the FY 2017 budget year are still due January 30, 2019. That FFR will report all funds spent in the FY 2017 budget year and any unspent funds. Unlike most years, however, you will not need to request carryover of unspent FY 2017 funds. The extension-with-funds created a two-year budget period from 9/1/2017 to 8/31/2019. The extended budget period means that FY 2017 funds remain available until 8/31/2019. If you identify significant unspent FY 2017 funds on the FFR please talk to your project officer and make a plan to ensure that you spend all Flex funds, both FY 2017 and FY 2018, by the end of the current budget year.
Please post questions or comments about the Flex Structure or any ideas about future Flex projects you want to discuss in the Flex Program Forum.
I look forward to working with you in 2019. Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year.
Flex Program Coordinator