August 2019

August 2019

Hello Flex Coordinators,

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Flex cooperative agreement awards were issued July 29, 2019, and August 1, 2019. We had a webinar on August 22, 2019, to cover Flex program updates. I reviewed key items on the Notices of Award (NOAs); please watch the recording if you weren’t able to join us live last week. In addition to the NOAs, Christy Edwards reviewed the end of year report for the 37 Flex programs that received funding for FY 2018 Flex emergency medical services (EMS) Sustainability Projects.

We also discussed the Performance Improvement and Measurement System (PIMS) reporting process for FY 2018 on the August 22 webinar. Please read the updated FY 2018 PIMS Reporting Instructions before you begin your FY 2018 PIMS report. We did not make any major changes in the reporting system for FY 2018—hopefully some of the backend system upgrades will improve page load times compared to last year. Be sure to double-check your state critical access hospital (CAH) list in PIMS before you start entering data. Let me know if you have any name changes, new CAHs to add, or closed CAHs to remove from your list. PIMS will open September 1, 2019, and reports are due October 30, 2019.

As of August 27, 2019, the Flex EMS Supplement awards are still in process and have not been released. They are coming soon and we will continue to keep you posted.

If you haven’t seen the recent Kaiser Health News reporting on rural hospitals, I encourage you to read these very interesting stories about rural hospital financial problems and the effects of a hospital closure on people in Fort Scott, Kansas.

Finally, I hope you saw HRSA’s request for information about measuring access to health care in rural communities in the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Announcements. Comments are due October 9, 2019. They are hoping to hear from a variety of rural perspectives so please share with your interested stakeholders. 

Owmy Bouloute and I, along with several other FORHP staff, will be attending the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) CAH Conference in Kansas City, starting on September 18, 2019. Find us and say hi if you are there too.

Happy New (Budget) Year!

Sarah Young

Flex Program 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, $1,205,000 (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.