April 2020

April 2020

Dear Flex Coordinators,

I find myself feeling more grateful every day for the work you are all doing to support our rural communities and hospitals, especially during these extraordinary circumstances. Please see the recent HHS Press Release on COVID-19 funding to support rural health efforts. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is trying to understand how rural health care providers and communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please share any challenges, successes, or innovative strategies taking place in rural areas to address treating or preparing to treat COVID-19 patients to the inbox RuralCOVID-19@hrsa.gov. Feel free to send COVID-19 related updates directly to this inbox and encourage the rural healthcare facilities and communities you work with to do the same.

If you didn’t catch the April Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) Virtual Knowledge Group (VKG) on April 16, 2020, I highly recommend you listen to the playback available on the Flex Program Forum. There were some great discussion questions on the topic of MBQIP and Flex in a COVID-19 World. I encourage everyone to attend the May TASC 90 on May 13, 2020 where we will be discussing Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Flex Program Support.

Just a reminder on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Flex Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Progress Report. Earlier this month, I shared the Updated NCC Instructions which streamline the reporting requirements. Please ensure that you are using these updated instructions when completing the NCC. There is also the option to delay the submission of this report until July 15, 2020. If you wish to delay your NCC submission, please follow these steps:

  • Open your NCC Task in Electronic Handbook (EHB).
  • Fill out the required SF-PPR and SF-PPR-2 forms.
  • Under the Performance Narrative section, please upload a document that requests a Request For Information (RFI) submission of the NCC.
  • Please ensure you “submit” the NCC task. Once submitted, it should no longer appear as a task in your EHB queue.
  • This will trigger your Project Officer to create an RFI due on July 15, 2020.  You will submit all the NCC information in that RFI.

As always, please reach out to me or Natalia if you have any questions.

Stay Healthy,


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, $1,009,121 (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.