September 2020

September 2020

Dear Flex Coordinators,

I want to acknowledge your continued efforts in the face of wildfires, hurricanes, racial injustice, and loss, all during a worldwide pandemic. I know many of you are juggling caring for loved ones around the clock, being a teacher, and working fulltime. Thank you for all that you are doing.

Your Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Flex Performance Improvement Measurement System (PIMS) reports are due in the Electronic Handbook (EHB) system on October 30th. Please review the webinar recording and PIMS support documents on the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) website. Please ensure that you check your list of critical access hospitals (CAHs) before you begin reporting in the system. If you need to add/delete/edit any CAH information, please reach out to your Project Officer and we will be able to make the change immediately.

This week, I will be releasing the guidance for the FY 2019 End of Year Report which will be due through the Request for Information Process in EHBs, it will be due on November 30th. This End-of-Year Report will help the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) streamline the Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Progress Report, by asking you to report a full budget year of activities once the year has ended. This will also help show the impact of a full year of the Flex Program. Future NCC reports (due in May 2021) will look similar to this year’s submission with an update on any major changes & challenges, updated work plan for the next year of the project period, and a budget justification for the next year of the project period.

For the eight Flex Programs that received FY 2019 EMS Supplement awards, you will have an End of Year Report due in EHBs on November 29th, this should already be a task for you in the system. The guidance for the EMS End of Year Report will be released alongside the regular Flex End of Year Report.

FORHP distributed the first set of Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) Quarterly Data reports produced by the Flex Monitoring Team (FMT) in late September. Reports reflect Emergency Department Transfer Communication (EDTC) data from 2020 (Quarters 1 & 2). FORHP will host “MBQIP Open Office Hours” to solicit feedback from State Flex Coordinators on the new report format and content. This event will be held on October 29th, 2020 from 1:00pm-2:00pm EST. An invitation from the MBQIP Lead, Natalia Vargas, is forthcoming. This interactive webinar event is appropriate for State Flex Coordinators, and State Contractors assisting with MBQIP efforts. For any questions, please email MBQIP@hrsa.gov.

If you haven’t visited the Flex Monitoring Team website recently, I recommend you check out their new updates, especially the new state profiles page that allows you to click on the map and find all the publications and data related specifically to your state.

FORHP proposed modifications to the definition of ‘rural’ used to designate areas to be eligible for its rural health grants.  The proposed definitions are based on a data-driven methodology that will allow community organizations serving rural populations within metro areas to be able to apply for grants as well as allow more of the rural populations within metro areas to access services provided using grant funds. Please comment on the modification to the definition of rural for FORHP grants by October 23rd.

As always, please reach out to your Project Officer, Tori, Natalia, Tahleah, or Laura if you have any questions.

I hope you all enjoy the first weeks of fall.

Stay Healthy,

Tori 

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.