U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)
02/20/18 11:59 PM ET
Grant to a USA nonprofit organization, for-profit organization, IHE, or public agency for research and data analysis addressing health care in rural areas. Applicants are advised that registrations required to apply may take up to one month to complete. The goal of this program is to help communities and policymakers make informed health care decisions.
This notice solicits applications for the Rapid Response Rural Data Analysis and Issue Specific Rural Research Studies program. The purposes of this program are to assist rural communities with (1) conducting rapid data analyses, and (2) short term issue-specific rural research studies to help communities and policymakers understand the impact of current and proposed policies and regulations as well as provide information that will improve access to health care and population health in rural America.
Due to the nature of rural policy analysis and formulation, rural organizations and health care providers often require timely information that is available only through specialized analysis of databases of information compiled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), other federal and state agencies, or private organizations. The awardee is responsible for collaborating with HHS agencies to compile and analyze the data that is requested in a timely manner. The awardee will also collaborate with rural stakeholders to determine what data sets are needed. These collaborative efforts are vital as most rural groups and individuals do not have the capacity to store the data sets, the staff expertise to refine and analyze the data nor the technology necessary to run statistical analyses.
The awardee will be required to staff a rapid-response data analysis team capable of responding within 1-2 days to an estimated one-to-two requests per month from rural health stakeholders; the awardee will also be expected to design and complete one-to- two (depending on scope) 9-12 month short term issue-specific rural health studies per year of funding received. Findings from these analyses will be used to help inform rural health care providers and stakeholders such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Congress, states, and for-profit and non-profit entities (such as insurance companies and professional associations, respectively) that set policies impacting rural communities.
This program is authorized by Section 711(b) of the Social Security Act, (42 U.S.C. 912(b)), as amended. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) is the focal point for rural health activities within HHS. FORHP is statutorily required to advise the Secretary on the effects of current policies and proposed statutory, regulatory, administrative and budgetary changes in Medicare and Medicaid programs on the financial viability of small rural hospitals, the ability of rural areas to attract and retain physicians and other health professions and access to and the quality of health care in rural areas.
Rapid Response Rural Data Analysis and Issue Specific Rural Research Studies program presents an opportunity to tackle a new set of public health challenges. HHS identified three public health priorities: mental health, substance abuse (particularly the opioid abuse epidemic), and childhood obesity. The Rapid Response Rural Data Analysis and Issue Specific Rural Research Studies program provides data and analyses to inform rural health care providers and stakeholders such as HHS, Congress, states, and for-profit and non-profit entities that set policies impacting rural communities. In addition, the program provides for specialized analyses of database information provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, other federal and state agencies, or private organizations. This data may include topics related to the priorities of mental illness, opioid abuse, and childhood obesity.
Rapid Response Data Analysis:
In order to acquire the information from the data sets needed to identify trends, problems and progress in rural health care financing and access to care in rural areas, rural groups must rely on organizations that have the data storage capacity, personnel and technology resources to provide the information to meet immediate policy needs, often in one to two days – hence the need for the rapid response function of the awardee. Examples of past data analyses that facilitated rural policy development are: identifying the number of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) located in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs); analyzing the number of CAH patient days that are swing bed admissions vs. acute care admissions; and estimating the amount of Medicare payments made to rural hospitals paid under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System that resulted from hold-harmless payments. Each of these analyses required access to and familiarity with data sets that would have been prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of rural health care providers and organizations to analyze in a timely manner.
Issue Specific Research Studies:
At the same time, the ever-changing nature of the rural policy environment sometimes necessitates short-term research and analysis of emerging policy issues. This work is more elaborate than rapid response needs, requiring data construction and analyses that involve more resources than the 1-2 day rapid response work described above. This work is expected to be completed in 9-12 months. Examples of past short term issue-specific rural research studies include “2012-14 Profitability of Urban and Rural Hospitals by Medicare Payment Classification” and “Geographic Variation in the Profitability of Urban and Rural Hospitals“; these and other examples have been disseminated as Policy Briefs under the current award (HRSA cooperative agreement U1GRH07633).
HRSA Program responsibilities will include:
1) Provide collaboration and guidance in planning, operation and evaluation activities, including the identification and selection of policy issues and the analysis of key information sources from which to draw upon for the synthesis analysis;
2) Collaborate with rural stakeholders to provide guidance and assistance in identifying key organizations through which to share information on emerging policy issues;
3) Collaborate with rural stakeholders in the planning and implementation of any meetings, training activities or workgroups conducted during the period of the cooperative agreement;
4) Provide assistance in identifying opportunities for disseminating information about programs that coordinate both health and human services, and;
5) Review methods supporting document preparation for appropriate rigor and soundness and provide comments on documents, curricula, program plans, budgets, work to be contracted out (including the work plan), work plan revisions, etc. prior to printing, dissemination or implementation.
The cooperative agreement recipient’s responsibilities will include:
1) Adherence to HRSA guidelines pertaining to acknowledgement and disclaimer on all products produced by HRSA award funds, per Section 2.2 of the Application Guide (Acknowledgement of Federal Funding).
2) Provide the public with a vehicle for performing data analysis and interpretation on rural health services. This will include the distribution of research findings as a tool to inform the public including, but not limited to, national, state, and local policymakers, state- based entities, and/or individual rural health care providers. The awardee will determine the feasibility of conducting the data analyses and interpretations, and when appropriate, complete the analyses and share the results with the public. The awardee must also identify potential data analysis and research projects to be conducted under this award.
3) Identify up to two rural policy research issues for which there is a need for study in a time frame that cannot be accommodated by the current Rural Health Research Centers and does not duplicate their work. The awardee will be responsible for completing the research projects within the 9-12 month time frame of this award.
4) Identify key organizations and collaborative opportunities in which information can be shared on emerging policy issues.
5) Disseminate project deliverables that result from any meetings, training activities or collaborative workgroups conducted during the period of the cooperative agreement.
6) Identify opportunities for disseminating information about programs that coordinate both health and human services.
GrantWatch ID#: 151765
Funding is expected to be available annually to fund one (1) recipient.
You may apply for a ceiling amount of up to $250,000 total cost (includes both direct and indirect, facilities, data costs, and administrative costs) per year.
The project period is July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021 (3 years).
Funding beyond the first year is dependent on the availability of appropriated funds for Rapid Response Rural Data Analysis and Issue Specific Rural Research Studies in subsequent fiscal years, satisfactory recipient performance, and a decision that continued funding is in the best interest of the Federal Government.
Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, nonprofit and for-profit entities. Faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are eligible to apply. Eligible entities may include, but are not limited to, public and private institutions for higher education, public or private health research organizations, and foundations.
The technical assistance webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET.
Ensure your SAM.gov and Grants.gov registrations and passwords are current immediately. Deadline extensions are not granted for lack of registration. Registration in all systems, including SAM.gov and Grants.gov, may take up to 1 month to complete.
HRSA requires you to apply electronically through Grants.gov.
The due date for applications under this NOFO is February 20, 2018 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
To attend the November 28 webinar:
-Call-In Number: 1-866-919-6678
-Participant Code: 28103016
Curt Mueller, Director, Policy and Research Division
F: (301) 443-2803
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Attn: Rapid Response Cooperative Agreement
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Health Resources and Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
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