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Deadline: February 23, 2018

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

The Rural Health Network Development Planning program assists in the development of an integrated healthcare network, specifically network participants who do not have a history of formal collaborative efforts. The Network Planning program promotes the planning and development of healthcare networks in order to: (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. The health care system is undergoing a significant amount of change and this can be particularly challenging for small rural providers.

A rural health network is defined as an organizational arrangement among at least three separately owned regional or local health care providers that come together to develop strategies for improving health services delivery systems in a community. For example, a critical access hospital, a community health center, and a public health department may collaborate to form a network around a shared purpose. Other examples of health care providers could be hospitals, public health agencies, home health providers, mental health centers, substance abuse service providers, rural health clinics, primary care providers, oral health providers, social service agencies, health profession schools, local school districts, emergency services providers, community and migrant health centers, federally-qualified health centers, tribal health programs, churches, and civic organizations that are/will be providing health related services.

The goals of the Network Planning program are centered around approaches that will aid providers in better serving their communities given the changes taking place in health care, as providers move from focusing on the volume of services to focusing on the value of services. The program will support one year of planning with the primary goal of helping networks create a foundation for their infrastructure and focusing member efforts to address important regional or local community health needs. The intent is that rural health networks will expand access to care, increase the use of health information technology, explore alternative health care delivery models and continue to achieve quality health care across the continuum of care from prevention and wellness to acute and long-term care.

Amount: Approximately $2,000,000 is expected to be available to fund up to 20 recipients at up to $100,000 each.

Eligibility: Applicants must be a rural nonprofit or rural public entity that represents a consortium/network composed of three or more health care providers. Federally-recognized tribal entities are eligible to apply as long as they are located in a rural area. The applicant organization must be located in a non-metropolitan county or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan county, and all services must be provided in a non-metropolitan county or rural census tract.

Link: https://www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/programopportunities/fundingopportunities/?id=0f63e220-e50d-45fa-bfb9-a819707a2e5a

Note: There is a technical assistance webinar on January 24, 2018, from 12:00-1:00 MST. See the solicitation for more details.

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