U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program
The Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program (Rural Quality Program) will support planning and implementation of quality improvement activities for rural primary care providers or providers of health care services, such as a critical access hospital or a rural health clinic, serving rural residents. These activities include providing clinical health services to residents of rural areas by funding projects that coordinate, expand access, contain costs, and improve the quality of essential health care services. The program goal is to promote the development of an evidence-based quality improvement culture and to promote the delivery of cost-effective, coordinated health care services in primary care settings.
Successfully funded projects will enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas and demonstrate improvements in: 1) patient health outcomes for the rural communities served and 2) the delivery and quality of essential rural health care services by the end of the period of performance. Additional objectives of the program include enhanced chronic disease management and increased engagement of patients and their caregivers. The Rural Quality Program additionally requests project proposals focus on rural chronic disease management and/or the integration of mental/behavioral health services into the rural primary care setting.
Although it is not a requirement, the Rural Quality Program strongly encourages applicants to form a consortium or network for this program. As health care delivery becomes an increasingly collaborative environment, the formation of partnerships for community-based projects is an effective way to meet rural community needs, enhance organizational roles, and expand critical health care services and rural delivery systems. Further, consortia and networks can contribute great value to quality improvement initiatives through leveraging shared resources, information, and participation in incentive programs rewarding health care professionals for the provision of preventive and quality care services. Funding under this program may be used to provide start-up funds for quality improvement initiatives that allow recipients to develop the necessary capacity and ability to obtain funding from other sources.
Amount: A total of $6,400,000 is available to make up to 32 awards. The period of performance is three years.
Eligibility: Applicants must be a rural public or rural nonprofit private health care provider or provider of health care services, such as a critical access hospital or a rural health clinic; or a network of small rural providers; and must not previously have received an award under this subsection for the same or similar project. “Health care provider” may include, but is not limited to, entities such as black lung clinics, hospitals, public health agencies, home health providers, mental health centers and providers, 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 health centers/federally qualified health centers, tribal health programs, churches, and civic organizations that are providing health care services.
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