Sunday, April 22, 2012

Addressing Rural Healthcare

The healthcare delivery system is undergoing dramatic changes with financial incentives changing from volume-based to value-based services. Most early adopters of technology have been large urban-based integrated delivery systems.

As a result, there isn’t much known about how technology changes and environmental factors will affect rural healthcare delivery systems. Early pilots and demonstrations supported by private foundations or CMS have focused largely on providers paid under traditional administered pricing systems.

Since rural healthcare providers are often paid outside of the traditional prospective payment systems and fee schedules, there is less known about how new and emerging models might function in rural communities. As a result, policy makers and rural providers need to better understand the implications of new and emerging models for low-volume rural settings.

In addition, rural providers need to be supplied with technical assistance and information to take part in new pilots and demonstrations. To address these issues, HRSA is soliciting applications for the “Rural Health System Analysis and Technical Assistance (RHSATA) Cooperative Agreement” to research and assess the distinct characteristics of the current rural healthcare delivery system.

Applicants must have experience in analyzing rural health issues particularly in identifying emerging policy issues and developing rural delivery systems. The objective is to also analyze recent rural and non-rural national, regional, state and local demonstrations, and pilots to obtain any key lessons learned that may help future rural health policy development.

Eligible applicants include public, private, and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations as well as Indian tribal governments and organizations. The estimated amount for this competition of $6,000,000 is expected to be available annually to fund one awardee during FY 2012-2014.

The estimated project start date is September 01, 2012 with the end date to be August 31, 2015. For more information on HRSA-12-176, go to or contact Aaron Fischbach at or call 301-443-5487.