Elevating the Medicaid Enrollment Experience EMEE Voices Project

The Elevating Medicaid Enrollment Experience (EMEE) is a project executed by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, seeking ways to support administrative policies that will increase qualified West Virginians’ access to Medicaid. While federal and state agencies have worked for decades to improve the program, there are still gaps in Medicaid that require further investigation to ensure equitable access. EMEE is hosted by the Center on Budget and Policy across several states, such as Louisiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. It hopes to work alongside existing networks and coalitions to allow localized experiences to generate policy discussions within each respective state.

Within the EMEE project is EMEE Voices, which centers around lived experiences as data. In partnership with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, EMEE Voices will collect stories to inform which Medicaid barriers are most pertinent to West Virginians of color. Existing data asserts that structural barriers and stigma impact Black and brown West Virginians’ interactions with the program. However, more precise investigation is necessary for transforming these disparities into meaningful policy choices. Overall, this project will synthesize quantitative data from various sources, such as DHHR and national databases, and qualitative data, primarily storytelling and survey collection, to provide a holistic understanding of Medicaid barriers. Addressing the obstacles West Virginians of color face will improve Medicaid for all West Virginians, contributing to a healthier state. 

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FORHP Announcements – April 1

April 1, 2021

What’s New

American Rescue Plan Includes $6 Billion for CHCsThe sweeping, nationwide plan to recover from the pandemic will invest more than $6 billion in underserved and rural areas through Community Health Centers (CHCs). More than 91 percent of health center patients are individuals or families living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and more than 60 percent are racial or ethnic minorities.

Volunteer to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has expanded its definition of persons authorized to give the vaccine.  These include, among others, current and retired traditional and non-traditional health care professionals, and students in health care programs.

HHS: Special Enrollment Period for Health Coverage EXTENDEDLast week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that the special enrollment period for qualified individuals and families to purchase health insurance in states served by the HealthCare.gov platform has been extended to August 15.  Some states run their own health insurance enrollment websites and may or may not make a similar offer.  Enter your zip code to find local help. 

CHART Model’s ACO Track RFA Delayed to Spring 2022.  This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the release of the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Transformation Track Request for Applications (RFA) is delayed until spring 2022. The CHART Model aims to help rural communities transform their health care delivery systems. This delay applies only to the ACO Transformation Track.  Applications for the CHART Community Transformation Track are due by May 11, 2021.

HHS Reports on Risk of COVID-19 Infections in Fee-For-Service Medicare.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services points to several factors raising the risk of infections, hospitalization, and deaths. These risks vary across the country, with some geographic areas having higher concentrations of at-risk beneficiaries. This issue brief provides information on risk scores at the national, state, and county level, and includes a database of risk scores by county.

COMING SOON: Emergency Broadband Benefit ProgramThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) will make $3.2 billion available to qualifying households to lower the cost of high-speed internet service, providing discounts on internet service bills and an opportunity for a computer or tablet. The EBB program is similar to the Lifeline program with expanded eligibility, vendors, and subsidies.  We encourage you to develop a plan now to support patients to apply promptly after the application period is announced by the end of April; funds are expected to go quickly.

Funding and Opportunities

DOJ Services for Victims of Human Trafficking – Extended to April 16.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will make 27 awards of up to $800,000 each, for direct services to victims of human trafficking.  Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments, public housing authorities, and nonprofit organizations, with priority given to rural areas. A separate but related funding notice, DOJ Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking – Extended to April 16, will invest $15 million in 25 awards for programs that provide transitional housing and financial assistance.

Pre-Admissions Workshops for AI/AN Students in Health Professions Training/Schools – April 23.  The National Center for American Indian Health Professions helps American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) prepare for application to medical school or other advanced health professions program.  Selected students must be current high school seniors (18 years or older), current community college or undergraduate students, or recent college graduates.

Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs for the NHSC – May 6.  National Health Service Corps (NHSC) programs received an increase of $800 million in funding as part of the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief (see What’s New above). This additional funding will support the largest number of NHSC clinicians in the program’s history. There is one application for working health professionals to apply to the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program, and the NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program.  The NHSC Scholarship Program, which is for eligible medical, dental and nursing students in any year of training, provides up to four years of scholar support.   Applications for all programs are due on May 6.

SAMHSA Overdose Treatments for Use by First Responders – May 17.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will make up to 20 awards with total funding of $7.9 million to help first responders administer a drug or device for emergency reversal of opioid overdose.  Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments and tribal organizations.

Rural Health Research

Research in this section is provided by the HRSA/FORHP-supported Rural Health Research Gateway.  Sign up to receive alerts when new publications become available. 

Post-acute Care Trajectories for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: Planned versus Actual Hospital Discharges to Skilled Nursing Facilities and Home Health Agencies. Post-acute care services are designed to help patients transition from hospitalization in acute care facilities to their homes. Skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies provide the majority of post-acute care services to Medicare beneficiaries. This study from the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center used Medicare administrative data for rural, fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries to describe post-acute care trajectories following acute hospitalization and examine differences between planned discharge disposition from the hospital and actual post-acute care received.

Policy Updates

Visit the FORHP Policy page to see all recent updates and send questions to ruralpolicy@hrsa.gov.

CMS Guidance to Resume Hospital Survey ActivitiesAs of March 23, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is lifting the suspension on hospital survey activities, which was put in place due to the public health emergency.  Non-immediate jeopardy complaints received during the suspension period will be investigated within 45 days of the memo’s release.  Hospitals with surveys that ended after January 20, 2021 will have 10 days from the memo’s release to develop plans of correction, unless an extension is requested.

Updated Guidance on Emergency Preparedness RequirementsOn March 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance interpreting the emergency preparedness requirements in the Burden Reduction Final Rule of 2019, which applies to all providers and suppliers.  In response to the public health emergency, the guidance also provides best practices, lessons learned, and planning considerations for emerging infectious diseases.

Learning Events and Technical Assistance

HRSA Building COVID-19 Vaccine Trust for Patients – Wednesday, April 7 at 1:00 pm ET. The Bureau of Health Workforce at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) invites clinicians, grantees, students, and the public at large to the Clinical Leaders Forum webinar: Building COVID-19 Vaccine Trust for Community Health Center Patients.

ASTHO Tackling Inequities in Digital Care Webinar – Monday, April 12 at 2:00 pm ET.  The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) will hold a 90-minute webinar to present innovations that improve digital equity and potentially lower disparities.

NHLBI: Disease Management Tools for the Underserved – Wednesday, April 14 at 10:00 am.  The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is hosting a two-day virtual workshop to discuss barriers to—and opportunities for—improving heart, lung, blood, and sleep health in underserved communities. Participants will discuss how to tailor health monitoring devices and tools that diagnose patients in underserved, low-resource, and remote communities.

NTIA Series on Broadband Grant Programs – Wednesday, April 14 at 2:30 pm ET.  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will hold a series of webinars in connection with three new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: The Broadband Infrastructure Program, the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, and the Connecting Minority Communities Program. The webinars, taking place April – July, are designed to help applicants prepare high quality grant applications.

HRSA: Expanding Rural OUD Treatment via Telehealth – Thursday, April 15 at 12:00 pm ET.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will hold a one-hour session to highlight innovative telehealth for treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in rural areas.

Rural Community Health Workers for COVID-19 – Thursday, April 15 at 1:00 pm ET.  The National Rural Health Association (NRHA), in partnership with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), will host an hour-long webinar featuring Dr. John Brooks, Medical Epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See more about rural Community Health Workers below under Resources of the Week.

Resource of the Week

Opioid and Substance Use Strategies for CAHs. The HRSA/FORHP-funded Flex Monitoring Team has released their archived webinar on opioid and substance use in rural communities.  The webinar took place in February to accompany a policy brief published last year.  The webinar discusses why Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) should address these issues, provides a framework to support them in this work, and provides examples of activities CAHs are participating in.

Approaching Deadlines

DOJ Violence Against Women Grants to Indian Tribal Governments – April 7

HRSA Behavioral Workforce Education and Training Program for Paraprofessionals – April 12

HRSA Grants for RCORP – Psychostimulant Support – April 12

CMS Community Health Access and Rural Transformation Model (CHART) – Letters of Intent (Optional) April 13

DOJ Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program – April 13

DOJ Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women – Extended to April 13  (from March 16)

NIH Community COPD Awareness – April 14

Information Requested: NIH Improving the Mental Health of Rural People – April 15

DOJ Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking – Extended to April 16 (from March 1) 

DOJ Services for Victims of Human Trafficking – Extended to April 16 (from March 2)  

SAMHSA SBIRT Program for Substance Use Disorder – April 19

HHS Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 – April 20

Pre-Admissions Workshops for AI/AN Students in Health Professions Training/Schools – April 23

CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Surveillance – April 25

DOJ Tribal-Researcher Capacity Building Grants – April 26

DOL Grants for State Apprenticeship Programs – April 26

DOL Young Adult Reentry Partnership – April 26

SAMHSA: MAT for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction – April 27

USDA Rural Health and Safety Education Grants – April 29

CMS Primary Care First Model Cohort 2 – April 30

Delta Region Innovative Readiness Training Medical Missions – Letters of Intent April 30

NIH Firearm Injury/Mortality Prevention Research – April 30

CDC Preventing Violence Affecting Young Lives – May 1

John Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Scholarship – May 1

CDC National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities – May 3

NIH Small Business Innovations for Improving Minority Health – May 3

HUD Older Adults Home Modification Grants – May 4

NHSC Loan Repayment Program – May 6

NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program – May 6

NHSC Scholarship Program – May 6

NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program – May 6

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program – May 6

NIH Research for End-of-Life and Palliative Care Health Literacy – May 7

EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving – May 7

Treasury Department Emergency Capital Investment Program – May 7

ACL Alzheimer’s Disease Program Grants to States and Communities – Extended to May 10 (from April 26)

CDC Drug Free Communities – May 10

CMS Community Health Access and Rural Transformation Model (CHART) – Extended to May 11 (from March 16)

Enhancement Grants for Native American Library Services – May 11

EPA Technical Assistance for Wastewater Treatment – May 17

SAMHSA Overdose Treatment for Use by First Responders – May 17

Comments Requested:  Proposed Changes to the Census Bureau Definition of Urban – May 20

CMS Minority Research Grant Program – June 11

USDA Summer Food Service Program – June 15

Special Enrollment Period for Health Coverage – Extended to August 15 (from May 15)

Ongoing Opportunities

Extended Public Comment Period for FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program

AHRQ Research to Improve Patient Transitions through HITDecember 2022

American Indian Public Health Resource Center Technical Assistance

ASA Rural Access to Anesthesia Care Scholarship

CDC Direct Assistance to State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Health Agencies

CDC Training Pediatric Medical Providers to Recognize ACEs

Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program

Department of Commerce: Economic Development Assistance Programs

Department of Labor Dislocated Worker Grants

Department of Labor Stand Down Grants for Veterans Services – through December 2021

DRA Technical Assistance for Delta Region Community Health Systems Development

EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program – Public Comments Requested

GPHC & RWJF: Rapid Cycle Research and Evaluation Grants for Cross-Sector Alignment

Housing Assistance Council: Housing Loans for Low-Income Rural Communities

HUD Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program

IHS Tribal Forensic Healthcare Training

IHS/DOD Medical Supplies and Equipment for Tribes (Project TRANSAM)

NARHC Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional Course

NIH Practice-Based Research for Mental Health Interventions in Pediatric Primary Care SettingsJuly 1, 2021 (Letters of Intent June 1)

NIH Research to Improve Health Care Quality and Outcomes Through HIT – July 17, 2021

NIH Research for AI/AN End-of-Life CareJanuary 8, 2022

NIH Dissemination and Implementation Research in HealthMay 2022

NIH Research – Alcohol and Other Substance Use – Various Dates Through August 2022

NIH Research on Minority Health/Health DisparitiesSeptember 8, 2022

NIH Research on Palliative Care in Home/Community Settings – September 8, 2022

NIH Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health – Various Dates Until September 2023

Nominations for Federal Advisory Commission on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Nominations for National Advisory Committee on Migrant Health

Opportunity Zones for Economic Development

Primary Care Development Corporation Community Investment Loans

Rural Graduate Medical Education Planning and Development

RWJF Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health

RWJF Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals

SBA Guaranteed Loans for Small Business

Southeast Rural Community Assistance Loans

Tribal Grant Writing Training

USDA Community Facilities Program

USDA Community Food Projects Technical Assistance

USDA Drinking Water and Waste Disposal for Rural and Native Alaskan Villages

USDA Economic Impact Initiative Grants

USDA Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

USDA Guaranteed Loans for Rural Rental Housing – through 2021

USDA Intermediary Relending Program

USDA Rural Business Development Grants

USDA Rural Business Investment Program

USDA Rural Energy Savings Program

USDA Summer Food Program

USDA Technical Assistance for Healthy Food Financing Initiative

USDA Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans

USDA Funding for Rural Water and Waste Disposal Projects

USDOT Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (R.O.U.T.E.S)

The Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy are distributed weekly. To subscribe, sign up for Rural Health Updates at HRSA.gov.

Implications of Coronavirus for People Living with HIV/AIDS

       

It is unknown how many people living with HIV/AIDS have tested positive for Covid-19 in the United States. The ADAP Advocacy AssociationCommunity Access National NetworkCommunity Education GroupHealthHIV, and the Legacy Health Endowment are working in collaboration to gain a greater perspective on this issue. As such, if you are HIV-positive and reside in the United States, then please take one minute to complete our very brief survey.

TAKE THE SURVEY

 

West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. Launches Project to Discern Community Perceptions of Harm Reduction Efforts

During January 2021, the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, Inc. will conduct an analysis of community opinions on SUD, harm reduction, and syringe exchange. The project is not intended to assess or evaluate any specific program but will assess community perceptions and attitudes and determine gaps that exist in addressing SUD (specifically in Kanawha County). The research will include an online (anonymous) short-survey individuals can complete. The survey will be open to the public via the Institute’s website, www.wvdii.org, from January 8 through 22, 2021. Individuals wishing to participate in the additional discussion (listening sessions or focus groups in late January) can choose to identify themselves and share contact information. The project will culminate in the release of a document summarizing the survey data and focus groups along with recommendations for addressing SUD in Kanawha County and the State.

Take the Survey

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