Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program

Announcement Number:
HRSA-16-015

Bureau/Office:
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Date(s) to Apply:
12/04/2015 to 02/08/2016

Estimated Award Date:
08/01/2016


What is the program?

This announcement solicits applications for the Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program (RVHAP).  A key component of the RVHAP is to facilitate coordination by the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as required in Section 1820 (g)(6)(C) of the Social Security Act.

RVHAP grant funds are to be used to increase the delivery of mental health services or other health care services for veterans living in rural areas through the use of health information technology.  For the purposes of this FOA, grant funds can be used for two primary focus areas:

Telehealth Networks (RVHAP-TH): providing clinical services to rural veterans from more distant clinicians including both direct interactive tele-consultations and store-and-forward applications of telehealth service; and/or;

Health Information Exchange Networks (RVHAP-HIE): activities to support the transfer of clinical information for veterans in rural areas to other providers both within VA and its electronic health record system and private providers who are involved in their care with the goal of improving care coordination for the rural veteran.

RVHAP goals are as follows:

To utilize telehealth and health information technology to enhance access and quality of mental health service and other healthcare services to veterans residing in rural areas.  These services include crisis intervention, detection of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other signature injuries which meet the needs of rural veterans.  The services provided with RVHAP grant funds are in conjunction with veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) initiatives;

To utilize telehealth and health information technology, including electronic health records, to help improve care coordination for veterans who are seen by both the Department of Veterans Affairs and private health care providers through the sharing of clinical information that is compatible with VA privacy and security standards and uses established methods of health information exchange (HIE) currently in use by VA;

To expand existing networks to provide access to mental health and other services to rural veterans via partnerships with other healthcare entities such as: critical access hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health clinics, State hospital associations, home health agencies, mental health service providers, pharmacists, local Government agencies, private practice physicians, and other providers who demonstrate the ability to provide access to health care services to  rural veterans;


Are you eligible?

1.      Eligible Applicants

Only States (Current Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program grantees in States with certified Critical Access Hospitals) are eligible to apply for funding under this solicitation. The Governor designates the eligible applicant from each State.  Eligibility is limited to entities designated by the Governor of States with certified critical access hospitals.

Foreign entities are not eligible for HRSA awards, unless the authorizing legislation specifically authorizes awards to foreign entities or the award is for research.  This exception does not extend to research training awards or construction of research facilities.

Special consideration of certain applications

Per Section 1820(g)(6)(B)(iv), HRSA will give special consideration in funding to applications submitted by States in which veterans make up a high percentage of the total population of the State.  Such consideration shall be given without regard to the number of veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom living in the areas in which mental health services and other health care services would be delivered under the application.  Applicants that qualify for the special consideration will be placed in a more competitive position among applications that can be funded.

Contact Us

Anthony Oliver

aoliver@hrsa.gov

Phone: (301) 443-2919