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Dec 9 -- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services, invites comments by February 7, 2023 regarding the Rural Health Network Development Planning Performance Improvement and Measurement System Database.

The purpose of the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (Network Planning Program) is to promote the planning and development of integrated health care networks to address the following legislative aims: (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of basic health care services and associated health outcomes; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. This program supports 1 year of planning and brings together key parts of a rural health care delivery system, particularly those entities that may not have collaborated in the past, to establish and/or improve local capacity in order to strengthen rural community health interventions and enhance care coordination. HRSA collects information from the Network Planning Program award recipients using approved performance measures. HRSA seeks to revise its approved information collection by increasing the total estimated annual burden hours, due to an increase in the number of program award recipients.

Performance measures for the Network Planning Program serve the purpose of quantifying awardee-level data that conveys the successes and challenges associated with the grant award. These measures and aggregate data substantiate and inform the focus and objectives of the grant program. The approved measures encompass the following principal topic areas: network infrastructure, network collaboration, sustainability, and network assessment.

The RHND Program encourages innovative strategies to address health care needs identified by local communities and supports rural communities in preparing for changes within the evolving health care landscape. The program creates an opportunity for rural health networks to work collaboratively to adapt to the emerging trends in rural healthcare, and meet the unique needs of the rural communities they serve. While the RHND Program provides the opportunity for community specific programs, grantees address key HHS priorities: readiness for the next public health emergency, health equity, mental health, and value-based care. The program encourages applicants to include populations that have historically suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities, as compared to the rest of the rural population. Examples of these populations include, but are not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, homeless populations, pregnant women, disabled individuals, youth and adolescents, etc.
HRSA recommends network members consist of a broad array of organizations from both traditional and non-traditional health care entities. Diverse network members may include cross-sector entities such as behavioral health organizations, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, community-based and social service organizations, colleges and universities and tribal organizations. Using the strength of diverse membership, the network should consider its service delivery approach to addressing pertinent rural health issues, such as hospital bypass rates and value-based care, in order to meet the program domains and effect long-term change. Systems of Care Approach One way applicants can improve access and enhance outcomes is through creating a systems of care approach. For the purposes of this program, systems of care is defined as a service delivery approach that uses community partnerships to create a coordinated array of broad and flexible services. The network, led by a core set of principles and values, will work together with the community to create or improve upon equitable systems, workflows and strategies to improve health outcomes.

Rural Health Network Development Program: https://www.hrsa.gov/grants/find-funding/HRSA-23-030
Draft Performance Improvement and Management System (PIMS) Measures https://www.dropbox.com/s/lt16vfv2wilnyfz/DRAFT%20-%20Network%20Planning%20PIMS%20Document.pdf?dl=0 (2020 forms: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=202004-0915-008&icID=211181)
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-26847

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