July 20 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services, invites public comment by September 18, 2023 on the Rural Health Network Development Program Performance Improvement Measurement System.
The Rural Health Network Development (RHND) program is authorized under section 330A(f) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 254c(f)). The purpose of this program is to support integrated health care networks that collaborate to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of basic health care services and associated health outcomes; and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. The program supports networks as they address gaps in service, enhance systems of care, and expand capacity of the local health care system.
RHND-funded programs promote population health management and the transition towards value-based care through diverse network participants that includes traditional and non-traditional network partners. Evidence of program impact demonstrated by outcome data and program sustainability are integral components of the program. This is a 4-year competitive program for networks composed of at least three participants that are existing health care providers. At least 66 percent of network participants must be located in a HRSA-designated rural area.
HRSA currently collects information about RHND awards using an OMB-approved set of performance measures and seeks to revise that approved collection. The proposed revisions are being implemented to better gather award recipient data in response to previously accumulated award recipient feedback, peer-reviewed research, and information gathered from the previously approved RHND measures.
This program needs measures that will enable HRSA to provide aggregate program data required by Congress under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. These measures cover the principal topic areas of interest to HRSA, including (a) access to care, (b) population demographics, (c) staffing, (d) consortium/network, (e) sustainability, and (f) project specific domains. All measures will evaluate HRSA's progress toward achieving its goals.
The proposed changes include additional components under questions surrounding the network's benefits and funding strategies, as well as the types of participant organizations. Questions surrounding Health Information Technology and Telehealth have been modified to reflect an updated telehealth definition based on renewed knowledge on the use of both Health Information Technology and Telehealth, and to improve understanding of how these important technologies are affecting HRSA award recipients. The Demographics and Services section now includes a question requesting grantees to identify which counties they have served during the project. Finally, revised National Quality Forum and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services measures were included to allow uniform collection efforts throughout the HRSA Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. The total number of responses has remained at 44 since the previous ICR. The new RHND grant cycle maintained the same number of award recipients and number of respondents.
RHND Program: https://www.hrsa.gov/grants/find-funding/HRSA-23-030
Draft data collection instrument https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/j2w90906c3cdld6jywo7l/RHND-PIMS_Draft-Changes_Clean_july-2023.docx?rlkey=9buw59zl9kj34txgbnbeumj0d&dl=0
Supporting statement will be available at a later date.