Rural Route
May, 2020
In this Issue
TASC Updates
MBQIP Updates
Webinars & Events
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Resource Library


State Flex Profiles




Rural Health Value


Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and finding ways to enjoy this final part of Spring! 

Thank you to everyone who attended TASC virtual events this month. If you weren't able to attend, or you'd like to review the webinars, both recordings  are available for the Flex Virtual Knowledge Group (VKG) on Telehealth and the TASC 90 webinar on COVID-19 and Flex Program Support .
Once again, thank you for reading Rural Route. We also encourage you to continue utilizing the Flex Forum as a means for networking with your peers, a place for Q&A and participation in meaningful discussions. I f you have questions or need assistance regarding the Flex Forum, or anything else, please reach out to me  or  TASC .

Best ,
Andy Naslund
Program Coordinator
Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC)

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Updates   
by  Tori Leach
Thank you for submitting your Flex Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) progress report on time. From the Flex Program side, those of you who submitted your full NCC reports can rest easy. States requesting to submit via the Request for Information (RFI) process will have the due date of July 15, 2020 to submit NCC reports. 

Just last week, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) allocated $225 million to more than 4,500  Rural  H ealth Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 Testing. Recipients of the distribution include each RHC with a unique,  active Centers for Medicare and Medicaid  (CMS) Certification Number (CCN ) listed in either the CMS Provider of Service file (March 2020) or the CMS Survey & Certification's Quality, Certification and Oversight Reports (QCOR) before May 7, 2020.
As you know, the  Provider Relief Fund was released in April. $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19. Please email your Flex Project Officer with any questions you or your stakeholders have about this funding.

FORHP wants to learn more about rural health care providers and communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please share any challenges, successes, or innovative strategies taking place in rural areas to address treating or preparing to treat COVID-19 patients to the inbox
CAH Regulatory Update
  • Multiple CMS comment requests, guidance, recommendations
  • Policy updates related to Rural Telementoring Training Center, HRSA Residency Planning and Development (RRPD), HRSA Rural HIV/AIDS Planning Program, Rural Communities Opioid Response Program- Planning, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data Collection for COVID-19 Response, CDC Comment Request on Pain, and Pain Management
  • COVID-19 Resources
Continue reading CAH Regulatory Updates (Flex Forum login required - contact  TASC for details)
Please help us welcome Holli Mills, Health Systems Support Coordinator of Utah! Welcome Holli!

We also bid a fond farewell to Chuck Lail of Alabama and Patsy Whaley of Georgia. We wish you both well!
Please keep your Flex staff contact information current by completing the  State Flex Program Contact Information Form  whenever there are staffing changes in your office. 
TASCUpdatesTASC Updates
FORHP 2020 Reverse Site Visit (RSV) 
Given the national spread of COVID-19, your health and safety are our top priorities. Therefore, FORHP and TASC are announcing that the FORHP 2020 Flex Program RSV in-person events are transitioning to a virtual format. Details are forthcoming. Please continue to hold the dates on your calendar for August 5-6, 2020.
The theme for the FORHP 2020 Flex Program RSV is Creating 20/20 Vision: Empowering Flexibility in Rural with a focus on the flexibility and adaptability in today's rapidly changing health care environment. Now more than ever, this work to empower rural hospitals will be important. The virtual event will provide state Flex Programs with a collaborative learning environment to make connections, share best practices, and gather lessons learned to empower and support state Flex Program and critical access hospital (CAH) flexibility. Through content and discussions, participants will be able to create clarity, or a 20/20 vision, for improving and strengthening rural health care. We look forward to your participation at this educational and informative event, and TASC will be following up soon regarding logistics for the virtual event.

NCC TASC Assistance
With the release of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Flex  Program Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Progress Report , and for those who requested to submit through the RFI for the July 15, 2020 extension, we would like to remind you that TASC is still available to review one component of your  cooperative agreement   progress report prior to your final submission (examples: work plan, narrative). If you would like assistance, please choose one section of your report for TASC to review.

Please submit your request to by June 26, 2020 and allow us five business days  to review.   TASC will respond with comments and suggestions, but we are unable to re-write content for you.
Please feel free post your questions in the  Flex Program Forum . If you have a question, someone else likely does too and will benefit from seeing the question and answer.
  • Non-Competing Continuation (NCC) Progress Report - Program Specific Instructions
  • FY 2019-FY 2024 Flex Program Work Plan Template
  • NCC Progress Report Technical Assistance Webinar Presentation
Please send your MBQIP questions to TASC will ensure your question reaches the appropriate person.
Webinars, Recordings & Events
Rural Health Leadership Radio  was launched to support rural health leaders in sharing stories and information about best practices and lessons learned. Check out their latest podcasts now! 

The most recent interview topics include vision  care in rural America, behavioral  health and addiction  treatment services, the challenges rural health leaders  face, and the challenge of recruiting providers.

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