Federal Rural Health Network Development Planning Program Awardees Announced

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) awarded approximately $1.9 million to twenty awardees for the 2021 Rural Health Network Development Planning (Network Planning) Program. The Network Planning program, administered by HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) focuses on the planning and development of integrated health care networks, specifically network participants who do not have a history of formal collaborative efforts in order to (i) achieve efficiencies; (ii) expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and (iii) strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. The intent is that rural health networks, comprised of both rural and urban organizations, will expand access to care, increase the use of health information technology, explore alternative health care delivery models, and continue to achieve quality health care across the continuum of care.

Recipients from 16 states received up to $100,000 for a one-year project period that will focus on building, strengthening, and formalizing integrated health care networks and systems, coordinating service delivery, conducting community health needs assessments, and increasing service capacity.

The list of awardees can be viewed here.

With FORHP support, these organizations will work towards becoming operational and sustainable beyond the one-year project period, achieving long-term outcomes such as coordinating care, addressing behavioral health conditions, establishing services for the elderly, and managing community impacts and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. These value-added services will ultimately create incentives to develop regional systems of care that preserve local autonomy for rural communities, while also ensuring access to the appropriate continuum of care for the local service population. These funded organizations are helping to change how health care is being delivered in rural communities.