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Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 93.912
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Nov 30, 2018

For programmatic questions:
Sara Afayee, MSW

For business, administrative, and fiscal questions:
Ardena Githara, MNM


The Rural Health Network Development Planning Program provides grants to promote the planning and development of healthcare networks in order to achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services; and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole.

The major focus of the Network Planning Grant is to support multiple (at least 3) rural healthcare entities that have not previously collaborated in a formal manner, but want to work together and form a healthcare network. The grant program supports one year of planning to develop and assist healthcare networks in becoming operational.

Grantees may use funds to conduct planning activities that must support at least one of the following:

Achieve efficiencies - Identifying ways to achieve better system efficiencies and improve regional and/or local rural healthcare services. This may include:

  • Conducting community health and/or provider needs assessments at the regional and/or local level
  • Updating a health information technology plan, which helps to improve outcomes for rural patients, based on the current standards of care, reporting enhancements, and/or capacity
  • Collaborating with the local charitable hospital to develop an implementation plan for addressing community needs identified by the triennial community health needs assessment
  • Identifying a plan for developing regional systems of care to better meet rural patient concerns

Expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential healthcare services - Identify ways to build capacity and a network infrastructure that enables entities to coordinate care and increase access to care for rural communities. This may include:

  • Developing a network business and/or operations plan
  • Identifying the degree to which the network members are ready to integrate their functions and share clinical and/or administrative resources
  • Assessing appropriateness/readiness for Patient Centered Medical Home accreditation
  • Identifying strategies to communicate with the community about changes in the healthcare landscape and how to maintain access to viable healthcare services
  • Developing a plan to expand the role of emergency medical services within the community
  • Developing a plan to ensure access to essential services in communities that have lost a hospital or consider options for ensuring access in areas where the hospital is at risk of closing

Strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole - Enhance community and partner relationships to promote involvement and participation in network planning activities. This may include:

  • Identifying ways to encourage cross-organizational collaboration and leadership commitment
  • Assessing the network's sustainability and viability
  • Identifying opportunities for the network to better address regional and/or local population health needs
  • Identifying and establishing ways to obtain regional and/or local community support/buy-in around the development of the network
  • Identify a strategy to leverage broadband connectivity to support health information technology applications in rural communities

The applicant organization must be a rural nonprofit organization, public entity, or federally recognized tribe that represents a consortium/network of 3 or more healthcare providers and has not previously received funding through this program. The applicant organization must be located in a non-metropolitan county or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan county, and all services must be provided in a non-metropolitan county or rural census tract.

Geographic coverage
Nationwide and U.S. territories
Amount of funding

Award Ceiling: $100,000
Project period: 1 year
Estimated Number of Awards: 22
Estimated Total Program Funding: $2,200,000

Application process

Links to the full announcement and electronic application are available through

Applicants are required to notify the appropriate State Office of Rural Health (SORH) of an intent to apply to this program. A copy of the letter of intent sent to the SORH and any response received must be included as an attachment to the application. Letter of intent procedures for U.S. territories that do not have a SORH are available in the application instructions.

Applicant webinar recording
Playback number: 888.203.1112
Passcode: 7777382

Tagged as
Broadband · Health information technology · Healthcare facilities · Healthcare networks · Needs assessment methods and resources · Networking and collaboration · Planning and strategy methods and resources · Recruitment and retention of health professionals · Technology for health and human services

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