HRSA recently posted their “Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Grant Program” announcement seeking rural providers ready to implement quality improvement strategies. The plan is to help improve patient care and chronic disease outcomes for diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. The grant’s goal is to help rural primary care providers achieve these goals by using the Chronic Care Model along with Electronic Patient Registries (EPR).
Both the EHR and EPR are electronic systems, but the EPR captures information that is population-based with data on specific conditions. This grant program does not support funding for an EHR, but healthcare providers who currently have an EHR are still eligible to participate in the program.
Some of the previous grantees have used their experience working with EPRs as a stepping stone to electronic medical records adoption. These grantees also have interests in the medical home model to help spread and sustain their quality improvement initiatives that go beyond chronic disease tracking to disease prevention. Grantees have also developed business case models to help sustain their quality improvement initiatives.
The program will provide funding during FY 2010-2012. Approximately $6,000,000 is expected to be available annually and to fund up to 60 grantees. Applicants can request up to $100,000 per year. Funding beyond the first year is dependent on the availability of funds in subsequent fiscal years.
Applicants must be a rural public or rural non-profit private entity and must not have previously received a grant for the Rural Quality Grant Program or a similar project. Examples of eligible entities include rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, small rural hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. For profit Rural Health Centers and Critical Access Hospitals may also apply.
Eligible applicants must also meet at least one of these three requirements:
• Applicants must be located in a rural area
• Applicants exist exclusively to provide services to migrant and seasonal farm workers in rural areas
• Applicant is a Tribal government where grant funded activities will be conducted within their Federally recognized Tribal area