Program Summary

Program Summary

This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (“Network Planning”). The purpose of the Network Planning program is to assist in the development of an integrated health care network, 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.

A rural health network is defined as an organizational arrangement among at least three separately owned regional or local health care providers that come together to develop strategies for improving health services delivery systems in a community. Health care networks can be an effective strategy to help smaller rural health care providers and health care service organizations align resources and strategies, achieve economies of scale and efficiencies, and address challenges more effectively as a group than as single providers. For example, a critical access hospital, a community health center, and a public health department may collaborate to form a network around a shared purpose. Other examples of health care providers could be: hospitals, public health agencies, home health providers, mental health centers, substance abuse service providers, rural health clinics, primary care providers, oral health providers, social service agencies, health profession schools, local school districts, emergency services providers, community and migrant health centers, federally-qualified health centers, tribal health programs, churches, faith-based organizations, and civic organizations that are/will be providing health care.

The goals of the Network Planning program are centered around approaches that will aid providers in better serving their communities given the changes taking place in health care, as providers transition from focusing on the volume of services to focusing on the value of services. The intent is that rural health networks 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 from prevention and wellness to acute and long-term care.

The increasing focus on showing value in health care delivery creates 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. It remains critical in the health care environment for rural providers to participate in efforts such as implementing population health strategies to demonstrate the quality and value they provide rural residents.

Applicants must describe planning activities that support at least one of the legislative aims described below:

Aim #1: Achieve efficiencies The network will focus on identifying ways to achieve better system efficiencies and improve regional and/or local rural health care services.

Aim #2: Expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services The network will focus on ways to build capacity and a network infrastructure that enables entities to coordinate care and increase access to care for rural communities both locally and regionally.

Aim #3: Strengthen the rural health care system as a whole Network members will focus on ways to enhance community and partner relationships to promote involvement and participation in network planning activities. Additional information on examples of planning activities for the aims is located in Section VIII. Other Information under Pre-Application Planning Advice. Applicants should also clearly identify a focus area(s) that their network planning activities will address. 

The intent of the Network Planning program is to allow applicants the flexibility to determine their unique community needs and focus area(s), based on historical health care context, expertise, and relevant data sources in the community. Past Network Planning projects have had an array of project focus areas including (but not limited to): Care Coordination among Network Partners; Patient Engagement; Data Analytics/Health Information Technology; Rural Hospital Closure/ Conversion; Telehealth. Furthermore, the program creates an opportunity to address other clinical areas such as mental health, and substance use (particularly opioid use disorder). 

Application Limits

Application Limits

University is limited to one proposal.

Additional Information

Deadlines

UIC Letter of Intent
September 17, 2018
UIC Internal Competition
TBD
Sponsor Letter of Intent
N/A
Sponsor Application
November 30, 2018

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent (LOI) Form

Depending upon the number of LOIs submitted, OVCR might be required to facilitate an internal peer review process to select UIC’s submission(s) to this program.  White paper instructions will distributed to those who have submitted LOIs.

DEADLINES FOR LOIs and WHITE PAPERS ARE 12:00 PM (NOON) CHICAGO TIME

Please contact RDS at RDS@uic.edu or 312-996-9969 with any questions.

If an authorized principal investigator is not listed above, please consider the limited competition still open. Contact RDS@uic.edu for further information.