DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Office of Rural Health
Date of this notice: November 20, 2020
Grant Applications will be accepted beginning November 20, 2020
Deadline to Receive Applications: February 15, 2021
Working Title of the funding program: Community Health Grants
Purpose: Description of function of the program and the reason why it was created:
Safety net organizations are facing increasing demand for access to services in communities across our state, not the least of which has been the current Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Safety net organizations have had to quickly adapt to the new environment to improve access and sustainability.
These grant funds, supported through the North Carolina General Assembly, are for assuring access to primary and preventive care to meet the health needs of our state’s most vulnerable populations. Strengthening the safety net through increased levels of collaboration and integration of services and organizations to more effectively sustain and meet the needs of those served is also an important purpose of this grant.
Primary care safety net organizations that care for underserved and medically indigent patients in the state are eligible to apply for this funding to pay for patient care through encounter-based reimbursement (Track A) or through reimbursement for eligible expenses (Track B). Telehealth services and equipment are eligible expenses in both tracks. Applicants must select ONE track.
Track A: Encounter based reimbursement. Payment per patient encounter for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents, who do not have health care coverage or access to primary health care services. Visits are reimbursable for medically necessary, on-site, face-to-face provider encounters. Face-to-face encounters may also include telehealth patient encounters with a provider.
NOTE - Per the Free Clinics Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Program Policy Guide, grant funding that applies to reimbursement, payment, or compensation for the delivery of health services to patients falls within the statutory prohibition, while grant funding that is not intended for or applied to this purpose does not. Free clinics that are FTCA recipients that choose a “per encounter’ reimbursement methodology may void their FTCA liability protection.
Free and Charitable Clinics, as well as other safety-net organizations, should review any Federal COVID Relief Funds received to be sure they are not duplicating or supplanting Community Health Grant funds for Federal funds should the deadline to expend Federal COVID funds be extended beyond December 30, 2020.
Track B: Reimbursement for eligible expenses. Payment may include salary/fringe for clinical staff, medical/office supplies and equipment, and capital expenses, including equipment for telehealth services.
Technical Assistance: Webinars: Webinar FAQs Document
Webinars by Medicaid Regions (Appendix A linked below) were held on the following dates and the recorded webinar links are below:
December 16, 2020 at 3:00 pm – Regions 4 and 6
Webinar Recording Link
December 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm – Regions 3 and 5
Webinar Recording Link
December 7, 2020 at 10:00 am – Regions 1 and 2
Webinar Recording Link
Funding requests will depend on money awarded for program use. Previous applicants are aware that the program has had a “bubble” year every third year that creates a disproportionate number of grant awards and makes the next two years in the cycle extremely competitive. To ameliorate the bubble and provide opportunities for grant applicants who have not received an award in more competitive years, this cycle will award grants as follows:
Highest scoring applicants may receive a three-year award OR a one-year award, based on applicant scores. We anticipate that approximately 33 applicants will receive three-year funding and another 28 will receive one-year funding. This plan will stay in effect until SFY 24 to equalize the funding available for the competitive cycle each year going forward.
Maximum Award Amount:
Applicants may request up to $150,000 per year of the grant. Capital funds granted in Year One will be deducted in Year 2 and Year 3, as they are considered one-time costs.
Proposed Project Period or Contract Term:
State Fiscal Year 2022: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
All primary care safety net organizations that provide direct primary and preventive care and serve as a medical home and are eligible to apply. This includes:
- Federally qualified health centers and look-alikes (FQHCs),
- Free and charitable clinics,
- Health departments,
- Hospital-owned primary care clinics,
- Rural health centers,
- School-based and school-linked health centers,
- AHEC clinics
- Other non-profit community organizations that provide direct primary and preventive patient care to low-income, uninsured, underinsured and medically vulnerable populations.
Eligible organizations that provide direct primary and preventive care may use these funds to support any of the following:
- health promotion, health maintenance, health counseling,
- disease prevention,
- patient education,
- diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings (care coordination/care management by a primary care entity, behavioral health, oral health, women’s health, maternal and child health that supports health care services in a primary care setting),
- collaborative community-based whole person-centered health care delivery models
- telehealth patient care,
- community health workers.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Rural Health (ORH) work to advance the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians in collaboration with a wide array of partners and stakeholders. In its Strategic Plan, 2019-2021, /ncdhhs-strategic-plan-2019-2021-web/download, the Department focuses on and encourages collaboration among community partners in integrating physical health and behavioral health services, increasing community awareness and prevention of drug overdose and death, and the importance of healthy children and families.
All applicants are encouraged to consider such collaborations. When describing collaborative relationships, outline specific partnerships within the community and their role in the partnership. If applicants in communities with multiple safety net organizations cannot show collaborative relationships, please address the barriers that exist to developing these relationships.
As a condition of receiving a grant award, successful applicants must:
- Submit a monthly expense report in a specified format for reimbursement
- Submit performance reports quarterly or biannually throughout the grant term
- Use an electronic financial software application (EXCEL spreadsheets are not acceptable formats)
- Document collaborations among safety net and social support organizations specifying distinct roles of each organization and designated fiscal responsibilities.
- Connect to NC HealthConnex (To meet the state’s mandate, a provider is “connected” when its clinical and demographic information are being sent to NC HealthConnex at least twice daily.” For further information, please see the HIEA website: https://hiea.nc.gov)
How to Apply:
Applicants must submit the following documents electronically through the electronic survey.
1. Organizational Information and Signature Sheet
2. Organizational Profile
3. Summary of Evaluation Criteria and Baseline Data
4. Grant Narrative
Deadline for Submission:
Grant applications must be received electronically by the Office of Rural Health by February 15, 2021.
Only electronic applications will be accepted. Access to the electronic application is a two-step process:
1. You must submit your organization name and contact information through the following link which opens November 20, 2020 and closes on February 15, 2021: Survey Link
2. Please begin the application process in time to have it completed by February 15, 2021, as no new application links will be open on that day.
3. Once you submit your contact information in the link above, you will receive an email with a personalized link specific to your organization. The link in the e-mail will give you access to the electronic application. The application closes February 15, 2021.
How to Obtain Further Information: Funding Agency Contact/Inquiry Information: Ginny Ingram at email@example.com or 919-527-6457
Community Health Grants SFY 2022 Medicaid Region Map (Appendix A)