DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Office of Rural Health
Date of this notice: June 13, 2022
Grant Applications will be accepted beginning June 13, 2022
Deadline to Receive Applications: July 22,2022
Working Title of the funding program: Virtual Behavioral Services Grant Program
Purpose: Description of function of the program and reason why it was created:
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was enacted on March 11, 2021, to provide relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. A component of ARPA is the State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) which provides $5.4 billion to North Carolina to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery. Funds can be used to:
- Support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease spread of the virus and bring the pandemic under control.
- Replace lost revenue for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs.
- Support immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses.
- Address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic.
The N.C. General Assembly appropriated SFRF in Session Law 2021-180. Under this Session Law, Section 9B.8A.(a) established the creation of the competitive Virtual Behavioral Health Services Grant Program to expand telepsychiatry capacities to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency by allowing patients being served in primary care settings to access hospital-based virtual psychiatric assessments and consultations from a primary care provider’s office, from home, or from another nonhospital setting.
The N.C. Office of State Budget and Management has determined that the SFRF funding for this grant program is classified as provision of government services within the state’s calculated reduction of revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This award will be administered and reported under Expenditure Category 6.1 – Revenue Replacement: Provision of Government Services – under the United States Department of the Treasury’s Compliance and Reporting Guidance (updated February 28, 2022).
The North Carolina Office of Rural Health (ORH) is accepting applications from hospitals to fund expanded telepsychiatry capabilities as a response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This initiative will allow patients being served in a primary care setting to access hospital-based virtual psychiatric assessments and consultations. At a minimum, telepsychiatry capabilities must facilitate patient access to hospital-based virtual telepsychiatry services from a primary care provider's office, from home, or from another nonhospital setting. Applicant must demonstrate ability to maintain patient safety and ensure continuity of care. A key component of SFRF is ensuring projects are designed with equity in mind. The projects submitted under this RFA will need to demonstrate equity by indicating which populations are the intended audience (historically underserved, marginalized or adversely affected groups, economically disadvantaged communities, rural and underserved communities, etc.). Applicant must develop and document a realistic and achievable project sustainability plan. For the purposes of this RFA, an originating site is defined as the location of the patient and a distance site is defined as the telehealth site where the provider/ specialist is seeing the patient at a distance.
All North Carolina-based hospitals with behavioral health programs that can be expanded to include virtual services in primary care settings, from home, or from another nonhospital setting are eligible to apply. Only one application per hospital system will be accepted.
Maximum Award Amount: $1,500,000
All funds must be used for costs incurred during the period that begins on March 3, 2021 and ends on December 31, 2024. Funds for financial obligations incurred by December 31, 2024 must be expended by December 31, 2026.
Funding requests are contingent upon availability of program funding. This funding is not recurring. Highest scoring applicants will receive an award based on scoring criteria established in this RFA. Awards will represent multiple geographic areas of the State.
As a condition of receiving a grant award, successful applicants must:
- Complete contract process by specified due date
- Submit expense reports in a format specified by ORH for reimbursement
- Submit performance reports quarterly or biannually throughout the grant term as specified by ORH
- Connect or have a plan to 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)
- Develop and document a realistic and achievable project sustainability plan
- Provide letter of collaboration or MOU/MOA signed by primary care offices or non-hospital settings that are not owned, operated or managed by the applicant hospital.
- The Recipient is responsible for adhering to all state and federal requirements on record retention and any changes to state and federal requirements during the contract period. The Recipient shall maintain all pertinent records for a period of five years after all funds have been expended or returned to US Treasury or until all audit exceptions have been resolved, whichever is longer.
How to Apply:
Applicants must submit the following documents electronically through the electronic application.
1. Organizational Information and Signature Sheet
2. Organizational Profile
3. Summary of Evaluation Criteria and Baseline Data
4. Grant Narrative
6. Federal Certifications
7. Conflict of Interest Acknowledgement and Related Policy
8. EO224 COVID Vaccination and Testing Certification
9. IRS Tax Exemption Certification
10. State Certification
11. No Overdue Tax Debt Certification
12. FFATA form
Access to Electronic Application:
Access to the electronic application is a two-step process:
Step One: Use the ORH application link to submit the hospital name and contact information. The link opens on June 13,2022 and closes on July 22,2022.
ORH Application Link: https://ncruralhealth.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5w0gyxXnEwjp2C2
Step Two: Upon submitting the required information to the ORH Application Link, an email with a personalized link specific to your hospital will be sent. The link in the email will provide access to the electronic application. The application closes July 22,2022. Please begin the application process in time to ensure completion on or before July 22,2022. No new application links will be sent after July 22,2022.
Applications must be complete, and agencies must respond to all application requirements. Incomplete applications, or applications not completed in accordance with the instructions, will not be reviewed.
All applicants will receive a confirmation notice after an application has been successfully submitted.
For assistance with the application link contact: Eric Bell at email@example.com
How to Obtain Further Information:
All questions regarding the RFA and/or application should be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding Agency Contact/Inquiry Information: Eric Bell at email@example.com
Technical Assistance Webinar:
June 22,2022 at 10:00 AM