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Optimizing Virtual Care (OVC) Telehealth Grant

Optimizing Virtual Care Funding Opportunity

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Grant Overview:

HRSA recently announced a new grant opportunity for facilities that meet H80 status. This grant is aimed to award 25 facilities with up to $2 million in funding to create and implement innovative virtual care solutions, including remote patient monitoring. The purpose of the New OVC grant is to support health centers to develop, implement and evaluate innovative evidence-based strategies that improve the use of virtual care. These strategies will increase access and improve clinical quality for underserved communities and vulnerable populations and can be adapted and scaled across the Health Center.  Here is a complete breakdown of what you need to know about the grant including project criteria, submission requirements, and budget outline:

Award Information: 

  • One time Funding 
  • Total Funding: $50 million 
  • Expected Awards: 25
  • Max per Award: $2 million
  • 2-year period performance: (3/1/22-2/29/24)
  • New Grant Award (award code Q8V)

Requirements: 

  • H80 
  • Doesn’t exceed the 50-page limit
  • Meet Grants.gov and HRSA Electronic Handbooks deadlines
  • Applications must: 
  • Demonstrate how you will use OVC funds to develop and implement innovative, evidence-based strategies 
  • Present a robust plan to optimize the use of virtual care
  • Award recipients must collect and share data with the coordination and evaluation center

What is considered Virtual Care?

  • Mobile Health Apps
  • Remote Patient Monitoring 
  • Connected Consumer & Medical Devices 
  • Telehealth Technologies
  • AI & Machine Learning 

Optimizing Virtual Care: 

  • If rewarded with the grant you will best leverage technology to effectively increase access and improve quality in a sustainably viable and optimal manner 
    • Determine how to best leverage technology 
    • Optimal balance of face to face and virtual visits
    • How to advance health IT interoperability
    • Which patient populations will most benefit from which types of virtual care
    • Workforce and/or staffing models that enhance the effectiveness of virtual care
  • Ensure access and continuity of care for vulnerable populations 

Ensure vulnerable populations are included and not marginalized 

Innovation

The aim of finding innovative solutions is to improve one or more domains of health care quality or reduce health care disparities. It is improving on processes your facility is currently doing to improve the quality of care the facility delivers and reduce the healthcare disparities with underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

Innovation Defined: 

  • The implementation of new or altered 
    • Products
    • Services
    • Processes 
    • Systems
    • Policies
    • Organizational structures
    • Business models

Funding Expectations:

  • Develop, implement and evaluate innovative virtual care strategies 
  • Actively participate in collaborative learning and evaluation activities with award recipients and the coordination and evaluation center 
  • Engage in continuous QI
  • Ensure vulnerable populations are not further marginalized 
    • Apply innovative solutions 
    • Recognize and be responsive to: 
      • Patient engagement and digital health literacy 
      • Access to technology Social determinants of health 
      • Health disparities in aces and clinical quality 

Allowable Activities and Costs:

  • Provision of virtual clinical services
  • Leveraging community partnerships to address social determinants of health
  • Staff education and training 
  • Patient engagement and outreach 
  • Integration, development, enhancement of digital platforms and tools such as RPM
  • Patient-centered care coordination
  • Supplies and equipment purchases
  • Minor alteration/renovation

Grant Applications Process: 

Phase 1: Grants.gov

  • SF-424: Application for Federal Assistance 
  • Project Abstract (attached under box 15 of the SF-424)
  • Project/Performance Site Locations 
  • Lobbying Form (s)
  • Key Contacts

Phase 2: Electronic Handbooks (EHB’S)

  • Project Narrative
  • SF-424A: Budget Information Form
  • Budget Narrative
  • Attachments (Logic Model and Work Plan)
  • Program Specific Forms

Project Narrative and Review Criteria

  • Need (10 points)
  • Response (35 points)
  • Resources/Capabilities (30 points)
  • Impact (15 points)
  • Support Requested (10 points)

The most successful OVC Award recipients will be health centers with strong foundations of delivering high-quality patient-centered care via telehealth and a plan for optimizing virtual care through the use of evidence-based practices and innovative strategies.

Need: 

  • Access to care and patient engagement
  • Clinical quality, health outcomes, and health disparities
  • Social determinants of health 
  • Bases of Proposal 
  • Virtual care prior to COVID-19
  • Leveraging telehealth to support access to comprehensive, patient-centered high-quality care during COVID-19
  • Evidence-based models, Frameworks, and other applied research

Response:

The response holds the most weight in determining grant awardees. In this section, you will describe your use and the evolution of how your facility has utilized virtual care over the last several years

  • Barriers and facilitators to telehealth over time
  • Types of services provided virtually 
  • Percentage of virtual visits provided each year
  • Other virtual strategies for patient engagement, education, and improving health outcomes
  • How proposal will build on past experiences 

Response: Logic Model 

A visual representation of: 

  • Resources you have to operate your OVC project
  • Planned activities 
  • Short and long term results

Resources/inputs > Activities > Outputs > Outcomes > Impact

Response: Work Plan 

What is a work plan?

  • An action guide used during project implementation 
  • Activities that align with the logic model
  • Demonstrate how you would use OVC funds to develop, implement and evaluate innovative evidence-based strategies that optimize the use of virtual care to increase access to comprehensive patient-centered care and improve clinical quality for underserved communities and vulnerable populations  

Activity > Key Action Steps > Person (s) Responsible > Timeframe

Response: Innovation 

Your innovative strategies can be new services, processes, systems, and more, aiming to improve quality and access to care and is scalable across the healthcare community.

Describe how your proposed strategies: 

  • Differ from approaches or strategies previously employed
  • Offer innovative solutions to the challenges and needs you’ve identified in the needs section

Resources and Capabilities 

  • Describe your capacity to implement and evaluate, including experience:
    • Using virtual tools
    • With health IT interoperability and using data
  • Describe the organizational capabilities and resources, including: 
    • Key personnel and partnerships
    • Recognition
    • Experience in rapid-cycle QI and practice transformation 
    • Experience collecting and analyzing data to develop strategies that address health disparities 

Impact:

The impact section in the project narrative should build on the section presented in your logic model. In this section you will describe: 

  • Key impacts you anticipate on access to comprehensive patient-centered care in clinical quality including any projected reduction in health disparity
  • Measures you will use to access and track the performance and how you will 
  • Maximize investment  in OVC collaborative learning and evaluation activities

Support Requested: SF-424A and Budget Narrative

Submit a budget narrative for each year of the two-year period. You may not exceed $2 million for the total Federal Funding Request. Up to $500k may be requested for equipment and minor A&R. 

Form 1B: BPHC Funding Request Summary 

  • Complete the SF-424A: Budget Information Form before completing Form 1B
  • Maximum amount: $2million 
  • Indicate if requesting funds for: 
    • Equipment (no minor A/R)
    • Minor A/R with equipment
    • Minor A/R without equipment 
    • N/A (no funding requested for equipment or minor A/R)

Project Overview Form 

Visits: 

  • Provide the number of face to face clinic and virtual visits for all service types in UDS for 2020
  • Based on your H80 number 2019, UDS numbers will prepopulate
  • Scope of Project:
    Indicate if changes will be required for Form 5A, 5B or 5C
  • Provide an overview of the changes and timeline for making the necessary requests

Post-Award Expectations and Reporting

  • Actively participate in collaborative learning and evaluation activities, including: 
    • Collecting and sharing data to support OVC evaluation and reporting activities
    • Participating in peer to peer learning and knowledge sharing 
    • Incorporating feedback for data management and analysis 
  • Complete biannual progress reports describing accomplishments and barriers toward implementing the proposed project

FAQ’s 

Can I qualify if my facility already has telehealth services?

Yes. However, applications that demonstrate a strong foundation of delivering high-quality, patient-centered care via telehealth are likely to score higher through objective review. Applications will be reviewed based on demonstrated capacity to systematically design, implement, and evaluate ways to optimize the use of virtual care, which includes experience using virtual tools to increase access to comprehensive, patient-centered care and experience with health information technology (IT) interoperability and rapid cycle quality improvement to support the success of the project.

How can I access the OVS NOFO and application package?

Follow the instructions below:

  • Go to grants.gov
  • Search Grants using Opportunity Number HRSA-22-097
  • Click the Opportunity Number link (HRSA-22-097)
  • Click the Package tab (rightmost tab)
  • Under Actions, click on Preview
    • Click the Download Instructions gray bar for the NOFO
    • Click the links to view the forms to be submitted in Grants.gov
  • Click the APPLY button to use the Grants.gov Workspace to apply

Resources: 

Telehealth.HHS.gov: How to get or provide remote health care
Health Literacy | health.gov

National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers | Home

National Technology Center – Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center (telehealthresourcecenter.org)

FAQ’s 

FY 2022 OVC Frequently Asked Questions | Bureau of Primary Health Care (hrsa.gov)

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