Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation Request for Nominations for Voting Members
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT). The ACOT was established by the Amended Final Rule of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) (42 CFR part 121) and, in accordance with Public Law 92-463, was chartered on September 1, 2000.
National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps
The Health Resources and Services Administration published a meeting notice for the National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps in the Federal Register of January 15, 2008 (FR Doc. E8- 581), on page 2510. The beginning date of the meeting has changed.
Strategy To Support Health Information Technology Among HRSA's Safety Net Providers
The following represents a series of respondents' comments and the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) responses to the comments regarding the Federal Register notice (FRN): September 19, 2006 (71 FR 54829). The FRN proposed strategies to support health information technology (HIT) among safety net providers, and requested comments on HIT topic areas addressing quality improvement, collaboration, general network-related issues, specific health center controlled network (HCCN) related issues, sustainability and building HIT capacity. HRSA received a total of 53 comments from a broad range of stakeholders, including State health departments, non-profit organizations, individual healthcare providers and the health information technology industry. HRSA's responses reflect activities within the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) that include, but are not limited to, the development of an HRSA HIT strategic plan, technical assistance resources including the establishment of the HRSA HIT virtual community, the development of HIT online toolboxes tailored to the needs of various HRSA programs, a TA resource center, and the development of funding opportunities. The comments have helped, in part, to shape the direction and activities of OHIT.
Notification of Exception to Competition
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is issuing a non-competitive program expansion supplement to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) to provide expanded training and technical assistance to HRSA-funded grantees serving individuals who are homeless. Authority: This activity is under the authority of the Public Health Service Act, section 330(l). Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 93.224. Background: The National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) is a cooperative agreement grantee that provides training and technical assistance support to health centers that serve homeless individuals and families. The NHCHC requires supplemental funding to provide, through expanded regional and national training activities, a broader and enriched menu of support for HRSA grantees, including Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) administrators, clinicians, and members of HCH Boards of Directors and consumer advisory groups. Amount: The amount of the award is $225,000. Project Period: July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2008. Budget Period Supplemented: July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008. Justification for The Exception to Competition: Given the recent growth of the HCH component of HRSA's Health Center program, it is critical that expanded regional and national training be provided in as timely a manner as possible. This supplemental request is being awarded noncompetitively because, at this time, there are no other organizations with the expertise to complete these activities, and no other organization is prepared to provide these services within the timeframe in which they are needed. Due to the emerging and urgent needs of the HCH program, this supplemental request and the activities proposed are essential to ensuring successful delivery of health care to the target population.
State Offices of Rural Health Grant Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking comments from the public on its plan to institute a permanent deviation from a policy in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Grants Policy Directive (GPD) 3.01 governing indirect cost recovery for one of its grant programs. The GPD states ``HHS considers activities conducted by grantees that result in indirect charges a necessary and appropriate part of HHS grants, and HHS awarding offices must reimburse their share of these costs.'' Although HRSA typically reimburses grantees for their full share of administrative overhead represented in approved indirect cost rates, the agency believes, in the case of its State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) Grant Program, that full recovery of overhead expenditures would be detrimental to the SORH grantees' ability to adequately conduct all the activities mandated in the authorizing legislation. Limiting indirect cost recovery is necessary because eleven of fifty SORH grantees are located in academic settings that have established indirect cost rates in the range of 30 to 50 percent or even higher. It is in the best interest of the program to limit the indirect cost recovery to not more than 15 percent of allowable total direct costs, thus leaving 85 percent of the grant funds to conduct the activities required by the grant program. This limitation would be applicable to all awardees of the State Offices of Rural Health Grant Program.
Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking comments from the public on its plan to institute a permanent deviation from a policy in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Grants Policy Directive (GPD) 3.01 governing indirect cost recovery for one of its grant programs. The GPD states ``HHS considers activities conducted by grantees that result in indirect charges a necessary and appropriate part of HHS grants, and HHS awarding offices must reimburse their share of these costs.'' Although HRSA typically reimburses grantees for their full share of administrative overhead represented in approved indirect cost rates (which can be up to 50 percent or higher), the Agency believes, in the case of its Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP), that full recovery of overhead expenditures would be detrimental to the ability to adequately conduct the activities mandated in the authorizing legislation. The purpose of the SHIP grant program is to assist eligible small rural hospitals in implementing Prospective Payments Systems (PPS), compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, and to reduce medical errors and to support quality improvement. Funding for the SHIP grant program is routed first through the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH); they are then distributed evenly by the SORH to the individual hospitals. This process creates efficiencies because of the large number of eligible hospitals and relatively small size of each award. In fiscal year 2007, $14,508,691 was awarded to 1,622 hospitals (approximately $8,945 each) in 46 States. Thus, the SORH is the official grantee of record for the State, as the recipient of the award and fiscal intermediary for the Federal government in distributing the funds. It is in the best interest of the SHIP grant program to limit the total administrative cost recovery to 5 percent of the Federal award, thereby allowing 95 percent of available grant funds to be used to carry out the required program activities. Since the SHIP grant program began in FY 02, through FY 07, the administrative costs have been restricted. Indirect costs were not allowed and there was a five percent maximum of other costs, for administrative costs, within the grant guidance. The SORHs voluntarily decided to limit these cost categories. For FY 07, the average administrative charge was only 3.64 percent. Thus, the cap on administrative costs has worked well. Limiting administrative costs is necessary because 20 percent of SHIP grantees are located in academic settings that have established indirect cost rates in the range of 30 to 50 percent. Without a limitation on the amount of grant funds allocated for administrative costs, the SORH grantee could potentially charge its full indirect cost rate and the grant awards would be significantly less for each small rural hospital. As much as 50 percent of the grant award could be consumed by indirect costs, depending upon the host institution's indirect cost rate. This would significantly reduce the amount of funds available to initiate and maintain the activities of the grant. A limitation on administrative costs will ensure that each hospital, not an unintended source, receives the maximum amount of funding. The limitations placed on these cost categories will ensure that the majority of funding is routed to the small rural hospitals, to be used for the prescribed intents and purposes of the grant program. A continued limitation on administrative costs for future SHIP grant cycles will help to assure that small rural hospitals receive the appropriated support, necessary to carry out the objectives of the grant program. The limitation would be applicable to all grantees of the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program.
Notice of Meeting of the Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
Pursuant to Public Law 92-463, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), notice is hereby given of the first meeting of the Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation (ACBSCT), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The meeting will be held from approximately 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on January 28, 2008, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 29, 2008, at the Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Executive Meeting Center, 1750 Rockville Pike, MD 20852. The meeting will be open to the public; however, seating is limited and pre-registration is encouraged (see below).