The Health Resource and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) recently closed two requests for information (RFI) – one regarding the methodology supporting Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and another on proposed Maternal Care Health Professional Target Areas (MCHPTAs). Over the summer, NOSORH’s Program Analysis and Response Committee (PARC) gathered feedback from the SORH in order to develop a set of comprehensive responses to each of the RFIs. There was considerable feedback from the membership and engagement with surveys, moderated listening sessions, and multiple iterations of the draft comments circulated for review. NOSORH’s complete comments regarding the HPSA RFI and the MCHPTA RFI can be found on the NOSORH website.

A number of NOSORH partners were also working on submitting their own comments to the HPSA RFI, so NOSORH used the opportunity to engage collaboratively. The HPSA comments were shared with partners from the Primary Care Office (PCO) National Committee, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC). As appropriate, NOSORH supported the complimentary ideas of partners within their comments and, likewise, received considerable support from partners.

The PARC will continue to respond to rural-relevant requests for comments or information from federal partners. Recently, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy sought comments on a change to their rural grant eligibility methodology. NOSORH has received an overwhelming response from our members and developed a set of recommendations that reflect the realities of the proposed changes. NOSORH would like to thank the members for their continued insights in developing thoughtful and meaningful responses, as well as the PARC chair John Barnas (MI) and our partners from Varela Consulting for their continued support and leadership in developing our responses.