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New Funding Announcements

Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program

Description

The Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (Community Interoperability and HIE Program) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) build upon existing community efforts to ensure health information is appropriately accessed and used to support people improve their health. Additionally, this FOA will help increase the number of non-eligible care providers who are able to send, receive, find, and use electronic health information (inclusive of all determinants of health) in a manner that is appropriate, standardized, secure, timely, and reliable for both senders and receivers. This FOA will be a full and open competition. Up to ten (10) new cooperative agreements will be awarded. This new FOA will fund organizations for one year that propose actionable approaches to extend an existing HIE service or use case to a non-eligible care provider population and engage the population in to share health data across the entire health spectrum of care. Exchanging of health information is both critical to enable care coordination and other improvements and to support both individual and community health.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services activities support community efforts to increase adoption and use of health information exchange. The total funding available under this FOA is $1,000,000. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to propose projects that could be replicable in other communities and are cross jurisdictional, interstate or regional in nature. However, one entity must act as the responsible fiscal agent and submit the application on behalf of all the partners.

Application Deadlines and Key Dates

Notice of Intent to Apply Due: May 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EDT

Applications Due: June 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EDT

Informational Session was held on May 06, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

FAQs

Updated on June 15, 2015

  1. Q: If I have any difficulty submitting my application today is there a phone number and email address of someone I could contact? Are they available after hours?

    A: Applications for all Funding Opportunity Announcements must be submitted electronically through http://www.grants.gov/ by 11:59pm Eastern Time today, June 15, 2015. If you have any difficulty submitting your application, please remember to contact the Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov/ Contact Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at #1-800-518-4726 (local toll free). For International callers, please call #606-545-5035 to speak with a Contact Center representative. You may also reach a Contact Center representative via email at support@grants.gov.

    For additional information, please also see the Top 10 requested help topics (FAQs) located here on the iPortal https://grants-portal.psc.gov/Welcome.aspx?pt=Grants

  2. Q: Can you please advise on how to submit the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL or what to do about this form if it does not apply?

    A: The applicant should be able to enter “not applicable” if the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) form does not apply.

  3. Q: Is it possible to submit with SAM still at pending status?

    A: No the system will not accept a pending status. Please contact:
        SAM Customer Service:
        Federal Service Desk URL: www.fsd.gov
        Hours: 8am - 8pm (Eastern Time)
        US Calls: 866-606-8220
        International Calls: 334-206-7828

  4. Q: Is there a limit on the number of Appendices?

    A: No, as long as appendices and attachments are not used as a mechanism to exceed the page limit of the Project Narrative.

  5. Q: Is PDF Format acceptable for all attachments?

    A: Yes.

  6. Q: On form LLL, does the name and address of the lobbying registrant (question 10a) and individual performing services (10b):

    • apply when a lobbyist has been employed by the name of the reporting entity (4) specifically for the type of federal action (1,2,3) being sought, or
    • does it apply for any and all lobbying activity by the reporting entity (4) even if it has nothing to do with the federal action being sought (1,2,3)?

    A: The name and address of the lobbying registrant and the individual performing services applies when a lobbyist has been employed by the name of the reporting entity specifically for the type of federal action specifically being sought.

  7. Q: In Part A, it asks if we have on file with HHS the following assurances and if so, the dates those assurances were filed. Do we have to have those assurances on file with HHS? Or can we just confirm that we are in compliance with and will comply with those assurances if awarded by completing the SF 424B?

    A: Please confirm you are in compliance with and that you will comply with the assurances, if awarded, by completing the SF 424B.

  8. Q: We have submitted our indirect rate agreement and are waiting on approval. Must we have approval of this agreement prior to submission of our application on June 15 if we want to include indirect costs in our budget?

    A: If your organization has never had an approved indirect cost rate (IDC) agreement, you are allowed to claim a 10% de minimis indirect cost rate agreement.

  9. Q: On the SF424, do we need to fill in the fields marked in red?

    A: Please answer the fields marked in red.

  10. Q: Box 10 Name of Federal Agency: Instructions (page 40) say to enter “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services”; however, the form is already populated with “Office of the National Coordinator”

    A: Please defer to the pre-populated name of “Office of the National Coordinator.”

  11. Q: Box 13 Competition Identification Number/Title: Instructions (page 41) say “Leave this field blank”; however, the form is already populated with text that cannot be deleted.

    A: Please defer to the pre-populated text.

  12. Q: Authorized Representative: Is an individual that carries the grants.gov designation of Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) appropriate?

    A: Yes, an individual that carries the grants.gov designation of Authorized Organizational Representative is appropriate.

  13. Q: Do we use the Optional Attachments form to upload Letters of Support, Logic Model, Indirect Rate Agreement, Proof of Non-Profit Status, etc.?

    A: Please use the Optional Attachments form to upload letters of support, the logic model, participants lists, budget and resumes of key project personnel.

  14. Q: If we plan to use the majority of the requested federal funds for one category, such as for contractual, is it necessary to complete the other categories?

    A: Please populate the cost categories with requested federal funds, as applicable to your response to the funding announcement. If the intent of federal funding is to be used between two cost categories, for example, you would only populate those two cost categories.

Updated on June 12, 2015

  1. Q: Are NIH biosketches an acceptable form of resume for the grant application?

    A: Yes, NIH Biosketches are an acceptable form of resume for the grant application.

  2. Q: Does the project plan need to be part of the five-page narrative?

    A: Yes, the project plan should be included as a part of the five-page single spaced narrative.

  3. Q: Is the Human Subject Certification (45 CFR 46) applicable for this grant?

    A: No, this is not a research grant; the Human Certification is not applicable. Please check the “not applicable” box.

  4. Q: Is it required to complete and distribute a “Public Health System Impact Statement” for this grant application?

    A: The “Public Health System Impact Statement” was not requested in the FOA, so it is not applicable.

Updated on June 9, 2015

  1. Q: Can we change the organization and contact name from what we submitted in our notice of intent to apply?

    A: Yes. The organization and contact name may be changed from what was originally submitted in the notice of intent. Please ensure the organization still meets the eligibility criteria.

  2. Q: Is it allowable under the FOA to pay for an annual site license?

    A: Yes, payment of an annual site license is an allowable cost under this grant. However, the use of the software and how it relates to the project should be described in the project narrative. Funds may not be used to purchase a site license that extends beyond the period of performance of the grant.

  3. Q: Can we include graphics or tables in the body of the narrative? If so, can they be in color?

    A: Yes you can include graphics or tables in the five-page project narrative limit. Yes they can be in color.

  4. Q: Is the Abstract pasted into the application and ALSO uploaded as an attachment?

    A: Please follow the submission process and instructions on grants.gov or call 1-800-518-4726.

  5. Q: Are all appendices combined and uploaded as a single attachment under Optional Project Narrative? Is there a file size limit for the Optional Project Narrative Attachment?

    A: Please follow the submission process and instructions on grants.gov or call 1-800-518-4726.

  6. Q: Is the preferred sequence for attachments as follows?
        A) Letter of Commitment and Support
        B) Logic Model
        C) Resumes
        D) Other (e.g. references)
        E) Abstract (if attached in addition to pasted into application form)

    A: We do not have a preferred sequence for attachments. Please follow the submission process and instructions on grants.gov or call 1-800-518-4726.

  7. Q: Are there page limits or other format restrictions on resumes?

    A: There are no page limits or format restrictions on resumes.

  8. Q: Where should the Indirect Cost Rate agreement be attached? As Required or Optional Budget Narrative Attachment?

    A: Please include the Indirect Cost Rate agreement with your budget attachment.

  9. Q: We are voluntarily reducing our IDC to a non-research rate. Should we include the AOR acknowledgement of the lower rate in the budget narrative or only upon award (post award)?

    A: Please include the AOR acknowledgement of the lower rate with the budget attachment.

  10. Q: In the budget, does the cost of software go under 6. Object Class Categories: Line 6d: Equipment or Line 6h: Other?

    A: The cost of software would go under line 6h, unless the amount of the software exceeds $5,000.

  11. Q: May an entity without a negotiated F&A rate request the 10% de minimis rate?

    A: §200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs states the following: (f) In addition to the procedures outlined in the appendices in paragraph (e) of this section, any non-Federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate, except for those non-Federal entities described in Appendix VII to Part 200—States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph D.1.b, may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC) which may be used indefinitely. As described in §200.403 Factors affecting allowability of costs, costs must be consistently charged as either indirect or direct costs, but may not be double charged or inconsistently charged as both. If chosen, this methodology once elected must be used consistently for all Federal awards until such time as a non-Federal entity chooses to negotiate for a rate, which the non-Federal entity may apply to do at any time. For further information on indirect cost rates, please refer to the eCFR.

Updated on June 5, 2015

  1. Q: The grant states that we are encouraged to attend at least one ONC meeting are these in person and if so, can we budget travel expenses?

    A: Grantees are encouraged to attend all ONC in-person meetings, as appropriate. Program travel is an allowable cost. However, since funds are limited please ensure funding is allocated for all project and operating costs first.

  2. Q: May a single application fund 5 geographically adjacent local governments for a total award amount of $500,000, or does each local government need to process individual $100,000 applications referencing one another?

    A: Each applicant must identify a specific geographic area and each applicant can only apply for a total of $100,000.

  3. Q: Does the technology developed with funds from this grant have to be open source or can we just have it available for sale to others?

    A: Applicants must make any software they build with program funds fully open source, either under an Apache 2.0 license or a license that is even less restrictive than Apache 2.0. Applicants will need to provide a description regarding plans to integrate these tools into existing infrastructure and the proposed timeline to enable use by non-eligible care providers. The period of performance is one year.

  4. Q: Are indirect costs included within the $100,000?

    A: Yes, indirect cost should be included in the $100,000 budget amount.

  5. Q: If multiple partners are involved in the proposed project and part of the grant application, do they all need to submit a DUNS number and be registered in SAM, or just the lead entity?

    A: Only the lead entity will need to submit a DUNS number and be registered in SAM.

  6. Q: Must we use the headings used in the example logic model? Would using “inputs, outputs, outcomes, assumptions, and external factors” be acceptable?

    A: Under Section 1, page 20 of the FOA, the application should provide a clear and concise description of the approach the applicant is proposing to address, the three areas of the project theme and how to conduct the project, including identifying the major challenges. This should be outlined in a conceptual “logic model” tying project activities and work plan to expected impact and outcome goals. See Appendix B for the logic model example.

  7. Q: Is there a minimum or maximum number of non-eligible care providers that must be included in this project? Is there a minimum or maximum number of patients that need to be reached?

    A: No, there is no minimum or maximum target number of non-eligible care providers (including individuals) as described on page 11 of the FOA. The specific geographic area and non-eligible care provider population must be defined and justified. The applicant will work with the non-eligible care provider population to determine baseline data on adoption and use for the non-eligible care provider population participating in the project. The applicant will determine appropriate milestones of professionals or individuals within the non-eligible care provider population to successfully adopt and use the health IT tool or HIE services based on geographic size, service area of applying community entity and other factors in the market or region. The applicant will need to determine the frequency of adoption and usage over the one year time period. The proposed budget should also justify the adequacy and reasonableness of resources requested to meet the project’s needs to ensure it is as cost-efficient as possible.

  8. Q: Is there a match requirement for the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program?

    A: No, page 17 of the FOA states there is no cost-sharing or matching requirement.

  9. Q: What appendices are allowed within the application for the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Program FOA?

    A: The application allows for letters of support, the logic model, participants lists, and resumes of key project personnel to be included as appendices. They do not count as part of the Project Narrative for purposes of the five (5) page limit.

  10. Q: Are references included in the narrative’s five-page limit?

    A: Please include references in the five-page narrative.

  11. Q: To whom should the letter(s) of commitment for this funding opportunity be addressed?

    A: Please address them to:
         Lisa Lewis
         Acting National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
         U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
         200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
         Washington, DC 20201

Updated on June 1, 2015

  1. Q: Where can I find responses to the webinar questions that were submitted?

    A: Any questions presented during the webinar that have not been addressed will be added to the FAQs; no questions were answered live on the webinar.

  2. Q: When will the FAQs from the webinar be posted?

    A: We have been posting new FAQs at least once a week.

  3. Q: Where can we access the IMPACT SEE tool and other information that may help us with this project?

    A: On page 13 of the FOA there is a link to the IMPACT SEE tool. The link is as follows: http://mehi.masstech.org/programs/past-programs/impact-improving-massachusetts-post-acute-care-transfers/land-and-see.

  4. Q: If you did not submit a notice or letter of intent, are you still eligible to apply?

    A: Yes. The notice of intent is not a prerequisite for submitting a full proposal. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a non-binding e-mail notice of intent to apply for this funding opportunity to assist ONC in planning for the application review process. Notices of intent were due on May 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m., EDT; however if you did not submit a notice of intent it does not preclude you from applying for the funding opportunity by June 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Updated on May 28, 2015

  1. Q: Are indirect costs allowed on cooperative agreements such as the Community Interoperability and HIE funding opportunity? If so, is there any limit on the indirect cost rate allowed?

    A: Indirect cost rates are allowed to be charged to the Community Interoperability and HIE funding opportunity, with a federally approved indirect cost rate agreement. An organization can only apply up to the negotiated indirect cost rate as outlined in their approved indirect cost rate agreement, so long as it is deemed reasonable, allowable, allocable and necessary by ONC.

  2. Q: What does FOA mean?

    A: Funding Opportunity Announcement.

  3. Q: Are the reviewers for this grant the same as the reviewers for the Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA? Response Updated 6/08/2015

    A: Some of the objective reviewers for this grant could be the same as the reviewers for the Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA.

  4. Q: Can grant funds be used to develop health IT tools that promote data sharing among providers only? Or must data sharing include providers and individuals?

    A: These funds must be used to identify a specific non-eligible care provider population (as defined in the FOA on page 11), extend an existing HIE service or use case to this population (example projects are on page 11-13 in the FOA), and then engage them through specific strategies to increase their use. Applicants must describe in detail supporting exchange infrastructure, approaches, and processes that exist to meet programmatic goals. Applicants must also clearly describe in detail the necessary changes, updates, or modifications to existing, operational exchange infrastructure and the proposed project plan, timeline, and costs required to ensure the ability of patient information to securely move between interoperable health information technology tools and services. The period of performance is one year.

  5. Q: Are the start and end dates flexible? Specifically, the beginning date of August 14, 2015?

    A: The period of performance is one year with an anticipated award date of August 14, 2015.

  6. Q: Is there flexibility in allowing extensions at the end of the grant period?

    A: Currently, there is no intention to extend the program. This one year funding opportunity announcement was designed to support non-eligible care providers to send, receive, find and use electronic health information in a manner that is appropriate, secure, timely and reliable for both senders and receivers. As the program evolves, and should there be a need to extend the program, ONC will make those decisions as needed.

  7. Q: If we are intending to build on existing HIE infrastructure developed at the state level; does this meet the replicability section requirements of making solutions openly available and reusable by others? Particularly if this HIE technology is not covered under Apache licensing policy?

    A: The applicant must fully describe the ways in which the project could be broadly applicable to and/or replicable in other communities, states and/or territories. Explain how lessons learned, challenges, successes, outcomes will be shared (e.g., via news articles, journals, presentations, communities of practice, traditional and non-traditional media outlets, etc.) with local, state and national stakeholders. Describe how the proposed project may be replicated in a similar community or region. Applicants should make solutions (i.e., technology, process, or infrastructure) openly available and reusable by others—for example by offering such open source tools or under Apache 2.0 license or a license that is even less restrictive than Apache 2.0.

  8. Q: Where is the Interoperability Roadmap referenced in the Project Narrative instructions?

    A: The Interoperability Roadmap and how it relates to the FOA is referenced on pages 7, 9, 10, 14 and 20. You can view the Roadmap at: http://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/nationwide-interoperability-roadmap-draft-version-1.0.pdf

  9. Q: Does the applicant have to select an approach - as described in the FOA - in the Letter of Intent?

    A: The notice or letter of intent should simply identify the name of the applicant organization and the city and state in which it is located, including a broad statement of how the project theme will be addressed. ONC requests that these notices be received by the deadline required in Section IV.C, Submission Dates and Times. Notices of intent should be sent to HIECommunityFOA@hhs.gov by May 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m., EDT.

  10. Q: Can the applicant focus on a group such as chronic disease - within a specified population?

    A: These funds must be used to identify a specific non-eligible care provider population (as defined in the FOA on page 11), extend an existing HIE service or use case to this population (example projects are on page 11-13 in the FOA), and then engage them through specific strategies to increase their use. The "other care settings and care providers", outlined on page 11 of the FOA, population group is intended to provide flexibility for applicants to identify other clinical and non-clinical care providers and settings across the care continuum. This will allow communities to support a more comprehensive, integrated individual record or care plan and facilitate the sharing of clinical and administrative health information. Please describe and clearly identify the non-eligible care provider population you would like to use as your target population, what HIE service you would like them to adopt and use, and how you will engage the target population to use the HIE service.

  11. Q: Would a health plan be included in the other care settings and care providers?

    A: The "other care settings and care providers", outlined on page 11 of the FOA, population group is intended to provide flexibility for applicants to identify other clinical and non-clinical care providers and settings across the care continuum. This will allow communities to support a more comprehensive, integrated individual record or care plan and facilitate the sharing of clinical and administrative health information. Please describe and clearly identify the non-eligible care provider population you would like to use as your target population, what HIE service you would like them to adopt and use, and how you will engage the target population to use the HIE service.

Updated on May 22, 2015

  1. Q: Where is the Transform tool referenced?

    A: On page 13 of the FOA there is a web link to the Transform tool. The link is as follows: http://transform.keyhie.org/

Updated on May 14, 2015

  1. Q: It appears that a HIE should be included as a collaborator in the application. Is this correct?

    A: Each community has a different health information exchange environment. The applicant should demonstrate support from key partners; including organizations that support and promote HIE in the community.

  2. Q: Is it required to include the actual logic model or could we simply describe it as part of the narrative, given how limited space is?

    A: Please describe the logic model in the narrative and include it as an appendix.

  3. Q: In the notice of intent, is there a preferred length for the “broad statement of how the project theme will be addressed?”

    A: We suggest 2-3 sentences.

Updated on May 5, 2015

  1. Q: On page 22, the instructions say that that “Total project narrative and presentation must not exceed 5 single pages.” What does the term ‘presentation’ refer to?

    A: The term “presentation” refers to the presentation of the project in the project narrative.

  2. Q: In the instance of a care setting where some providers may be considered eligible and others not (i.e. behavioral health), does the presence of eligible providers preclude our ability to work with the non-eligible providers under this funding mechanism?

    A: The presence of eligible providers within a community entity does not prohibit them from applying for funds. However, community entities will need to target non-eligible care providers, those providers not eligible for the EHR Incentive Programs, as their population to support and extend the use of secure, interoperable health IT tools and HIE services. Although the FOA does not direct resources specifically to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as defined in the EHR Incentive programs, funds can be used to support the work they do to share and coordinate care with non-eligible care providers.

  3. Q: Can these funds be used for an Executive Director salary?

    A: Funds can be used for personnel. However, applicants must provide the proposed levels of effort of the personnel (i.e., project manager, key personnel, and consultants) and describe how they are adequate to advance the project in accordance with the timelines. The applicant must also justify the proposed budget with respect to the adequacy and reasonableness of resources requested, and how the amount of the budget allocated to administration will be minimized while still allowing coherent management of an integrated project. The period of performance is one year.

  4. Q: How large must a community be in order to have a chance of being awarded?

    A: There is no size limit on the community applying for these funds.

  5. Q: Can an applicant target a non-eligible provider population that currently has view only access to the applicant's statewide HIE? As part of the grant proposal, the applicant is considering providing this non-eligible provider population with access to other advanced HIE services/tools to further support a learning health system within the state and region.

    A: Applicants should target a non-eligible care provider population that will adopt and use the specified health IT tool or HIE service under this funding opportunity announcement. These funds must be used to identify a specific non-eligible care provider population (as defined in the FOA on page 11), extend an existing HIE service or use case to this population (example projects are on pages 11-13 in the FOA), and then engage them through specific strategies to increase their use. Applicants must describe in detail supporting exchange infrastructure, approaches, and processes that exist to meet programmatic goals. Applicants must also clearly describe in detail the necessary changes, updates, or modifications to existing, operational exchange infrastructure and the proposed project plan, timeline, and costs required to ensure the ability of patient information to securely move between interoperable health information technology tools and services. The period of performance is one year.

Updated on April 28, 2015

  1. Q: In the next several years our community will begin planning a Health Information Exchange to share patient data between our community hospital, Federally Qualified Health Center, and consolidated public health and social services department. As we have not yet begun this work, would we qualify to apply through this funding program?

    A: For purposes of this funding opportunity, we will not fund the purchase and adoption of EHRs, but instead tools that promote data sharing between providers and individuals. Funds can be used to foster connections and data sharing between non-eligible care providers in existing community HIE efforts but not to fund separate siloed efforts for non-eligible care providers. Applicants should target a non-eligible care provider population that will adopt and use the specified health IT tool or HIE service under this funding opportunity announcement. These funds must be used to identify a specific non-eligible care provider population (as defined in the FOA on page 11), extend an existing HIE service or use case to this population (example projects are on page 11-13 in the FOA), and then engage them through specific strategies to increase their use. Applicants must describe in detail supporting exchange infrastructure, approaches, and processes that exist to meet programmatic goals. Applicants must also clearly describe in detail the necessary changes, updates, or modifications to existing, operational exchange infrastructure and the proposed project plan, timeline, and costs required to ensure the ability of patient information to securely move between interoperable health information technology tools and services. The period of performance is one year.

  2. Q: Can non-eligible care providers include jail healthcare providers?

    A: The "other care settings and care providers", outlined on page 11 of the FOA, population group is intended to provide flexibility for applicants to identify other clinical and non-clinical care providers and settings across the care continuum. This will allow communities to support a more comprehensive, integrated individual record or care plan and facilitate the sharing of clinical and administrative health information. Please describe and clearly identify the non-eligible care provider population you would like to use as your target population, what HIE service you would like them to adopt and use, and how you will engage the target population to use the HIE service.

  3. Q: Is EHR interface development between hospitals and clinics a qualified project under this FOA?

    A: For purposes of this funding opportunity, we will not fund the purchase and adoption of EHRs, but instead tools that promote data sharing between providers and individuals. Funds can be used to foster connections and data sharing between non-eligible care providers in existing community HIE efforts but not to fund separate siloed efforts for non-eligible care providers. Applicants should target a non-eligible care provider population that will adopt and use the specified health IT tool or HIE service under this funding opportunity announcement. These funds must be used to identify a specific non-eligible care provider population (as defined in the FOA on page 11), extend an existing HIE service or use case to this population (example projects are on page 11-13 in the FOA), and then engage them through specific strategies to increase their use. Applicants must describe in detail supporting exchange infrastructure, approaches, and processes that exist to meet programmatic goals. Applicants must also clearly describe in detail the necessary changes, updates, or modifications to existing, operational exchange infrastructure and the proposed project plan, timeline, and costs required to ensure the ability of patient information to securely move between interoperable health information technology tools and services. The period of performance is one year.

  4. Q: Do you have a template for the LOI related to this grant?

    A: No we do not have an email template for the letter or notice of intent. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a non-binding e-mail notice of intent to apply for this funding opportunity to assist ONC in planning for the application review process. Only the primary applicant should submit this notice. This notice should simply identify the name of the applicant organization and the city and state in which it is located, including a broad statement of how the project theme will be addressed. ONC requests that these notices be received by the deadline required in Section IV.C, Submission Dates and Times. Notices of intent should be sent to HIECommunityFOA@hhs.gov by May 15, 2015 at 11:59 p.m., EDT.

  5. Q: What is the maximum page limit of the Project Narrative?

    A: The maximum page limit for the Project Narrative is five (5) pages single spaced, as outlined on page 20. Page 22 and page 26 are incorrect and should read single spaced, not double spaced.

  6. Q: The FOA states on page 21, Section 4 that the Budget, Level of Effort and Justification are to be included as part of the Narrative. This would seem to indicate that the budget narrative is included in these 5 pages. However, the forms require a separate budget narrative upload. Does this mean that one page of the 5 narrative pages should be uploaded here as a separate document? If not, what is the page limit for the narrative—this is not stated.

    A: Please note that per the FOA in Section IV.B. Section 4, the Budget, Level of Effort and Justification must be addressed within the five (5) page limit of the Project Narrative. The Budget Detail/Budget Justification in Appendix A of the FOA is different and is not restricted to a page limit.

  7. Q: Should the logic model be included as part of the Section 1 (FOA, p. 20) of the five (5) page Project Narrative or should it be included as an appendix?

    A: Please include the logic model as an appendix.

  8. Q: Where should potential objective reviewers for the FOA submit their resume?

    A: For those interested in becoming an objective reviewer, please submit your resume to: ONC_ObjectiveReview@hhs.gov . They will be in touch if they are in need of your assistance.

Updated on April 14, 2015

  1. Q: What is the title of the new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

    A: The new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (long title), with a short title of Community Interoperability and HIE Program.

  2. Q: What Federal Agency is releasing the Community Interoperability and HIE Program?

    A: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS or HHS), is the Federal Agency releasing the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled, Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program.

  3. Q: Under what authority is HHS releasing the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

    A: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Pub. L. No. 113-235, Division G, Title II, (“For expenses necessary for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, including grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for the development and advancement of interoperable health information technology, $60,367,000.”) and Title XXX, §3011 of the Public Health Service Act.

  4. Q: What is the funding source of the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?

    A: The funding source of the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program is the Annual Appropriations for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

  5. Q: Why is the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) not posted on HealthIt.gov?

    A: Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/home.html) is the federally designated website for announcing federally funded award programs, such as the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and is held to Grant Public Law 106-107 as issued under guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/memoranda_fy04_m04-01) and (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_reform). The Grants.gov program management office was established, in 2002, as a part of the President's Management Agenda. Managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, Grants.gov is an E-Government initiative operating under the governance of the Office of Management and Budget. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Grant Public Law 106-107 can be found at (http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/about/grant-regulations.html).

  6. Q: What type of award is the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program?

    A: The Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program is a new award and will be made through a cost reimbursable Cooperative Agreement.

  7. Q: How many awards will be made under the new FOA?

    A: Ten (10) awards will be made under this FOA.

  8. Q: How much funding is available to each awardee of the Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program?

    A: Initial funding made available to each awardee will be in an amount of $100,000. ONC reserves the right to make additional awards under this announcement, consistent with Agency policy, if additional funding becomes available after the original selection is made. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than 12 months after the original selection decision.

  9. What are important dates associated with this FOA?

    A: Important dates associated with the Community Interoperability and HIE Program FOA are associated with the opening of the FOA for public application; public informational webinar; due date for Notice of Intent to Apply deadline; FOA Application submission due date; Estimated Award announcement date; and Anticipated Award beginning date, which can be referenced with in the FOA under the Opportunity Overview section and in the following table*: 

    Public FOA release

    April 14, 2015 at EDT**

    Informational Webinar

    May 6, 2015 at 3:00 P.M. EDT

    Notice of Intent to Apply Due  (not mandatory)

    May 15, 2015 at 11:59 P.M. EDT

    Applications Due

    June 15, 2015 at 11:59 P.M. EDT

    Estimated Award Announcements

    August 14, 2015

    Anticipated Project Start Date

    August 14, 2015

      * All dates subject to change without notification based on convenience of the Federal Government.

    ** All times are Eastern Daylight Time stated as such or as Eastern Time or EDT.

  10. Q: What is the period of performance for the Community Interoperability and HIE Program FOA?

    A: The Community Interoperability and HIE Program has a period of performance of one (1) year or 12 months after date of award.

  11. Q: How is the Community Interoperability and HIE Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) different from the Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA?

    A: The purpose of the Community Interoperability and HIE Program is to support ten (10) United States-based non-profit institution or organization, state or local government, agency or group in a designated community to support the work of the Health IT Interoperability Roadmap by funding community interoperability projects to address high-impact use cases through the accelerated adoption and use of standards-based interoperable tools and to increase HIE services among non-eligible care providers in order to achieve a learning health system. The funds for the Community and Interoperability and HIE Program are from the Annual Appropriations for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

    The Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA is to support 10 to 12 state, territories, or state designated entities over two years to leverage the investments and lessons learned from the original State HIE Program to advance the standardized, secure, and interoperable movement of health information across organization, vendor, and geographic boundaries. The Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA uses funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act that was signed in 2009. The specific statute to support this endeavor is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH Act), Section 3013. While separate funding streams support each program, the work will complement each other and there will be opportunities to network and share information.

  12. Q: Can applicants apply for the both the Community Interoperability and HIE Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and the Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange FOA?

    A: Yes. However, the applicant must meet the eligible applicants section for both FOAs. Since the work is fairly similar applicants will need to ensure a system is in place to manage and track the separate funding streams.

  13. Q: How is the Community Interoperability and HIE Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) defining non-eligible care providers?

    A: The Community Interoperability and HIE Program FOA defines non-eligible care provides as those not eligible for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’(CMS) Electronic Health Record(EHR) Incentive Programs (EHR Incentive Programs), including long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers, behavioral health providers, individuals (includes care providers and others including family members authorized to act on the patient’s behalf) and other care settings and care providers (e.g., safety net providers, public health, social services, emergency medical services) or other recognized stakeholders that applicants are encouraged to engage. See http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html?redirect=/ehrincentiveprograms/

  14. Q: How will successful applicants be selected to participate in the Community Interoperability and HIE Program?

    A: The applications received from Community Interoperability and HIE Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will undergo the objective review process, once it has been determined that they have met the minimum review criteria as described under the FOA section labeled Application Instructions. Reviewers will utilize criteria described under the FOA Section labeled Application Evaluation as the basis for scoring applications passing initial screening, responsiveness, and completeness review.

  15. Q: How will award notification be made as to the selection of the Community Interoperability and HIE Program awardee?

    A: The ONC Office of Grants Management (OGM) will contact the selected applicant awarded through email based on information provided in the application and by way of a Notice of Grant Award (NGA) through GrantSoutions.gov.

  16. Q: Where should Community Interoperability and HIE Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) questions be forwarded?

    A: Questions not addressed within the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) should be sent by way of email with a Subject Line indicating Community Interoperability and HIE Program addressed to HIECommunityFOA@hhs.gov. Questions posed through this email address with be evaluated and added as appropriate to the FAQ.

NOTE: Responses from HIECommunityFOA@hhs.gov will be limited to receipt notification of the inquiry or initiating email and will not provide nor offer individual responses to such inquiries.


1.Non-eligible providers includes those not eligible for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’(CMS) Electronic Health Record(EHR) Incentive Programs (EHR Incentive Programs), including long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers, behavioral health providers, individuals (includes care providers and others including family members authorized to act on the patient’s behalf) and other care settings and care providers (e.g., safety net providers, public health, social services, emergency medical services) or other recognized stakeholders that applicants are encouraged to engage. See http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html?redirect=/ehrincentiveprograms/