Workforce Training to Educate Health Care Professionals in Health Information Technology
The Workforce Training to Educate Health Care Professionals in Health Information Technology Funding Opportunity (FOA) seeks to update health information technology (health IT) instructional training material that was previously developed under the Curriculum Development Centers cooperative agreement program. Updates to the training material will address four areas relevant for improved care delivery: population health, care coordination, new care delivery and payments models, and value-based care.
After the updates are complete, ONC will work with the awardees to establish a program to train incumbent health care employees whose roles, duties, or functions involve health IT. The training will be completed in 5 days or less to accommodate professionals with restricted schedules and will be offered in various settings, such as online, in-person, or train-the-trainer programs.
Using the updated training material, awardees will be expected to collectively train approximately 6,000 incumbent health care workers in team-based care environments, such as long-term care facilities, patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, hospitals, safety net clinics, rural health, and other care settings.
Application Deadlines and Key Dates
Letters of Intent Due: March 2, 2015, 11:59 PM EST
Application Deadline: April 6, 2015, 11:59 PM EST
Updated on April 6, 2015
Q: Is the grantee expected to provide 1/3rd cost share or is the no requirement for cost share?
A: There is no cost-sharing or matching requirement for this program.
Q: Is there a salary cap that is being imposed for determining effort?
A: No. There is not a cap; however the budget must be reasonable, necessary, allowable, and allocable.
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, April 6, 2015. If you have any difficulty submitting your application, please remember to contact the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please also see the Top 10 requested help topics (FAQs) located here on the iPortal.
Updated on March 30, 2015
Q: Is it acceptable to include footnotes within the application (narrative)?
A: Bibliographies, footnotes and references are not part of the 20 page limit, but applicants are encouraged to include them as attachments.
Q: If tables are used in the project narrative, can they be single-spaced, or must they also be double-spaced? Thank you.
A: They can be single spaced.
Updated on March 20, 2015
Q: Does this grant provide funding for Health IT professionals towards graduate course credits or degrees?
A: No, this funding opportunity does not fund Health IT professionals toward graduate course credit or degrees.
Q: Will there be one advisory board or does each grantee work with their own advisory board?
A: There will be one advisory board for the whole project but it is up to the individual grantee to decide if they also will have their own individual advisory board.
Q: Are advisory board members volunteer positions or should we budget meeting time and/or an honorarium?
A: It is up to the applicant to decide if they will pay or provide an honorarium to members of their advisory board. If the applicant decides to pay or provide an honorarium, they must provide that information in their budget justification.
Q: Stakeholders are to review and approve the training prior to its launch. Does this mean the Advisory Board, are they the same?
A: Advisory board members should review and provide input on materials. Applicants are expected to have their own review and approval plan and process with stakeholders.
Q: Will all grantees use the same materials/approach for the short-course to train the 6,000 incumbent health care workers, or will we each develop and use what we feel is appropriate?
A: Each grantee will have the flexibility to develop a training approach that will meet the needs of the targeted health care workers.
Q: Can there be different training versions for certain workers, such as a few hours online for front desk folks, modular sessions for nurses, videos for physicians, etc.?
A: Yes, the one (1) to five (5) day training is intended to be flexible to meet the varying needs of different health care personnel.
Q: Once the short-courses have been developed, can we charge for attendance? What about after the second year, if we continue offering these will we be allowed to assess a fee to cover our expenses?
A: Yes, grantees have the option to determine if they will provide training as a fee-for-service or at no cost. If training is provided as a fee-for-service, then any income generated from providing the training will be considered program income. Grantees are responsible for all rules and implications relating to program income during the period of performance.
Q: What is meant by incumbent health care workers?
A: For this funding opportunity, incumbent health care workers are individuals holding a position or already working in a health care setting.
Updated on March 11, 2015
Q: Can you please clarify whether the $800,000 to $2,000,000 budgets are only for direct expenses or include indirect expenses? Additionally, should we use our negotiated indirect rate or the 18% indirect rate usual for NIH training grants?
A: Budgets are to include indirect expenses. You should use your negotiated indirect cost rate, or less than your rate, per your organizations policies and procedures.
Q: Who can take the training?
A: This funding opportunity is intended to train those health care workers currently working in clinical settings.
Q: Can we propose to work with more than one focus area?
A: Applicants are expected to propose to work with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 4 focus areas.
Q: Can new Institutions participate or is just for organizations that participated on the previous Awards.
A: This funding opportunity is open to the public to apply and all applicants will go through an objective review process.
Q: Are the institutions who previously developed the instructional material eligible to apply?
A: Yes, this funding opportunity is open to the public to apply and all applicants will go through an objective review process.
Q: Are indirect cost part of the budget request or will they be outside the 6.4 million budget?
A: Yes, indirect cost will be a part of the budget request.
Q: Will the training of the health care professionals be offered at no cost to incumbent health care professionals?
A: Applicants will determine if they will provide training as a fee for service or provide free training. If training is provided at cost then this will be considered program income and grantees will be responsible for all rules and implications as it relates to program income during period of performance. If training is offered at no cost then applicants must budget for training cost.
Q: Can awardees work collaboratively with other organizations?
A: Yes, it will be encouraged for awardees to work collaboratively.
Q: Should the grant budget include travel expenses for ONC grantees meetings?
A: Yes, your budget should include travel expenses for ONC grantee and developmental meetings.
Q: Will grantees have to provide job placement?
A: This award is not intended to place professionals in the workplace. This award is intended to train individuals already in the health care workforce setting.
Updated on February 24, 2015
Q: Can you please clarify whether the budget justification and the letters of commitment are indeed included in the 20 page project narrative?
A: The Project Narrative is limited to 20 pages. Budget forms, Budget Narrative/Justification and Letters of Commitment are not included in the 20 page limitation.
Updated in February 2015
Q: What is the title of the new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?
A: The new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is the Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Workforce Training to Educate Health Care Professionals in Health Information Technology, with a short title of Workforce Program.
Q: What Federal Agency is releasing the Workforce 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, Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Workforce Training to Educate Health Care Professionals in Health Information Technology.
Q: Under what authority is HHS releasing the Workforce Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?
A: This award is issued under the authority of the Public Health Service Act, Sec. 3016, as added by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009 (P.L. 111-5).
Q: What is the source of the Workforce Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)?
A: Previously, the Workforce Program Funding Opportunity Announcement of 2009, HHS-2010-ONC-BC-004, worked to assist institutions of higher education to establish or expand health informatics education programs, including certification, undergraduate, and master’s degree programs, for both health care and information technology students to ensure the rapid and effective utilization and development of health information technologies in the United States health care infrastructure. ONC previously provided $118 million and the current Workforce program funding is a reobligation of remaining unobligated funds in the amount up to $6,400,000.00.
Q: How much funding is available to awardees of the Workforce Program?
A: Initial funding will be in a total amount of $6,400,000.00, with individual awards ranging from $800,000 to $2,000,000.
Q: Why is the Workforce Program Funding Opportunity Announcement 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 Workforce 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) (http://www.whitehouse.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).
Q: What type of award is the Workforce Program?
A: The Workforce Program is a new award and will be made through a cost reimbursable Cooperative Agreement.
Q: How many awards will be made under the new FOA?
A: Five (5) to Seven (7) awards will be made through cost reimbursable cooperative agreements through the Workforce Program Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).
Q: What are important dates associated with this FOA?
A: Important dates associated with the Workforce FOA are associated with the opening of the FOA for public application; public informational webinar; 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 February 3, 2015 at 8:00 A.M. EST** Informational Webinar February 23, 2015 at 3:00 P.M. EST Notice of Intent to Apply Due (not mandatory) March 2, 2015 at 11:59 P.M., EST Applications Due April 6, 2015 at 11:59 P.M. EST Estimated Award Announcements May 1, 2015 Anticipated Project Start Date June 1, 2015
* All dates subject to change without notification based on convenience of the Federal Government.
** All times are Eastern Standard Time stated as such or as Eastern Time or EST.
Q: How long is the Workforce Program?
A: The Workforce Program’s period of performance is 2 years or 24 months.
Q. How many jobs were created from the previous workforce program?
A. The Workforce Program’s mission was to create a health IT workforce properly trained and equipped to facilitate the meaningful use of EHR’s and to support the goal of the Triple Aim. The infusion of the funding helped universities and colleges to launch the needed health IT training programs. While employment tallying was never the goal of the Workforce training program, several surveys were conducted relating to future employment and/or training. The results of the surveys can be found at www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/workforceevaluationsummativereport.pdf
Q. How will the new workforce program differ from the prior one?
A. While resource development and training will continue to be a component, the new program looks to update existing health IT instructional training material that was previously developed under the prior Workforce program, particularly, the Curriculum Development Centers cooperative agreement. The target audience for the new program is incumbent healthcare workers. Awardees will be required to develop training materials that can be taught within 5 days or less. Awardees will also develop a baseline health IT curriculum that can be taught in an academic setting over a course of 2-4 semesters or its equivalent.
Q. Will the training materials be available for public use?
A. Updated training materials will be posted on HealthIT.gov at the end of the program. While anyone will have access, the materials are designed for instructional purposes only.
Q: How will successful applicants be selected as Workforce awardees?
A: The Workforce Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use objective review of all applications meeting minimum review criteria as described under FOA section Application Instructions. Objective review will utilize criteria described under FOA Section Application Evaluation as the basis for scoring applications passing initial screening, responsiveness, and completeness review.
Q: Where should Workforce Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) questions be forwarded?
A: Questions not addressed within the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document should be sent by way of email with a Subject Line indicating Information Technology Professionals in Health Care: Workforce Training to Educate Health Care Professionals in Health Information Technology or Workforce Program addressed to WorkforceFOA@hhs.gov. Questions posed to this email address with be evaluated and added as appropriate to the FAQ.
NOTE: Responses from WorkforceFOA@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.
Q: Who can apply for this funding?
A: This FOA is open to the general public in the United States. Considering the timeframe and amount of funding available, ONC anticipates that applicants will have experience with the previous Workforce program and products.