2003, the Office of Rural Health Policy's (ORHP) performance was
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in planning
the budget for the fiscal year 2005 as part of the Program Assessment
Response Tool (PART) process. As part of that exercise, the Office
is required to share its PART findings with grantees and stakeholders,
which is the purpose of this document. Through this process, the
OMB examined the Office's ability to meet its mission and evaluated
the performance of the Office's programs. The Office's programs,
in aggregate, received an adequate rating.
year, the OMB works with Federal Agencies to select programs for
review. Reviews are generally conducted in preparation of the next
year's budget. PART was developed to evaluate and improve Federal
program performance. Although some PART reviews focus on specific
programs, OMB's assessment of ORHP was broad based, looking at all
of the grant programs administered by the Office. Identifying both
long-term and short-term goals for the Office, PART evaluates the
Office's performance in meeting these goals and suggests ways to
is committed to addressing the recommendations of its PART review.
OMB charged the Office with reaching out to its grantees and stakeholders
and sharing its PART findings. OMB also called on the Office to
develop a Strategic Plan that incorporated the PART findings and
the Office is in the process of doing this.
The mission of the ORHP is to sustain and improve
access to quality health care services for rural communities through
strategies focused on policy and programs. These strategies are
- Coordinating rural policy and activities across
the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and advising
- Supporting rural policy research and information
- Developing capacity for rural health infrastructure
at the local provider, community and state levels; and
- Funding demonstration projects and service
In the coming months, the Office will build on
the recommendations to develop a broader strategic plan and share
it with grantees and rural stakeholders. In the meantime, the Office
wanted to share the long-term and short-term goals that were developed
in consultation with OMB.
- Reduce Health Disparities: Expand the
availability of rural health care resources to underserved, vulnerable
and special-needs populations.
By 2010, reduce to 13.9 percent the proportion of rural residents
of all ages with limitation of activities caused by chronic conditions.
Increase by 1 percent annually the number of people served through
Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grants.
- Strengthen Public Health Infrastructure
and Health Care Delivery Systems: Improve development and
use of rural public health infrastructure and health care delivery
By 2010, increase to 35 percent the proportion of critical access
hospitals with positive operating margins.
Increase by 0.5 percentage point annually the average operating
margin of critical access hospitals.
The ORHP is committed
to accomplishing our mission. The Office will build upon the PART
evaluation to improve our effectiveness in achieving our goals.
More information about PART can be found