In 2018, the Georgia General Assembly implemented a training requirement for rural hospital executives, board members, and hospital authority members. The legislation, HB 769, delegated responsibility for the creation of training standards, approval of vendors, and monitoring of compliance to the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center. The Center has published training standards, guidance, and a list of frequently asked questions here. If you have additional questions they may be directed to [email protected] or 478-301-4700.

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Questions? Please contact us at info@georgiaruralhealth.org or 478-301-4700.

FAQ For Hospitals, Executives, and Board Members

Q: Who is required to receive training?

A: In accordance with O.C.G.A. § 31-2-16 training approved by the Center must be completed by “the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer, every board member, and every hospital authority member, if operated by a hospital authority pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 7 of this title, of a rural hospital organization as defined in Code Section 31-8-9.1”. The Center has published a list of all affected organizations to clarify the requirement.

Q: Who will provide the training?

A: Currently, the Georgia Hospital Association and Hometown Health are approved trainers. Their contact information is published on our website.

Q: How much will training cost?

A: The Center has published training cost summaries for both vendors to insure full price transparency.

Q: What is the deadline for receiving training?

A: Board members and executives in place prior to January 1, 2020 were required to complete training on or before December 31, 2020. All board members an executives added after January 1, 2020 have 12 months from their start date to complete training.

Q: If I received similar training previously will that count toward this requirement?

A: No. Previous training from a vendor who was not, at the time, approved will not count toward this requirement.

Q: What about new or interim executives (CEO and CFO)?

A: New CEOs/CFOs will have a 60 day grace period from their installation date to complete the prerequisite course and 12 calendar months from their installation date to complete the entire training.  Interim CEOs/CFOs will have a 30 day transition period; if they are in that position longer than 30 days, they will be subscribed to the aforementioned 60 day grace period for new CEOs/CFOs.

Q: Do new board members have to complete the pre-requisite two hour course prior to installation? What if it isn’t offered before they start?

A: Yes. Hospitals should be prepared to plan ahead for new board members and have the pre-requisite course available prior to their installation. Hospitals are encouraged to work with their vendor on this requirement. In the instance of unplanned board openings, the hospital should communicate with the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center.

Q: Once I have completed my training and been certified, when does my certification expire?

A: Learners installed before January 1, 2020 have a training due date of December 31, 2020 regardless of installation date. Upon completion, these Learners will be certified until December 31, 2022. Any Learner installed on or after January 1, 2020 has 12 months from their installation month to complete training and will be certified for two years thereafter. For example, if a Board member is installed on March 3, 2020 they will have a training deadline of March 31, 2021 and upon completion will be certified until March 30, 2023. Deadlines and re-certification dates are based on installation date regardless of the final date training is completed. If a Learner completes training before or after their deadline, their re-certification date is still based on their due date.

Q: My original certification is expiring. How do I become recertified?

A: There are three ways a person may renew their certification: 1) Complete all of the original training again. 2) Complete 7 hours of approved Recertification Units and a 1 hour review course. 3) Complete some original training and some Recertification Units totaling 7 hours and a 1 hour review course.

Q: I just completed my initial training. When can I begin the recertification process.

A: You may complete the recertification training throughout the 24 months preceding the certificate expiration date. At least 4 hours of training must be completed during the 12 months preceding the certification expiration date.

Q: I have decided complete recertification using one of the pathways that requires the review course. When can I take that course?

A: The review course must be taken in the 12 months preceding the certification expiration date.

FAQ For Vendors

Q: How do I obtain approval?

A: Vendors seeking approval may contact the Center directly or may use the online submission portal. Vendors are highly encouraged to contact the Center as early as possible to receive guidance on their submission.

Q: I already offer similar training. Do I need approval?

A: Yes. For training to fulfill the requirements set forth by the state of Georgia, a conforming curriculum that already exists must still be approved by the Center.

Q: My training is accredited by another organization. Do I still need approval from the GRHIC?

A: Yes. The Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center is the only entity designated by the state of Georgia to approve curriculum that fulfills the training requirement.

Q: Is there a fee associated with approval?

A: Yes. A fee of $1,000 is assessed on all applications. Funds from this fee are used to pay independent reviewers who evaluate the curriculum’s compliance with the Standards.

Q: How long does it take to receive approval?

A: The Approval Process is designed to move very rapidly. We expect all applications to be reviewed and a determination returned to the vendor no more than 30 days after submission, although most will be processed much more quickly.