Rural Health & Human Services
Top Stories

Top news stories from the past 60 days.

New Bill Improves Rural Maternity Care
Mar 30, 2015 - Describes a new, bipartisan bill introduced aimed to reduce prenatal provider shortages in rural and underserved communities to ensure access to timely and high quality maternity care.
Source: News Democrat
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Ky. Rural Hospitals Get Poor Bill of Health
Mar 30, 2015 - Describes a report recently released by the State Auditor of Kentucky that assessed the financial strength of the state's rural hospitals. Finds that the majority of Kentucky's rural hospitals rank below the national average in financial strength.
Source: The Courier-Journal
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CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program - Stage 3 Federal Register
Mar 30, 2015 - This proposed rule specifies Stage 3 meaningful use criteria that eligible professionals and facilities must meet to qualify for incentive payments and avoid penalties. Includes rural specific criteria.
Source: Federal Register
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Even if Congress OKs ‘Doc Fix,’ Rural Hospitals Face Other Challenges
Mar 27, 2015 - Outlines challenges that will remain for rural hospitals despite a promising, permanent solution for the Medicare payment formula used to pay physicians.
Source: Cronkite News
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Indiana Is Battling the Worst HIV Outbreak in Its History
Mar 26, 2015 - Reports the greatest HIV outbreak in Indiana state history, citing its origin in the rural community of Austin, Indiana. Also highlights the burden of the outbreak on the only doctor's office located in Austin. Ties the outbreak to poverty and needle sharing by drug users.
Source: The Washington Post
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In-School Clinics Provide Better Healthcare for Students and the Community
Mar 25, 2015 - Describes the benefits to providing oral health services in schools, especially those located in rural areas, through the experience of Valley Middle School in House Springs, Missouri.
Source: Mid-Missouri Public Radio
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Some Farmers Warming to the Affordable Care Act
Mar 25, 2015 - Discusses both positive and negative perceptions of the Affordable Care Act held by rural farmers.
Source: Kansas Health Institute
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House Calls: What to Do When Your Patients Are Snowed In
Mar 24, 2015 - This article provides a personal reflection of a physician practicing in Clay County, West Virginia, and the realities of rural healthcare provision. Describes how snow can make healthcare access very difficult and create an environment for worsening health conditions during winter months.
Source: The American Academy of Family Physicians
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Status of GAO Recommendations to Improve 340B Drug Pricing Program Oversight
Mar 24, 2015 - The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report finding that the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) oversight of the 340B program was inadequate. The report includes recommendations made to HRSA to ensure appropriate use of the program.
Source: The U.S. Government Accountability Office
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VA Works to Expand Choice Program Eligibility
Mar 24, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a change to the distance calculation used to determine a veteran's eligibility in the Veterans Choice Program.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Study: Rural Hospitals Work Hard to Provide Maternity Care but Face Significant Staffing and Training Challenges
Mar 23, 2015 - Describes a study that found challenges to staffing and training of obstetric workforce in rural areas across the country. Provides key findings from the study outlining the challenges.
Source: University of Minnesota School of Public Health
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UM Teams Develop New Ideas to Improve Rural Health Care
Mar 22, 2015 - Recaps a first-of-a-kind event meant to spark innovation in rural healthcare called Hacking Rural Medicine. This rural medicine "hackathon" had teams of medical professionals develop ideas for a new tool or product to help solve healthcare gaps in rural areas.
Source: Associated Press via The Montana Standard
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Rural Hospitals Struggle to Keep Their Doors Open
Mar 20, 2015 - Describes the financial challenges rural hospitals are facing and the impact of hospital closures on the rural communities that are home to these facilities. Highlights the impact on residents of Guthrie and Paducah, Texas, where a local hospital recently closed, leaving people with less access to health services.
Source: The Texas Tribune in partnership with Kaiser Health News
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Why Rural Health Matters
Mar 19, 2015 - Provides an overview of the unique characteristics of rural healthcare and the importance of it for rural residents. Recaps the messages of key speakers at the National Rural Health Association's Rural Health Policy Institute.
Source: Altarum Institute
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USDA Partners with University of Kentucky to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center
Mar 19, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will partner with the University of Kentucky in Lexington to establish the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center. The Center will use cutting-edge solutions to reduce food insecurity in poor, rural counties across the country.
Source: The U.S. Department of Agriculture
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KU Studying Obesity Treatment for Rural Kansans
Mar 19, 2015 - Highlights a new study reporting that people living in rural areas are more likely to be obese than city dwellers. Lists contributing factors such as nutritional diet, exercise, culture, and a lack of resources and infrastructure supporting health and wellness. This article announces the start of a 5 year, nationwide study to further investigate obesity in rural areas.
Source: Pratt Tribune
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Telehealth Legislation Heats Up Nationwide
Mar 19, 2015 - Lists state efforts across the country to legislate telehealth related bills.
Source: mHealth Intelligence
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'Health Begins Outside the Doctor's Office,' Says Former Surgeon General and UAB Grad
Mar 18, 2015 - Shares the opinion of a former Surgeon General on the importance of prevention in addressing health disparities. Submits that high rates of poverty and dropout rates directly contribute to health outcomes in rural areas, which report some of the worst health problems in the country.
Source: Alabama Media Group
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‘We Can’t Help You’: The Message To Rural Vets About Health Care
Mar 17, 2015 - Highlights challenges to implementing the Veterans Choice Program which is aimed to improve access to healthcare for rural veterans.
Source: KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
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FORHP Hosts Webinar on AIM, a Medicare ACO Model for Rural Providers
Mar 17, 2015 - On April 2nd, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will host a webinar on the ACO Investment Model, which encourages uptake of ACOs in rural areas by offering shared savings prepayments and per beneficiary per month payments.
Source: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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Disparities in Health Care Felt on Reservations
Mar 16, 2015 - Dr. Donald Warne highlights health disparities that exist within the Native American population, often located in rural areas. The article also highlights uses of technology to address these health disparities.
Source: Tri-State Neighbor
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Why Is The Risk Of Youth Suicide Higher In Rural Areas?
Mar 15, 2015 - Interviews Dr. Sandra Micken, a Montana psychologist, about a recent publication concluding that rural young people are nearly twice as likely as their urban counterparts to commit suicide.
Source: National Public Radio
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Rural Hospitals, Beset by Financial Problems, Struggle to Survive
Mar 15, 2015 - Describes the financial challenges that rural hospitals are facing across the country by telling the story of a rural hospital closure in Mount Vernon, Texas. Highlights the impact that sequestration, reductions in special Medicaid payments, and high health insurance deductibles have had on rural healthcare access.
Source: The Washington Post
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Unconventional Success
Mar 15, 2015 - Describes the unique success of a partnership between two Critical Access Hospitals and several outreach clinics that provide specialty services to a rural region in Iowa which has brought financial stability to both facilities and their communities.
Source: The Globe Gazette
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Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Releases Report on Medicare Payment Policy
Mar 13, 2015 - The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its annual review of Medicare payment policies. This press release announces the report's release and includes recommendations to Congress made in the report.
Source: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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CMS Expands Telehealth Coverage Under New ACO Model
Mar 13, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on March 10th its new Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. This article discusses the new model and how it is allowing ACOs to use telehealth services, extending coverage for telemedicine service to many more Medicare beneficiaries.
Source: Health Data Management
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HRSA Chief Wakefield Appointed Acting HHS Deputy Secretary
Mar 13, 2015 - Reports that one of the country's leading rural health advocates, Dr. Mary Wakefield, has been appointed as acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (May require registration for full article)
Source: Modern Healthcare
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Reactions to Recent OIG Swing Bed Report
Mar 12, 2015 - On Monday the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, released a report recommending a reduction in swing-bed reimbursement for Critical Access Hospitals. This story lists reactions to the report.
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Cradle of Shame
Mar 12, 2015 - A multi-part investigative story that describes the infant mortality rate disparity across the state of South Carolina with the highest rates of infant mortality found in rural areas. Part three highlights the need for access to OB/GYN services in rural areas.
Source: The Post and Courier
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Telehealth Promises to Reshape Health Care
Mar 10, 2015 - Discusses the potential for telehealth services to increase healthcare access and convenience as well as improve healthcare quality and patient satisfaction for urban and rural residents.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
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Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model Fact Sheet
Mar 10, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced an addition to their Accountable Care Organization (ACO) portfolio, its Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model. This press release highlights its intent for experienced ACOs in coordinating care that allows for higher levels of risk and reward.
Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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2015 National Health Service Corp Scholarship Program Application Cycle Now Open
Mar 10, 2015 - The 2015 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program application cycle is now open. The application cycle will remain open through May 7, 2015. Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process early as on average it takes up to 3 weeks to complete the application.
Source: National Health Service Corps
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Rural OB/GYN Recruitment Strategy Emphasizes Benefits
Mar 9, 2015 - Describes the lack of access to obstetricians and gynecologists in rural areas. Offers some promising incentives and advice to help recruit and retain OB/GYN professionals.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
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Young Adult And Teen Suicide Rates Nearly Double In Rural Areas Compared To Urban Areas
Mar 9, 2015 - Highlights a study that finds the rates of suicide among teens and young-adults were nearly double in rural areas compared to their urban counterparts. Suggests using school-based mental health interventions through the use of telemental health services to help address the disparity.
Source: Medical Daily
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Report: Rural Hospitals Get Billions in Extra Medicare Funds
Mar 9, 2015 - Describes a recent report released by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services that identified potential cost savings related to Critical Access Hospitals' use of swing-bed services. Highlights key findings of the report and some initial reactions to it.
Source: Associated Press
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Health Care for Veterans Goes High Tech
Mar 8, 2015 - Profiles new, technology based approaches to providing mental health services to veterans. Highlights 'Give an Hour', a non-profit that provides veterans and their families access to free mental-health services through video sessions with a network of volunteers.
Source: The Washington Post
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A Hospital's Main Strategy - Survival
Mar 6, 2015 - Highlights the financial pressures on both urban and rural hospitals in Georgia. Survival has become the main focus of many hospitals, especially in rural communities with 4 of the 5 Georgian hospitals closures since 2013 being rural facilities.
Source: Georgia Health News
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HRSA: Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages, Notice for Request for Nominations Federal Register
Mar 6, 2015 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking nominations for the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages (ACICBL). HRSA has a stated special interest in balancing professionals from both urban and rural areas on this committee.
Source: Federal Register
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LGBT People in Rural Areas Struggle to Find Good Medical Care
Mar 5, 2015 - Discusses the lack of legal structure, healthcare access, and general physician knowledge to support the needs of the LGBT community living in rural areas, with a focus on Nebraska.
Source: CNN
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Practicing Rural Health Care Right Here at Home
Mar 5, 2015 - Describes the efforts of a residency program in Hendersonville, North Carolina, that is preparing primary care physicians to serve in rural parts of the state. Highlights the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned in addressing primary care workforce shortages.
Source: North Carolina Health News
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MIT Rural Health Care 'Hackathon' on Agenda in Missoula
Mar 4, 2015 - Describes what a 'hackathon' is and why the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is sending a team to Missoula, Montana to facilitate it. Outlines the event, speakers, and its aim to solve rural health challenges.
Source: The Missoulian
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Federal Primary-Care Program for Underserved Areas is at Risk Despite Successes
Mar 3, 2015 - Highlights the impact of not funding the Teaching Health Centers (THC) program, which will happen if Congress does not extend support, on underserved and rural areas that rely on the program as a supply of primary care doctors.
Source: Modern Healthcare
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Sen. Moran Introduces Bill to Support Rural Hospitals
Mar 2, 2015 - Describes a recently introduced Senate bill aiming to extend the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration for five years. A companion bill was introduced in the House last month.
Source: Office of U.S. Senator Moran
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Tom Vilsack Announces Projects To Fight Child Hunger
Mar 2, 2015 - Describes a new funding initiative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support five rural demonstration projects to address child poverty and hunger.
Source: Huffington Post
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When Health Care Is Far From Home
Mar 2, 2015 - Describes the plight of rural Hayfork, California after years of population loss and the eventual closures of the only clinic and pharmacy for miles around. Includes perspectives from local residents on how less access to healthcare has affected their quality of life.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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Lawmakers Press Veterans Affairs for Improved Access to Rural Health Care
Mar 1, 2015 - Describes efforts by lawmakers pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand access to healthcare for veterans through broader interpretation of the eligibility requirements of the Veterans Choice Act.
Source: Trib Total Media
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CMS: Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs; Renewal of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE) and Request for Nominations Federal Register
Feb 27, 2015 - Announces the renewal of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE) and seeks nominations to serve on the panel from a variety of fields, including a critical need for those with expertise in rural health, behavioral health, aging, tribal affairs, and more.
Source: Federal Register
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King v. Burwell: What a Subsidy Shutdown Could Mean for Health Care Providers
Feb 26, 2015 - Outlines what the King v. Burwell Supreme Court ruling could mean for healthcare providers, with special consideration concerning rural healthcare providers and rural health facilities.
Source: The Commonwealth Fund
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House Subcommittees Hold Hearings on FY 2016 HHS Budget
Feb 26, 2015 - Describes a meeting of U.S. House of Representative Committee on Appropriations in which the president's fiscal year 2016 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services was discussed. Highlights conversation around a proposed cut of Critical Access Hospital (CAH) funding and elimination of the CAH status for some rural hospitals.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Congress Urged to Protect Hospital Care
Feb 26, 2015 - Reports efforts of hospital leaders urging members of Congress to consider their needs. Briefly mentions the impacts of some legislative changes on Critical Access Hospitals and other rural facilities.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Nebraska Eyes Medicaid 'Redesign' Bill to Close Coverage Gap
Feb 26, 2015 - Describes a bill presented to the Nebraska State Senate that offers a new approach to redesigning Medicaid Services within the state after two previously failed attempts. Mentions arguments in favor of Medicaid redesign because of its anticipated impact on rural residents.
Source: Associated Press via The State
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Mississippi Emerges as Leader in Telemedicine
Feb 26, 2015 - Reports Mississippi's success in becoming a leader in telehealth service provision. Highlights the impact telemedicine services are having on rural healthcare facilities.
Source: Politico
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Four Rural Hospitals in High-Tech Pilot Program
Feb 24, 2015 - Provides more details to Georgia Governor Deal's rural health reform plan, including identification of four hospitals that will serve as the 'hubs' in a 'hub and spoke' system. Explains the relationship these 'hub' facilities will have with other rural healthcare facilities, prioritizing a reliance on telehealth technologies.
Source: The Telegraph
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New Online Resource Showcases the Historic Legacy of Community Health Centers
Feb 23, 2015 - Announces a new online resource celebrating 50 years since the implementation of Community Health Centers across the United States. Features a video, interactive timeline, and infographics telling the history and legacy of the program.
Source: The National Association of Community Health Centers
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Helmsley Trust Boosts American Indian Public Health Program
Feb 23, 2015 - A gift from the Helmsley Charitable Trust and the state of North Dakota has created more scholarship opportunities for students enrolled in the North Dakota Master of Public Health program at the North Dakota State University. The program is touted as the only program in the country designed specifically to prepare graduates to work with public health for Native American populations.
Source: Sun Herald
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Nathan Deal’s Plan to Save Struggling Rural Hospitals
Feb 23, 2015 - Describes a recently released report from Georgia's Office of the Governor which calls for a new rural healthcare structure to help stabilize hospitals under stress. It includes recommendations for a "hub and spoke" model and to expand the scope of work for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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With Rural Doctors in Short Supply, Minnesota Lawmakers Consider More Financial Incentives
Feb 20, 2015 - Among consideration to expand state funding for loan repayment for recent graduates, this article highlights the advantages of financial incentives for newly graduated physicians to practice in rural areas throughout Minnesota from the perspective of both the physician and the law makers.
Source: Star Tribune
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Hospital Leaders Urge Congress to Protect Rural Health Care
Feb 19, 2015 - Highlights a message from rural hospital leaders urging congress to protect their small and rural hospitals during the American Hospital Association's Rural Healthcare Leadership Conference.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Telehealth Could Help Poor, Rural Counties like Hancock
Feb 19, 2015 - Discusses the capabilities of telehealth services in extending access and improving quality of care in rural communities in Georgia.
Source: The Telegraph
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Rural Hospitals Shutting Down at Alarming Rates
Feb 18, 2015 - A video report that interviews the people most affected by rural hospital closures in Georgia to highlight the severity of and the reasons for the problem. Discusses some solutions at both the state and local levels that are currently being exercised.
Source: Al Jazeera America
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HUD Announces More than $650 Million in Indian Housing Block Grants
Feb 18, 2015 - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced $651 million to 586 Native American tribes through the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG). Lists the recipients and explains the aims of the program.
Source: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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Rural, Safety Net Hospital Advocates Join Drug Pricing Fray
Feb 18, 2015 - Describes an ongoing discussion around some rural hospitals' and cancer hospitals' inclusion in the 340B pharmaceutical program and the addition of advocates for rural, safety net hospitals to those voicing their opinion on the issue.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
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Stanford Study Shows Rural Disadvantages Under Obamacare
Feb 18, 2015 - Summarizes findings of a recent Standford study that concludes rural residents have fewer and more expensive choices through health insurance markets made available through the Affordable Care Act.
Source: Stanford News Service
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Reed Wants Rural Hospital Funding Made Permanent
Feb 17, 2015 - Reports U.S Representative Tom Reed's support for two key federal programs that help rural hospitals and his opinion to permanently fund them. Describes the benefits to establishing permanent funding for both the Medicare Dependent and Low-Volume Hospital programs.
Source: The Leader
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It Was Meant to Reduce Wait times, but Veterans Say New Choice Cards Are Causing More Problems
Feb 16, 2015 - Describes problems experienced by veterans and doctors when trying to use the new "Choice Card" program to receive care closer to home. Troubles include both a miscommunication on how distance requirements are set and confusion around which veterans are eligible for the program.
Source: The Washington Post
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Dying Rural Hospitals Affect Most Vulnerable
Feb 14, 2015 - Describes the national trend of rural hospital closures due to financial stress while highlighting their severe impact of the most vulnerable population. Tells this story through the example of Upshur County, Texas, due to a recent rural hospital closure and the impact of it in that community.
Source: Tyler Morning Telegraph
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Advanced Primary Care Initiatives
Feb 13, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking comment on initiatives to test new approaches to advanced primary care. Advanced primary care is based on principles of the Patient Centered Medical Home.
Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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CMS: Announcement of Ruling: Implementing United States v. Windsor for Purposes of Entitlement and Enrollment in Medicare Hospital Insurance and Supplementary Medical Insurance Federal Register
Feb 13, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a notice of a ruling that broadens the definition of marriage as it pertains to Medicare programs. Marital status is relevant to some Medicare entitlements, premiums, benefits, and enrollment provisions. This ruling provides binding CMS policy for the application of these provisions in the context of a same-sex marriage.
Source: Federal Register
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Iowa State Researchers Urge Rural States to Prepare for Aging
Feb 11, 2015 - Reports the findings of a recent study claiming that elders in rural areas are at risk due to an inadequacy in availability of healthcare services. Comments on services available to rural aging people both nationally and within Iowa specifically.
Source: Iowa State University
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Veterans Choice Program Webinar
Feb 11, 2015 - The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) will be hosting a Veterans Choice Program Webinar consisting of a presentation of the new program, which expands access to healthcare to thousands of veterans by allowing them to receive care from non-VA healthcare providers.
Source: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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Facing Layoffs And Closures, Rural Hospitals Push For Medicaid Expansion
Feb 11, 2015 - Describes challenges faced by healthcare facilities located in rural Missouri in the face of federal payment reductions. Highlights a current debate concerning the impact of Medicaid expansion on these financial challenges.
Source: Kansas City Public Media
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Time for Rural Leaders to Speak Up
Feb 11, 2015 - Discusses timely policy concerns for rural healthcare providers with the associate administrator of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Tom Morris. Covers a variety of important topics including the 340B program, direct supervision for outpatient therapy and more.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
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Revived Walden Bill Seeks Fair Rural Air Ambulance Rates
Feb 10, 2015 - Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has reintroduced a bill aimed to preserve emergency care throughout rural America by providing fair payment to ambulance service providers.
Source: KTVZ
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How Do State Regulations Impact the Nation’s Nurse Practitioner Workforce?
Feb 10, 2015 - Outlines a new research plan to examine how the nurse practitioner workforce is spread across the nation, with particular focus on underserved populations and communities in both rural and urban areas.
Source: University of Rochester Medical Center
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How Rural Hospitals Can Work to Maintain Independence
Feb 10, 2015 - Discusses the transition from a fee-for-service to a value-based payment model for rural hospitals. Offers strategies to a successful transition while maintaining independence.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
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Rural Physician Practice EHR Adoption Surpasses Urban Areas
Feb 9, 2015 - Reports the findings of an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, concluding that electronic health record (EHR) adoption rate is higher among rural physicians. Discusses the findings of a 2012 survey of office-based physician practices and offers reasons for the higher adoption rate in rural facilities.
Source: EHR Intelligence
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Health Care Access 'Doctors Up' Local Economies
Feb 6, 2015 - Discusses the importance of the healthcare industry to local economies throughout Kansas, particularly noting its impact on small and rural communities. Summarizes the economic impact of a hospital in a rural town as representing as much as 10 to 15 percent of the entire economy.
Source: Midwest Producer
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Counties Find a "Roadmap" Useful When Working Across Jurisdictions
Feb 5, 2015 - Reports on a network of six counties in Colorado that are taking a team approach to healthcare throughout their communities. Cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS) is an emerging model of collaboration that is gaining recognition and funding from the likes of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. This article explains this Colorado application of CJS in more detail.
Source: National Association of Counties
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Legislation Would Extend Add-on Payments for Rural Ambulance Providers
Feb 5, 2015 - Summarizes recently introduced legislation intended to extend add-on payment for ambulance services in rural areas that are set to expire at the end of March.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Critical Access Hospitals Lag in Meaningful Use Attestation
Feb 5, 2015 - Highlights a disparity in meaningful use attestation rates between Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other facilities. Drawing on HealthIT.gov data and a recent Health Affairs report, the article highlights the finding that despite high rates of electronic health record implementation, meaningful use attestation rates continue to lag behind for CAHs.
Source: EHR Intelligence
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Rural and Independent Hospitals: Going It Alone or Teaming Up?
Feb 5, 2015 - Examines independent rural hospitals, including why they remain independent and how partnering helps them remain viable.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
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Metrics and Analytics Pose Different Challenges for Rural Hospitals
Feb 5, 2015 - Discusses the importance of tracking revenues and costs for small rural hospitals, particularly as reimbursement systems change and uncertainty remains regarding extensions of Federal programs related to rural hospitals.
Source: Healthcare Finance News
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Rural Hospitals Join Forces to Access ACO Incentives
Feb 4, 2015 - Features the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium and how it is helping critical access hospitals take advantage of new opportunities and models of care delivery.
Source: RevCycleIntelligence.com
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Legislation Would Extend Rural Community Hospital Demonstration
Feb 4, 2015 - Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has introduced the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Extension Act, which would extend the current demonstration program for five years, allowing rural hospitals with fewer than 51 beds to continue testing the feasibility of cost-based reimbursement.
Source: AHA News
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UNM’s Newest MOOC Tackles Rural Health Care
Feb 3, 2015 - The University of New Mexico has announced a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Rural Health Nursing. The course will deal with creating unique and culturally appropriate solutions for improving health for rural residents when resources are limited.
Source: University of New Mexico
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Small Town Mayor Pleads with Washington to Save Rural Hospitals
Feb 3, 2015 - Belhaven, North Carolina, Mayor Adam O’Neal has already walked 273 miles to Washington, D.C., to protest the closure of his town’s only hospital. Now, he wants to do it again, and is asking members of the National Rural Health Association to join him.
Source: U.S. News and World Report
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President's 2016 Budget: Selected Resources and Reactions
Feb 3, 2015 - President Obama released his 2016 budget proposal on February 2nd which outlines the Administration’s suggested priorities for Congress as they work to put forth a 2016 Federal budget to be enacted October 1st. Here are some useful links to access official budget documents, as well as selected reactions from the field.
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Specialist Doctors Head for Exit as U.S. Shifts Payments
Feb 1, 2015 - Discusses the federal government's move toward value-based healthcare purchasing and how that is impacting the provision of specialty care. Includes concerns that access to rural specialty care may be adversely affected as small practices close and the physicians go to work for larger organizations.
Source: Bloomberg Business
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HUD-VA Program That Serves Homeless Veterans to Expand into Native American Communities for the First Time
Jan 30, 2015 - The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced the expansion of the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program to serve homeless veterans living on or near tribal lands. The program combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services from the VA.
Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development
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The Decline of the Rural American Hospital and How to Reverse It
Jan 30, 2015 - Describes the merits of telemedicine in rural communities, helping to increase access and quality of healthcare while lowering costs to healthcare facilities.
Source: Harvard Business Review
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FCC Finds U.S. Broadband Deployment Not Keeping Pace
Jan 29, 2015 - The Federal Communications Commission has released a statement describing the status of broadband, finding a deficiency in the rate of deployment - especially in rural areas.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
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CMS Intends to Modify Requirements for Meaningful Use
Jan 29, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced its intention to allow for more flexibility within their Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program beginning in 2015. The article explains how this change is expected to lessen the burden on providers.
Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back
Jan 29, 2015 - Reports on the limited health insurance provider options in rural California, especially through the State sponsored marketplace. Places the blame of reduced insurance coverage options on companies pulling out of rural markets after the advent of the Affordable Care Act.
Source: National Public Radio
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