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Top news stories from the past 14 days. Please visit the News Archive for earlier stories.

Poverty Drags Down Rural Health Rankings
Apr 23, 2014 -- Daily Yonder article provides details on a special analysis of county health using the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded County Health Rankings and Roadmap tool. Results show that the most rural counties across the country ranked the lowest in 18 of 34 measurements of county health.

Rural and Urban Hospitals Differ in Patient Care
Apr 23, 2014 -- Medscape article reports that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights differences between rural and urban hospitals in patient population and inpatient care provided. (Free login may be required to view this article)

Rural HIV Patients Linked to Medical Care
Apr 23, 2014 -- Montgomery Advertiser (AL) article describes how Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama Inc. is using telemedicine to provide HIV care to patients in rural areas of the state.

Health Center Program; Notice     Federal Register 
Apr 22, 2014 -- HRSA's Bureau of Primary Health Care is requesting a class deviation to award low-cost extensions of up to 6 months or, when necessary, administrative supplements to minimize disruption of services for specific health center program service areas.

USDA Announces $150 Million Investment Fund to Grow Small Businesses, Create Jobs in Rural America
Apr 22, 2014 -- As part of the Obama Administration's new "Made in Rural America" export and investment initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of a new investment fund, the Rural Business Investment Company, that will help boost the growth of small businesses across rural America.

Michigan Health Systems Seek Cure for Dearth of Doctors
Apr 21, 2014 -- Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with The Detroit News, reports that Michigan's medical schools, doctors offices and health networks are working together to find solutions for the shortage of primary care physicians in underserved areas the state.

OVC Seeking Rural Community to Participate in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center Pilot Project
Apr 21, 2014 -- The National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center pilot project is seeking rural communities who wish to participate. Selected sites will receive equipment, technical assistance, and funding for certain personnel necessary to participate.
Learn more about: Rural Community Participation in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center Pilot Project

UR Medicine Helping Aging Adults in Rural Communities
Apr 21, 2014 -- The article introduces a new project from the University of Rochester called Project ECHO. It's function is to address the lack of mental health and dementia care in rural New York through the use of telemedicine.

Rural Maryland Lacks Health Care Resources
Apr 20, 2014 -- The Star Democrat article describes challenges facing rural Maryland's healthcare system, specifically citing workforce recruitment and retention as a barrier to increasing healthcare quality.

VA Hospital's Rural Mobile Unit Helps Veterans Across the State
Apr 20, 2014 -- An article by WBOY-TV, a local media source, describing rural outreach efforts by the VA of West Virginia; namely, it's mobile health unit.

Surgical-Robot Costs Put Small Hospitals in a Bind
Apr 19, 2014 -- Modern Healthcare reports on the Da Vinci Surgical System and it's benefit to small and rural hospitals, including attracting and retaining surgeons and appeal to patients.

3RNet Places 1,619 Health Professionals in Rural and Underserved Areas
Apr 18, 2014 -- Members recently completed a survey to help the organization compile how many professionals were placed in communities through their efforts. From October 2012 through September 2013, 3RNet members were able to refer candidates to health care facilities 290,557 times and they successfully placed 1,619 health professionals in rural or underserved communities across the country.

Managing Diabetes with Telemedicine
Apr 18, 2014 -- The Stateline article discusses the prevalence of diabetes in the United States and how Telemedicine can be used as a tool to address this challenge in a more cost efficient way, highlighting a current Mississippi Telemedecine initiative.

10 Alabama Hospitals Have Closed in the Last 3 Years: Will Yours Be next?
Apr 17, 2014 -- A blog post on Alabama Media Group reports on an alarming amount of hospital closings in Alabama in the last three years, citing a variety of pressures with mention of rural hospitals getting the worst of those pressures.

Appalachian State/AccessCare Program Pairing College Interns with Rural Clinics Wins National Rural Health Award
Apr 16, 2014 -- The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust grants the 2014 Innovations in Rural Health Award to a partnership program between Appalachian State University and AccessCare of Blue Ridge that pairs undergraduate students with rural clinics to help clinics improve primary care services in the Appalachian region. The award recognizes innovative rural health work from around the country.
Learn more about: Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Innovations in Rural Health Award

Cracking Colorado’s Rural Healthcare Conundrum
Apr 16, 2014 -- The Colorado Independent article outlines challenges rural Colorado healthcare providers face in lieu of changes under the Affordable Care Act and offers telehealth and telemedicine as a possible solution.

FAQ On ACOs: Accountable Care Organizations, Explained
Apr 16, 2014 -- Kaiser Health News offers an article to help answer the most common questions about a timely, new healthcare delivery model that is spreading quickly throughout the country: Accountable Care Organizations.

OB Care In Small Towns
Apr 16, 2014 -- A Keloland Television article featuring a new Sioux Center Health building to help highlight the lack of obstetric care providers in rural communities.

Poll: Uninsured Rate for Adults Down More in Certain States
Apr 16, 2014 -- American Hospital Association: The uninsured rate for adults has declined more this year in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and set up state or partnership exchanges than it has in other states, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey.

CMS Revises Application Request for ESRD Payment, Care Delivery Model
Apr 15, 2014 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released a revised Request for Applications for the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Model.

Op-ed: Accessing Mental Health Care Still a Challenge in CT’s Rural Areas
Apr 15, 2014 -- An Op-ed piece argues that although we are making strides for better healthcare quality and access in the United States, there still remains issues surrounding rural residents living with mental illness.

Poll: 58% of Health Care Organizations Disappointed in ICD-10 Delay
Apr 15, 2014 -- iHealthBeat article discusses poll findings concerning sentiments towards the delay of the ICD-10 transition mandate. It reports that the majority of health care organizations are disappointed in the one-year delay of ICD-10.

Assessment of Rural Hospitals Warns of Fiscal Trials and Tribulations Ahead
Apr 14, 2014 -- Mississippi Business Journal puts forth a bleak outlook for rural health facilities in Mississippi. Citing a study by the state auditor, "The Financial Health of Publicly Owned Rural Mississippi Hospitals". The article points out some positive attributes of rural health in Mississippi, but outlines national pressures and the effects they will have on the pocketbooks of rural Mississippi health in the future.

Challenges to Two-Midnight and Related Policies Filed
Apr 14, 2014 -- The American Hospital Association, four hospital associations and a number of hospitals today challenged in federal court the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ new two-midnight rule and a related offset to Medicare payments, which they claim burden hospitals with arbitrary standards and documentation requirements and deprive them of Medicare reimbursement to which they are entitled.

CMS Proposes Adoption of Updated Life Safety Code
Apr 14, 2014 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced a proposed rule on the adoption of updated life safety code (LSC) that CMS would use in its ongoing work to ensure the health and safety of all patients, family and staff in every provider and supplier setting.

HRSA: National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps; Notice of Meeting
Apr 14, 2014 -- The National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps is holding a meeting via conference call to provide program updates and discuss the potential growth of the National Health Service Corps. The public can join the meeting via audio conference call.

ObamaCare costs lower than expected, CBO says
Apr 14, 2014 -- The Hill: ObamaCare's health insurance benefits will cost the federal government $104 billion less than previously expected over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Monday.

PRCHNH Forced to Cut Staff and Hours
Apr 14, 2014 -- Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home, of Mississippi, is facing tough times, the Picayune Item reports. To keep the doors open, the hospital has had to eliminate 19 positions and enact hour reductions.

Tax Credit Extension Sought to Aid Rural Providers
Apr 14, 2014 -- Modern Healthcare: Advocates are trying to persuade Congress to permanently extend a tax incentive program that helps small and rural healthcare providers obtain financing for building and expansion projects.

Tim Size: Low Rural Rankings Show Need to Build Culture of Health
Apr 13, 2014 -- The Cap Times offers an article from Tim Size, Director of Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, discussing the breadth of factors that contribute to quality healthcare in a rural community.

Budget Chief Is Obama’s Choice as New Health Secretary
Apr 11, 2014 -- The New York Times is reporting President Obama's nomination after the resignation of former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Funding Cycle Open: Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Substance Abuse
Apr 11, 2014 -- Funding for collaborative regional partnerships that provide activities and services designed to increase the well-being, improve permanency outcomes, and enhance the safety of children and families experiencing substance use disorders.
Learn more about: Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children Affected by Substance Abuse

Georgia Officials Have Limited Options To Save Rural Hospitals
Apr 11, 2014 -- With nine rural hospitals having closed since the year 2000, Georgia is looking for options to keep rural healthcare facilities open. GPB News (GA) article discusses a variety of reasons with which these hospitals have been struggling and how both the governor and the legislature are working to address the challenge.

HRSA: Notice of Availability of Final Policy Document     Federal Register 
Apr 11, 2014 -- Notice of the Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) clarifying governance requirements for section 330-funded health centers and look-alikes which support the delivery of preventive and primary care services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations.

NOSORH Announces Grant Writing Institute 2014: Beyond the Basics
Apr 11, 2014 -- NOSORH has announced its first ever Grant Writing Institute 2014: Beyond the Basics. The course is designed for individuals looking for education beyond the introductory or beginning level to expand their rural health grant writing credentials.
Learn more about: NOSORH Grantwriting Institute: Beyond the Basics

Western Kansas Hospitals Meet to Improve Healthcare
Apr 11, 2014 -- In rural areas like western Kansas, a lack of resources, medical professionals, and long distances between patients and their caregivers can make rural healthcare a challenge. A KSN article discusses an innovative health network, the Pioneer Health Network, aimed to improve the quality of rural healthcare delivery.

Barriers Remain Despite Health Law's Push To Expand Access To Substance Abuse Treatment
Apr 10, 2014 -- Kaiser Health News in collaboration with USA Today released an article discussing the challenges facing substance abuse treatment despite sweeping changes implement by the passing of the nation's new health law to help millions of people with drug or alcohol addiction get treatment. Access to treatment centers is a key concern.

House Approves Budget Plan
Apr 10, 2014 -- American Hospital Association reports the House of Representatives today voted 219-205 along party lines to approve a budget resolution for fiscal year 2015 that would cut government spending by $5.1 trillion over 10 years.

How a Rural State Manages to Lead the Way in EHR Adoption
Apr 10, 2014 -- EHR Intelligence article reports that a generally safe assumption in healthcare is that academic and urban clinical settings outpace critical access and rural health centers. However, a recent report by SK&A shows that states with high rural populations like Utah, Wyoming, Iowa, and the Dakotas rank among the top-five states for EHR adoption.

Sebelius Reports 7.5 Million Sign Ups Through Health Insurance Marketplace
Apr 10, 2014 -- American Hospital Association article reports that about 400,000 people have signed up for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace since March 31, bringing the total to about 7.5 million, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee today.

Study: More Kids in USA Have Health Insurance
Apr 10, 2014 -- A new report from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) shows the percentage of U.S. children who lack health insurance fell to just 7.5 percent in 2012, the most recent year of data available. The percentage of children who were uninsured nationwide dropped from 9.7 percent in 2008. SHADAC is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Number of Uninsured Is Dropping, but Not Thanks to Obamacare Exchanges
Apr 10, 2014 -- The Wire reports: Two new surveys clearly show that the number of people who lack health insurance in the United States has dropped — but largely not because people have enrolled in Obamacare exchanges.

When Rural Hospitals Close, Towns Struggle to Stay Open
Apr 10, 2014 -- Marketplace articles reports a healthcare crisis in America that you might not have heard about: Rural hospitals are closing at a rate that’s starting to get some politicians’ attention. This is having a negative impact on the surrounding economy.

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Funding for this project was supported by Grant Number U56RH05539 from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funder.