Top news stories from the past 14 days. Please visit the News Archive for earlier stories.
The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 Provides Immediate Crisis Counseling to People Affected by the Violent Storms Across Oklahoma
May 21, 2013 -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration article tells of The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990, that can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the violent storms that swept across Oklahoma. The Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource.
VA and Veterans Service Organizations Announce Claims Initiative to Reduce Claims Backlog
May 21, 2013 -- Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and The American Legion announced a new partnership to help reduce the compensation claims backlog for Veterans.
CMS Updates EHR Program Guidance for CAH Physicians
May 20, 2013 -- AHA News Now article reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued updated guidance that explains how certain physicians who provide services in the outpatient departments of critical access hospitals can participate in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program beginning this year.
VA Announces New Grants to Help End Veterans’ Homelessness
May 20, 2013 -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced two new grants homeless providers can apply for to enhance the facilities used to serve homeless Veterans, and acquire vans to facilitate transportation of this population.
Autistic Adults in Rural America: Part I
May 17, 2013 -- Autism After 16 article discusses how for many families living in rural America, the experience of living with autism is markedly different from that of urbanites—for better and for worse. This two-part series takes a closer look at autism in rural communities as experienced by families in different parts of the country.
Developing Telebehavioral Health Capacity to Serve the Needs of Your Patients: No Cost Training and Technical Assistance Series
May 17, 2013 -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/ Health Resources and Services Administration Center HRSA) for Integrated Health Solutions is sponsoring a free Telebehavioral Health Training and Technical Assistance Series to HRSA-funded safety net providers and rural health clinics.
HHS Announces First Nationwide Safety Standards for Child Care
May 17, 2013 -- Washington Post, (DC) article reports that after a growing number of high-profile media reports of children who have died or been injured in child care, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that it will for the first time impose tough national health and safety standards on all child-care facilities that accept government subsidies.
Nonmetro Counties: Gains and Losses
May 17, 2013 -- Daily Yonder article reports that rural America lost population from 2010 to 2012. But each nonmetro county tells a different story. Find your county on the interactive map.
Rural Access Emergency Devices (RAED) Funding Now Available from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
May 17, 2013 -- The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has announced the release of the FY 2013 Rural Access to External Devices Grant Program. The program offers grants to rural community organizations for the purchase, placement, and training in the use of automated external defibrillators.
Learn more about: Rural Access to Emergency Devices Grant Program (RAED)
UofL Rural Medicine Program among Nation’s Best, Trailing Only East Tennessee State, LSU
May 17, 2013 -- KyForward, (KY) article reports that the University of Louisville School of Medicine Trover Rural Campus in Madisonville recently was rated third best in the nation for identifying, nurturing and educating medical students who have an identified interest in future rural practice.
Rural Healthcare Can Entice the Best and Brightest
May 16, 2013 -- HealthLeaders Media article tells the story of Ali Chisti who intends to pursue a career as an internist and a population health specialist providing care in underserved and rural areas—not as a neurosurgeon as he had originally planned. His story illustrates the sacrifices that young physicians are forced to make if they want to provide primary care in rural America.
Tavenner Confirmed as CMS Administrator
May 16, 2013 -- HealthLeaders Media article reports that Marilyn Tavenner was confirmed by a 91-7 vote in the Senate on May 15 to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
US Department of Labor's OSHA Seeks Applications for $1.5 Million in Susan Harwood Safety and Health Training Grants
May 16, 2013 -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is soliciting applications under the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. A total of $1.5 million is available to fund training and education for workers and employers in recognizing workplace safety and health hazards and prevention measures, and understanding their rights and responsibilities.
Administration Announces $1 Billion Initiative to Launch Health Care Innovation Awards
May 15, 2013 -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a nearly $1 billion initiative that will provide funding to test new payment and service delivery models that will deliver better care and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees.
Learn more about: Health Care Innovation Awards
CMS Proposes Reduced Hospital DSH Cuts
May 15, 2013 -- HealthLeaders Media article reports that some 2,000 acute care hospitals that treat large numbers of the uninsured would see a $1.1 billion reduction in federal subsidies, called Medicaid disproportionate share funds, over the next two years under a proposed rule released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Medicare Fraud Strike Force Charges 89 Individuals for Approximately $223 Million in False Billing
May 15, 2013 -- Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced yesterday that a nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in eight cities has resulted in charges against 89 individuals, including doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $223 million in false billings.
Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill
May 15, 2013 -- Center for Rural Affairs article reports that yesterday the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry amended and passed their 2013 Farm Bill by a vote of 15 to 5. The legislation will now move to the floor of the Senate for debate and amendment.
MultiPlan to Award $30,000 in Grants to Rural Hospitals
May 14, 2013 -- PRWeb article reports that MultiPlan, Inc. is accepting applications for its 2013 Rural Health Outreach Grant. The program, now in its 18th year, awards hospitals serving rural areas financial grants to help them introduce or expand services, education, screenings and other endeavors aimed at improving the health of people in their communities.
Learn more about: MultiPlan's Rural Health Outreach Grant Program
Small Towns Fight for Passenger Rail
May 14, 2013 -- Daily Yonder article tells how smaller communities armed with facts, successful examples and dogged persistence are making the case for adding Amtrack passenger rail service.
USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Provide Technical Assistance to Help Rural Businesses Grow
May 14, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking applications from qualified organizations to provide technical assistance to rural businesses to help them expand and create jobs.
Learn more about: Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG)
EHR Adoption in a Critical Access Hospital: Lessons Learned
May 13, 2013 -- Becker's Hospital Review article reports that at their 4th Annual Meeting in Chicago on May 11, Devin Carpenter, RN, assistant director of nursing at Parmer Medical Center in Friona, Texas, shared tips to follow for a successful electronic health record implementation.
For Farmers, Rise in Suicide Rate is Old News
May 13, 2013 -- Minyanville Media article reports that for American farmers in economic distress, suicide has always been the leading killer, and statistics show the suicide rate is higher among farmers than other occupations in the United States.
NACHC Statement on Release of Fiscal Year 2013 Spending Plan for Health Centers
May 13, 2013 -- The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) reports that the Administration has announced their plans for implementing the final FY2013 appropriation for the Health Centers program. Community Health Centers will not experience reductions to their current operations and plans also call for funding an estimated 25 new health centers.
One in Two New Rural Neighbors is Latino
May 13, 2013 -- Fronteras article reports that one out of every two new rural residents is Hispanic, and in the last two years, 1.5 million Latinos have moved into rural America.
Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System and Proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Rates; Quality Reporting Requirements for Specific Providers; Hospital Conditions of Participation; Proposed Rule; Comment Request
May 10, 2013 -- Comments are being requested by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on their proposal to revise the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment systems for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals. They are also proposing to update the payment policies and the annual payment rates for the Medicare prospective payment system for inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals and implement certain statutory changes made by the Affordable Care Act. Also in the proposal are a number of changes relating to direct graduate medical education and indirect medical education payments and to update policies relating to the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.
Nonmetro Population Declines for First Time
May 10, 2013 -- Daily Yonder article reports that from 2011 to 2012, the actual number of people living in nonmetro counties went down, for the first time since the federal government started keeping records. Nonmetro counties are generally synonymous with “rural” for many government definitions.
Health Centers to Help Uninsured Individuals Gain Affordable Health Insurance Coverage
May 9, 2013 -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced new funding of approximately $150 million to help community health centers provide in-person enrollment assistance to uninsured individuals across the nation.
Rural Communities Might Need Different CPR Recommendations than Urban Settings
May 9, 2013 -- Medical News Today article reports that hands-only CPR (CPR without mouth-to-mouth resuscitation), may not be the best method for rural or remote areas or for anyone who has to wait more than a few minutes for an ambulance, a new study suggests.
Rural Unemployment Falls, but Jobs Decline
May 9, 2013 -- Daily Yonder article reports that rural unemployment is down a bit from last year, but a majority of rural counties actually have fewer jobs now than they did in March 2012. The losses are worst in the nation’s most rural counties.
Sen. Franken Pushes to Bring High-Speed Internet Access to Rural Communities and Businesses
May 9, 2013 -- PoliticalNews.me article reports that U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) pressed for legislation to help ensure that the federal government is doing everything it can to bring affordable high-speed Internet access to communities and businesses in rural areas of Minnesota and across the country.
Administration Offers Consumers an Unprecedented Look at Hospital Charges
May 8, 2013 -- Today, as part of the Obama administration’s work to make our health care system more affordable and accountable, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a three-part initiative that for the first time gives consumers information on what hospitals charge.
At Oakes Daylilies, Business is Blooming
May 8, 2013 -- Daily Yonder article reports that in a rural region in Tennessee where farms traditionally provide only a small portion of a family’s income, the Oaks family created full-time jobs for themselves and a dozen other workers by turning a hobby into a thriving agricultural business.
USDA Announces Final Call for 2012 Census of Agriculture
May 7, 2013 -- With the window to respond to the 2012 Census of Agriculture officially closing on May 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging farmers and ranchers not to miss this opportunity to be counted and help determine the future of farming in America.