Rural Health & Human Services
Top Stories

Top news stories from the past 60 days.

Cochise Regional Hospital in Arizona to Close After Medicare Stops Reimbursements Over Safety
Jul 29, 2015 - Reports the closure of Cochise Regional Hospital, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in Douglas, Arizona, due to financial distress experienced after Medicare regulators ceased federal payments over concerns of safety.
Source: Healthcare Finance
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Rural Hospitals Blast 'Arcane' Policies
Jul 28, 2015 - Describes testimony given during a hearing held by the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee highlighting Medicare regulatory burdens for rural healthcare facilities.
Source: Modern Healthcare
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Rethinking Mental Health’s Role in the Rural Health Care System
Jul 24, 2015 - Describes a project funded by the United Methodist Health Ministry that is putting mental healthcare professionals in small, low-volume hospitals in rural Kansas to better serve chronic care users who suffer from mental and emotional disorders. Describes how addressing mental health will improve overall physical health status of rural Kansas residents.
Source: Kansas Health Institute
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The State Of Rural Health Care In North Carolina
Jul 23, 2015 - Interviews Adam O'Neal, the Mayor of Belhaven, North Carolina who has marched to Washington D.C. twice to draw attention to rural hospital closures, about the reality of rural healthcare in North Carolina. Highlights the impact of the closure on the community of Belhaven and surrounding area.
Source: North Carolina Public Radio
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IHS: Meeting on American Indian/Alaska Native Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues Federal Register
Jul 22, 2015 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) announces a public meeting soliciting comment to guide efforts of IHS to promote the health needs of the American Indian/Alaska Native Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community.
Source: Federal Register
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MedPAC Chief Calls for Cutting Subsidies for Some Rural Hospitals
Jul 22, 2015 - Reports on the testimony of the head of the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) to the House Ways and Means Committee's Health Subcommittee concerning payment adjustments for some low-volume, rural hospitals. Calls for reconsidering payments to multiple Critical Access Hospitals located within a 35 miles drive of one another as well as other low-volume facilities that are not sole community providers.
Source: Modern Healthcare
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SCIA Passes SURVIVE Act for Indian Victim Services
Jul 22, 2015 - Describes the passage of the bipartisan Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment Act (SURVIVE Act) by the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) to support Indian victims of crimes. The bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.
Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
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Rural Docs Want Looser Rules for Hepatitis C Treatment
Jul 21, 2015 - Reports on an Indiana Medicaid policy that prohibits family practitioners, often the only providers for small and rural communities, from prescribing the latest treatments for patients infected with Hepatitis C. Describes the policy as a barrier to treatment in light of a recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana.
Source: Greensburg Daily News
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UNM’s Remote Health Care Project Gets $14M
Jul 21, 2015 - Reports growth of the University of New Mexico's telemedicine program, Project ECHO, resulting from a grant of $14 million from the GE Foundation to replicate the model in Federally Qualified Health Centers across the United States.
Source: Albuquerque Journal
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USDA Announces Funding for Rural Broadband Projects
Jul 20, 2015 - Lists recipients of grants to strengthen access to high speed internet in rural areas. Highlights the importance of internet connectivity in rural areas, including its significance in supporting high quality healthcare in rural communities.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture
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Rural Hospitals at a Crossroads as Margins Weaken
Jul 20, 2015 - Describes the unique challenges rural hospitals are facing in the midst of a national healthcare transformation. Highlights a growth in rural hospital closures across the country.
Source: Healthcare Finance
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The Cancer Epidemic in Central Appalachia
Jul 19, 2015 - Highlights an unusually high incidence of cancer for those living in Appalachia and describes potential causes, including proximity to coal mining operations, tobacco use, and poverty.
Source: Newsweek
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Chairman Brady Announces MedPAC Hearing
Jul 17, 2015 - The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on July 22, 2015 with MedPAC to discuss hospital payment issues, rural health issues, and beneficiary access to care. Statements and letters for the record are being accepted.
Source: The Committee on Ways and Means
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Why Obesity and Heart Disease Hit Harder in Indian Country
Jul 17, 2015 - Describes challenges faced by the Navajo Nation in accessing affordable, nutritious food and how this has led to increased rates of heart disease and obesity. Interviews experts in the field and provides potential policy solutions specific to Indian Country that could help address the challenges.
Source: Pacific Standard
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Analysis: Why Rural Hospitals Are Closing
Jul 16, 2015 - This opinion piece offers an explanation for increasing rural hospital closures and describes the Rural Emergency Care Hospital Act. The proposed legislation, which was recently introduced in the Senate, would allow rural hospitals to keep essential emergency and telemedicine services without maintaining inpatient care services.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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CMS: Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2016 Federal Register
Jul 15, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a proposed rule addressing changes to the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies, including rural specific payments.
Source: Federal Register
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Can Telehealth Technologies Improve Pediatric Care?
Jul 14, 2015 - Discusses a recent study that reports the ability of telehealth technologies to improve quality and extension of pediatric care, especially to underserved and rural communities.
Source: mHealth Intelligence
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Child Poverty Rate Climbs by One-Third
Jul 14, 2015 - Discusses a report from the Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, that has found rural child poverty to have grown by more than a third in the past decade. Provides key statistics, graphs and maps from the report highlighting child poverty in connection with geographic location and industry.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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USDA Proposes New Ways to Help Meet Nutrition Needs of Low-Income, Homebound Seniors and People with Disabilities
Jul 13, 2015 - Announces a policy to improve access to groceries for homebound seniors and people with disabilities by allowing grocery purchasing and delivery services run by government and non-profit organizations to accept SNAP benefits as payment.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture
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An Opportunity Gamed Away
Jul 11, 2015 - Describes a history of the rural South that has left its residents struggling with poverty and inadequate housing, particularly describing missed opportunities within the casino industry in the Mississippi Delta.
Source: The Washington Post
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Helping Rural Older Americans Thrive
Jul 10, 2015 - Describes the work of the current administration that supports healthy living for seniors in rural communities. Highlights ways to participate in an upcoming White House conference on aging where critical rural issues will be discussed, including access to healthcare, nutrition, and adequate housing.
Source: The White House Rural Council
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Using IT to Impact Population Health in Rural Communities
Jul 9, 2015 - Video describes the work of the Critical Access Hospital Network of Eastern Washington and how they are using an innovative technological solution that utilizes data to drive service delivery and outcomes.
Source: Hospitals & Health Networks
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FACT SHEET: White House Tribal Youth Gathering
Jul 8, 2015 - Describes the inaugural Tribal Youth Gathering that brings together over 875 Native Youth to discuss key issues with cabinet officials, including health and behavioral health issues among the American Indian/Alaskan Native youth population.
Source: The White House
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CMS Begins Implementation of Key Payment Legislation
Jul 8, 2015 - Announces the first proposed updates to the physician payment schedule since the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate. Comments will be solicited through an upcoming federal register notice.
Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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The 3 Hot Spots in the U.S. With the Highest Colon Cancer Death Rates
Jul 8, 2015 - Reports on three areas in Appalachia and the rural South with abnormally high colon cancer death rates when compared to the rest of the country. Identifies high poverty, unemployment, obesity rates, low education and health literacy levels, poor access to healthcare, and lower cancer screening rates as possible causes.
Source: The Washington Post
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OHSU Will Open Coos Bay Rural Campus This Fall
Jul 8, 2015 - Describes a interdisciplinary training track across a multiple-location, rural campus administered by Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) meant to increase rural workforce and better meet the needs of people in underserved areas.
Source: The World
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CMS: Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Short Inpatient Hospital Stays; Transition for Certain Medicare-Dependent, Small Rural Hospitals Under the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System
Jul 8, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking comment on a recently released proposed rule that revises the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and the Medicare ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system for 2016. In addition, this proposed rule would update and refine the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program and the ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program. Includes changes concerning the 2-midnight rule under the short inpatient hospital stay policy and a proposed transition for Medicare-dependent, small rural hospitals located in all-urban states.
Source: Federal Register
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Student Learns About Rural Medicine at St. Luke's
Jul 6, 2015 - Describes the Rural Underserved Opportunities Program at the University of Washington and how it exposes medical students to rural practices, often increasing the chances the students will choose to work permanently in a rural community.
Source: Times-News
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KU Hospital Using $12.5 Million Grant to Give Rural Heart Care a Makeover
Jul 5, 2015 - Describes a shift in cardiac care in Western Kansas from reaction to prevention. Details a plan to use funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to administer a 3-year demonstration aimed to create a network of small and rural hospitals to put more prevention, consistent emergency protocols, telemedicine, teamwork, and follow-up care in place.
Source: Lawrence Journal
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Free-Standing ERs Eye Lobbying to Win State Approval for Growth
Jul 4, 2015 - Describes growth of stand-alone Emergency Departments (EDs) and efforts across the country to legislate more opportunities to implement the new approach to service delivery. Mentions that although it is not a popular approach in rural areas, it is booming in more urban areas and there is optimism around its future use in rural areas.
Source: Modern Healthcare
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3 Physicians from America's Tiniest Towns Talk Patient Relationships, Rural Practice and the State of Healthcare
Jul 2, 2015 - Interviews three physicians from small and rural hospitals highlighting their opinions on differences and similarities between healthcare in rural and urban settings.
Source: Becker's Hospital Review
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CMS Will Modify—Not Scrap—'Two-Midnight' Rule
Jul 2, 2015 - Describes a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that will keep the "two-midnight" rule in place while allowing more flexibility for physicians when admitting patients for short hospital stays.
Source: Modern Healthcare
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HRSA: Lists of Designated Primary Medical Care, Mental Health, and Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas Federal Register
Jul 1, 2015 - The Health Resources and Services Administration has released an updated list of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary medical care, mental health, and dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). Through use of a Shortage Area Location tool, users can quickly determine if their geographic area is a designated shortage area.
Source: Federal Register
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Census Bureau Seeks Input from Tribal Leaders for 2020 Census
Jul 1, 2015 - Announces plans of the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct eight tribal consultation meetings and one national webinar with 566 federally recognized tribes to improve communication and outreach efforts to ensure accurate population counts for the 2020 Census.
Source: United States Census Bureau
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Pew Supports Tribe's Expansion of the Dental Workforce
Jul 1, 2015 - Describes support for the Swinomish Indian Tribal community for expanding its dental team to include a Dental Health Aide Therapist, making the tribe the first in the nation to do so. Highlights oral health disparities within Native American populations and how a policy to expand the scope of work for mid-level dental practitioners aims to address the disparities.
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Sen. Franken Releases New Report Highlighting Key Problems, Opportunities for Health Care Delivery in Minnesota’s Rural Communities
Jun 30, 2015 - Reports on Senator Franken's recent tour of rural Minnesota in an effort to learn more about the healthcare needs of rural residents. Highlights some findings from his 28 roundtable meetings he has held and points to an upcoming report to fully announce the findings.
Source: Office of U.S. Senator Al Franken
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CMS To Post Critical Access Hospital Data on Hospital Compare
Jun 29, 2015 - Describes a move by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to release more Critical Access Hospital Data on its Hospital Compare website. Prior to this, only data from large hospitals were being shared.
Source: iHealthBeat
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Federal Spending Bill Fully Funds Tribal Healthcare’s Contract Support Costs
Jun 29, 2015 - Describes a spending bill advancing through the Senate that provides full funding for Alaska Native healthcare providers' contract support costs. Explains the status of the bill and the importance of it for tribes in Alaska.
Source: KTOO Public Media
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Rural Teen Birthrates Higher than in Metro Areas
Jun 28, 2015 - Describes disparities between rural and urban teens engaging in sexual activity as well as birthrates. Draws on a recent report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy which sites a lack of contraception and comprehensive sexual education as causes of the disparities. Highlights both nationwide and Iowa specific statistics.
Source: The Gazette
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Generation Gap: Recruiting Young Family Physicians a Challenge as Rural Doctors Age
Jun 28, 2015 - Describes a small, independent practice in rural Missouri, changes to the healthcare landscape over time, and its succession plan in the face of a rural healthcare workforce shortage. Highlights a soon-to-retire physician and a newly graduated medical student and their respective paths to rural healthcare.
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
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States Struggle With 'Hidden' Rural Homelessness
Jun 26, 2015 - Describes rural homelessness in the United States and highlights some states' efforts to address the growing issue.
Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Rural Critical Access Hospitals Search For Ways To Survive
Jun 26, 2015 - Highlights challenges being faced by Critical Access Hospitals in Kansas and explores survival strategies for these rural hospitals, such as converting to primary health centers, or facilities that would stabilize and transfer patients to larger hospitals for additional care.
Source: Wichita Public Radio
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Affordable Care Act Initiative Supports Care Coordination in Rural Areas
Jun 25, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced changes to the design of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Investment Model, which will help rural areas and small group practices gain more access to the benefits of ACOs. Describes how it gives access to health systems with fewer than 10,000 assigned beneficiaries, a previous threshold criterion for participation.
Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Blog
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Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies in States Using Federal Insurance Marketplace
Jun 25, 2015 - The Supreme Court has reached a decision on the case of King v. Burwell, allowing subsidies for the purchase of insurance in states that rely on the federally run health insurance marketplace.
Source: The National Rural Health Association
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Grassley Bill Gives Rural Hospitals New Option to Stay Open
Jun 24, 2015 - Announces the introduction of the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act legislation, which would create a new Medicare hospital classification allowing some rural hospitals to stay open and provide critical emergency and outpatient services, without a requirement to maintain inpatient beds.
Source: The Iowa Statesman
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Rural Hospitals: Sustaining Their Critical Roles in Communities
Jun 24, 2015 - Describes the importance of the Critical Access Hospital program and its support for rural facilities, especially now with current financial challenges. Describes recent rural hospital closures across the country and some example state policy interventions that have been implemented to curb the risk of closure.
Source: The Council of State Governments
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Rural Health: Remote Health Facilities Find ACA Rules Especially Challenging
Jun 24, 2015 - Highlights some of the unique issues faced by small and rural hospitals in the face of shifting aims from volume to value under the Affordable Care Act. Describes low-volume and difficulty measuring certain quality measures in rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals.
Source: The Gazette
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Precarious Future for Primary Care
Jun 23, 2015 - Highlights the issue of primary care shortages in the United States through the story of one doctor's decision to go into primary care, despite pressure to choose a specialty.
Source: Boston Globe
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Committee to Consider Four Grassley Health Care Bills
Jun 22, 2015 - News release from the Office of Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) announces four healthcare bills being considered by the Finance Committee this week, including one that will extend the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration program from five to ten years.
Source: Office of Senator Chuck Grassley (IA)
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Population Health Approach Covers Socioeconomic Gaps in Care
Jun 22, 2015 - Describes a recent forum, Innovations in Population Health for Primary Care Practices, hosted by the Robert Graham Center in which panelists discussed population health and how to accommodate a patient's health and socioeconomic needs. Includes information on a strategy used in New Mexico, where patients complete a social determinants questionnaire and physicians can then refer the patient to a community health worker to help meet their personal needs.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians
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Serving More Summer Meals in Rural and Tribal Areas
Jun 22, 2015 - White House Rural Council blog tells that more children in rural and tribal areas have access to healthy food this summer through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.
Source: White House Rural Council
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Online Doctor Visits Can Be Easy, but Congress Thinks They Increase Costs
Jun 22, 2015 - With recent increases in Medicare reimbursement for telemedicine services when the service is provided in a rural area and in a healthcare facility, Congress worries that the increased access to providers will encourage elderly patients to use more services, not replace expensive visits to emergency rooms.
Source: Washington Post
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VA Still Slow to Pay Its Bills
Jun 21, 2015 - Reports that Arkansas hospitals are frustrated with continued slow payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of VA patients during the VA's Accelerating Access to Care Initiative that began in May 2014. State leaders are hopeful that recent changes to the VA's chief business office will improve the speed at which claims are paid.
Source: Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
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Federal VA Health Care Program Jeopardizes Alaska System
Jun 20, 2015 - Describes problems that the implementation of the VA Choice program has created for veterans in Alaska, the state that the program was modeled after. Also mentions steps leaders are taking to overcome the problems.
Source: Army Times
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Drought Disaster in East Porterville Turns to Budding Health Crisis
Jun 20, 2015 - Reports on the worsening drought in California and describes the effect that the lack of water has had on the health of residents, especially those with pre-existing health conditions in rural parts of the state.
Source: Fresno Bee
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Without Medicaid Expansion Lawmakers Try To Help Hospitals
Jun 19, 2015 - Describes actions that Wyoming lawmakers are taking to help financially struggling rural hospitals, especially now that the state has declined to expand the Medicaid program.
Source: Wyoming Public Radio
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Take the Challenge
Jun 19, 2015 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is seeking applications for technology-based innovations that promote the public health and safety of communities in the areas of opioid overdose prevention and support of individuals reintegrating with their communities after incarceration.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Federal Register
Jun 19, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking comments by July 20, 2015 on two collection requests: 1) the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program in order to approve contract applications and monitor compliance with requirements; and 2) the Quality Improvement Strategy Implementation Plan and Progress Report, which requires qualified health plans offered through the Exchange to implement a quality improvement strategy.
Source: Federal Register
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Drone Delivery Test Event to Focus on Medical Service
Jun 19, 2015 - Reports on the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, as an innovative method to address problems of access to healthcare. Drones will be used to deliver prescription medications and other medical supplies to a free medical clinic in rural Virginia, where thousands of medical professionals provide free health services to people in need.
Source: GPS World
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IHS: Office of Direct Service and Contracting Tribes; National Indian Health Outreach and Education-Health Reform Funding Opportunity Announcement Type: New Limited Competition Federal Register
Jun 19, 2015 - The Indian Health Service announces funding for the National Indian Health Outreach and Education III - Health Reform cooperative agreement to assist tribal organizations across the country in providing outreach and education on the Affordable Care Act and Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS: Regulatory Agenda; Proposed Rule Federal Register
Jun 18, 2015 - Provides a list of rulemaking actions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the current year.
Source: Federal Register
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Rural Health Safety Net In Peril
Jun 18, 2015 - Describes a briefing on the challenges that rural healthcare providers face, given by the National Rural Health Association to U.S. Senate staffers last week.
Source: RACmonitor
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Rural Hospitals Breathe Sigh of Relief as Lawmakers Restore Some Cut Funding
Jun 18, 2015 - Reports that the Texas legislature has voted to restore many of the cuts to the state's Medicaid program that occurred in 2011, thus providing financial relief to financially vulnerable hospitals in the state, which are often found in rural areas.
Source: Lubbock Avalanche Journal
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USD Sanford Surgeon Leads Residency's Return
Jun 17, 2015 - Discusses the return of a general surgery residency program to the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, a program that was cut 30 years ago. Sanford Health provided funding for the program, which will focus on training general surgeons who want to practice in rural areas.
Source: Argus Leader (SD)
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Patients, Doctors Need Protection from Federally Mandated Coding Changes, Rep. Gary Palmer Says
Jun 17, 2015 - Discusses a bill, introduced by Representative Gary Palmer (AL), that would provide a two-year grace period allowing physicians to be paid, even if there are errors in billing codes used under the new ICD-10 system set to begin on October 1, 2015.
Source: Alabama Media Group
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CMS's Internal Controls Did Not Effectively Ensure the Accuracy of Aggregate Financial Assistance Payments Made to Qualified Health Plan Issuers Under the Affordable Care Act
Jun 16, 2015 - Announces a report from the HHS Office of the Inspector General that analyzed financial assistance payments made to health insurance companies during January - April 2014.
Source: Office of the Inspector General (HHS)
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CMS Predictive Readmission Models 'Not Very Good'
Jun 16, 2015 - Describes findings from a study published in the May issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine that looked at functional status, rather than comorbidity, as a predictor of hospital readmissions. Results from the study could have implications for CMS's predictive readmission models, as well as hospitals working to reduce preventable hospital readmissions.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
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Two States Win Approval for Obamacare Backup Plans
Jun 16, 2015 - Reports that Delaware and Pennsylvania have been conditionally approved to create their own healthcare marketplaces in order to save the Affordable Care Act healthcare tax subsidies paid to people buying health insurance through the marketplace if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama Administration later this month.
Source: The Hill
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How Long Should It Take to Train a Family Physician?
Jun 16, 2015 - AAFP opinion piece debates the amount of time needed to adequately train quality primary care physicians. Offers suggestions for improved training that helps providers navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians
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The Community Hospital Survival Guide: Strategies to Keep the Doors Open
Jun 16, 2015 - Describes challenges that community hospitals are facing, including declining patient volume, increasing capital expenses, and bad debt, and offers strategies to help overcome them.
Source: Becker's Hospital Review
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Local Hospitals Embracing Telemedicine
Jun 15, 2015 - Highlights the work of the TexLa Telehealth Resource Center, which was established three years ago to help healthcare facilities in rural and underserved areas of Texas and Louisiana incorporate telehealth services into patient care.
Source: Lubbock Avalanche Journal
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New Research from iVantage Health Analytics Confirms the Economic Impact of Policy Changes on Rural Health Care in the U.S.
Jun 15, 2015 - Highlights findings from a recent iVantage study measuring the impact of sequestration and bad debt cuts on Critical Access Hospitals.
Source: Business Wire
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Rural Assistance Center Seeking Applicants for Data Visualization Specialist, Web Writer, and Information Specialist Positions
Jun 15, 2015 - The Rural Assistance Center, a federally-funded web-based information center dealing with rural health issues, is seeking experienced and talented applicants for three staff positions located in Grand Forks, ND.
Source: Rural Assistance Center
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Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces $4 Million Funding Opportunity for Rural Hospitals
Jun 15, 2015 - The Helmsley Charitable Trust's Rural Healthcare Program announces the availability of funding to support the replacement of CT scanners at eligible Critical Access Hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Letters of inquiry are due by July 17, 2015, and selected applicants will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal no later than August 17, 2015.
Source: Helmsley Charitable Trust
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TMC, 4 Rural Hospitals Form Partnership to Fight Closures
Jun 14, 2015 - Reports how four rural hospitals in southern Arizona are banding together to buck the trend of hospital closures across the country. Explains how they hope to leverage resources and gain advantages in purchasing, grant writing and physician recruitment.
Source: Arizona Daily Star
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Native American Youth to Raise Issues at First Tribal Youth Gathering
Jun 11, 2015 - Describes the excitement of Native American Youth invited by the White House to discuss concerns being faced by their community. Interviews some Native American youth about their top concerns they hope to discuss at the conference.
Source: Politico Journalism Institute
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How One Rural Hospital Learned to Thrive While Others Close Nationwide
Jun 11, 2015 - Tells the experience of one rural hospital that learned the answer to survival is growth of operations rather than downsizing. Explains how Putnam County Memorial Hospital in rural Missouri was able to increase revenues and the number of patients treated.
Source: Mid-Missouri Public Radio
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Rural America is Hazardous to Your Health
Jun 10, 2015 - Describes findings of the Rural Healthy People 2020 report. Identifies issues in rural communities that have a negative impact on health outcomes for those who reside there, such as limited access to care, pervasive poverty, and growing health challenges like weight gain and obesity.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
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A Dentist Visit Via Video Can Save Rural Kids' Teeth
Jun 10, 2015 - Describes how teledentistry is helping a doctor in Rochester, NY extend oral health services to children in rural areas of the state.
Source: Mid-Missouri Public Radio
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Rural Hospital Leaders Urge Congress to Provide Regulatory Relief
Jun 9, 2015 - Reports remarks made to Congress from rural health leaders concerning federal regulations, highlighting the burden some regulations can place on a small or rural hospital.
Source: American Hospital Association
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Expanding Opportunities for Rural Communities to Get Quality Care
Jun 9, 2015 - Blog entry describing opportunities to expand rural healthcare access through adjustments to current scope of practice laws for non-physician providers and reimbursement of telehealth services.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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CMS: Medicare Program; Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations Federal Register
Jun 9, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have released a final rule relating to payment of Accountable Care Organizations participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Includes information on the effect of the program on rural hospitals.
Source: Federal Register
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HIV Is Moving From Cities To Rural Communities
Jun 9, 2015 - Interview with Jennifer Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, about what can be done to prevent rural HIV outbreaks like the recent outbreak in Austin, Indiana.
Source: WBUR Public Radio
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Senators Introduce One-Year Moratorium on Direct Supervision
Jun 8, 2015 - Describes the introduction of a bipartisan bill to extend enforcement delay on direct supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services provided in Critical Access Hospitals and rural Prospective Payment Hospitals with 100 beds or fewer through the remainder of 2015.
Source: American Hospital Association
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How Two Hospital Operators Are Bucking the Rural Health Crisis
Jun 8, 2015 - Describes the experiences of two small rural hospitals that have been able to avert financial distress and possible closure by shifting patient care to outpatient settings when possible.
Source: Healthcare DIVE
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Mental Health Treatment's New Frontier: Telepsychiatry
Jun 6, 2015 - Highlights a shortage of mental health providers in Washington and how telepsychiatry helps to address it. Offers statistics on shortages of providers and examples of how telepsychiatry services help both clients and providers.
Source: Yakima Herald
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Closing the Summer Hunger Gap for Kids in Rural America
Jun 4, 2015 - Describes the work of Cindy Bomar, a Virginia Rural Development Area Specialist, and her latest contribution to the Summer Food Service Program. Highlights the impact of the program on many low-income children living in rural areas of the state.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture
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CMS Finalizes Rules for Medicare Shared Savings Program
Jun 4, 2015 - Announces a final rule updating the Medicare Shared Savings Programs to improve the focus on primary care and offer more flexibility to the program in an effort to increase participation. These changes build on successes of the program and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model.
Source: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Appalachia Gripped by Hepatitis C Epidemic, Bracing for HIV
Jun 4, 2015 - Describes the Appalachian region as being ripe for an HIV outbreak since it already is experiencing an explosion of hepatitis C transmitted through injection drugs.
Source: The Associated Press via The Seattle Times
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U.S. Senate Passes Bill for Commission on Native Youth
Jun 2, 2015 - The U.S. Senate has passed a bi-partisan bill to establish a commission to investigate how federal programs can better serve Native youth. Highlights disparities like suicide rates, child mortality, high school graduation rates, and poverty levels.
Source: Alaska Dispatch News
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Telehealth Benefit to Idaho's Rural Mental Health Patients
Jun 2, 2015 - Describes Idaho state legislative changes made in recent years that have created opportunities for telemedicine to improve access to mental healthcare for rural communities.
Source: Associated Press via NewsOK
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NQF Rural Health Commenting through June 30
Jun 2, 2015 - The National Quality Forum (NQF) is seeking comment from the public on a draft report that makes recommendations concerning mitigating rural health challenges in performance measures, including pay-for-performance program appropriateness, low-case volumes, and measurement gaps for rural hospitals and clinicians.
Source: National Quality Forum
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Texas A&M School of Public Health Identifies Top 10 Rural Health Priorities and Best Practices in Rural Healthy People 2020
Jun 1, 2015 - Describes findings from the Rural Healthy People 2020 that informs top priorities and best practices in the field of rural health. Highlights current topics such as hospital closures in rural areas and how that is affecting access to healthcare for rural residents.
Source: Texas A&M Health Science Center
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CMS: Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Programs; Medicaid Managed Care, CHIP Delivered in Managed Care, Medicaid and CHIP Comprehensive Quality Strategies, and Revisions Related to Third Party Liability Federal Register
Jun 1, 2015 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks comment on a proposed rule for Medicaid managed care regulations. Includes information on exceptions for rural areas, changes to the definition of rural that is used for rural exceptions, economic impact for rural hospitals, and much more.
Source: Federal Register
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Walkers Fight Rural Hospital Closures
Jun 1, 2015 - Announces the beginning of a march from Belhaven, North Carolina to Washington, D.C., organized to draw the attention of congress, and others, to financial pressures faced by rural hospitals which have led to a trend of rural hospital closures across the country. This is the second year the march is taking place and organizers are hopeful to raise more awareness this time with more people joining the march.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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In Rural Alabama, Limited Access To Obstetrics Care
May 31, 2015 - Describes the lack of access to obstetric services throughout Alabama, especially in remote and rural counties.
Source: National Public Radio
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