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Rural Health
Top Stories

Top news stories from the past 60 days. For more, see news by topic or news by state.

Jan 25, 2022 - Announces the distribution of Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 payments to over 7,600 providers to support COVID-19 response, workforce issues, medical supplies and information technology, and other efforts. Offers a state-by-state breakdown of Phase 4 distributions and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jan 24, 2022 - Describes a study that investigated the financial commonalities among the 56 rural hospitals that closed between 2017 and 2020. Notes that 47 of the 56 hospitals had less than a month's cash on hand in the year prior to closure and that 49 had negative operating margins in their final year. Discusses how these financial indicators could be used to target relief to at-risk facilities and policy efforts to stabilize rural hospital finances.
Source: North Carolina Health News
Jan 20, 2022 - Reports on COVID-19 infection and mortality rates for the week of January 9-15, noting a lower rate of increase for rural counties than in the prior week. Offers a county-level data map and charts of infection and mortality data over time, with rural and urban comparisons.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jan 18, 2022 - Reports on rural/urban COVID-19 vaccination rates as of January 13, indicating a decline in rural vaccinations to the lowest level since vaccines were made available in spring 2021. Notes that 47.9% of the rural population has completed vaccination, compared to 61.1% of the metro population. Offers a county-level and a state-level data map and rural/urban comparisons over time.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jan 18, 2022 - Announces $13 million to support behavioral healthcare and respond to health inequity in rural areas, including evidence-based and trauma-informed substance use disorder treatment. Describes the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP)-Behavioral Health Care Support program and offers information on eligibility and the application process.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jan 14, 2022 - Describes the efforts in a rural pharmacy serving Jackson and DeKalb counties in northeast Alabama by offering monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19. Highlights disparities in mortality rates for rural residents, access to monoclonal treatments, and challenges facing rural pharmacies nationwide as 1,230 rural pharmacies have closed since 2003 and 30 rural zip codes in Alabama have lost independent pharmacies.
Source: Advance Local Media
Jan 14, 2022 - Reports on challenges for rural parents seeking COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11, noting that many rural providers do not offer vaccines due to the short lifespan of doses and concerns about wasting vaccine. Addresses hesitancy among rural parents to vaccinate children and significant transportation barriers, focusing on the situation in rural Montana.
Source: Newsy
Jan 12, 2022 - Reports on COVID-19 new infection rates for the week of January 1-8, noting a record for new cases in a 7-day period with 393,000 new rural infections. Offers a county-level data map and rural-urban comparisons in infection and mortality rates over time.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jan 10, 2022 - Discusses the hardships facing youth who have lost parents to COVID-19, particularly the impacts on underserved and rural communities. Addresses the need for mental health and economic support for youth who have lost parents, and legislative efforts at the state level to support mental healthcare access.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
Jan 6, 2022 - Reports on rural and urban COVID-19 infection rates between December 26, 2021 and January 1, 2022, noting that rural areas are beginning to see the sharp increase that metro counties have experienced in the wake of the Omicron variant. Offers a county-level data map, state-by-state rural and metro comparisons, and infection and mortality rates over time.
Source: The Daily Yonder

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