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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.

May 13, 2021 - Blog post provides overview of a report that found maternal mortality in the U.S. increased from 2000-2015 and identified additional risks and challenges for rural and underserved women. Includes maternal mortality data by rurality, discusses disparities among women of color, and highlights federal efforts to improve maternal health outcomes.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office
May 13, 2021 - After struggling to source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cherokee Nation used a portion of its CARES Act funding to create its own facilities to manufacture PPE. Discusses how the facilities will create jobs for members of the Cherokee communities and help to fill the shortage of PPE across the country.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 12, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced efforts to support COVID-19 vaccination of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers including workers in the food sector. Actions include using a data-driven approach to target key regions, utilization of the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, and partnering with jurisdictions to reach migratory and seasonal agricultural workers.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
May 12, 2021 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) with $9.95 million to support rural COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Funding will be used by Land-grant Universities and the Cooperative Extension System in delivering immunizations and education to the communities they serve.
Source: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
May 11, 2021 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection and death rates between May 2-8, 2021, finding a 12 percent decrease of infections and 14 percent decrease in deaths in rural counties. Includes an interactive map of COVID infection rates by U.S. county, charts detailing weekly rates of infections and deaths since June, and additional findings.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 11, 2021 - Describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of farmers and ranchers in rural Colorado and identifies challenges to mental healthcare, such as stigma and lack of services. Highlights efforts and legislation to improve mental health services offered to rural residents and destigmatize mental health needs and resources.
Source: Kaiser Health News
May 10, 2021 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding changes to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals for fiscal year 2022. Contains details of changes impacting Critical Access Hospital (CAH); Medicare graduate medical education for teaching hospitals, including how to distribute additional slots for rural residency training programs; inpatient hospital services provided by long-term care hospitals; quality reporting programs; and changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things. Comments are due by June 28, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
May 10, 2021 - Notice of interim final rule with comment period from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) amending regulations to allow hospitals with a rural redesignation under the Social Security Act to reclassify through the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) using the rural reclassified area as the geographic area in which the hospital is located. These changes align CMS policy with the decision in Bates County Memorial Hospital v. Azar, effective with reclassifications beginning with fiscal year (FY) 2023. This interim final rule is effective May 10, 2021. Comments are due by June 28, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
May 6, 2021 - Discusses the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program that provides extension agencies with grants to promote COVID-19 vaccination information in rural areas. Highlights the Purdue Extension office in Indiana which focuses on providing vaccine information to its Latino community, and the Primary Health Network in Pennsylvania which focuses on addressing vaccine hesitancy and building trust.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 5, 2021 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates between April 25-May 1, 2021, finding a decline in the number of new infections but an increase in COVID-related deaths. Includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties' infection rates. Details the distribution of rural COVID-19 hotspots and rural vaccination efforts across the country.

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