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Top Stories

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

Amid For-Profit Surge, Rural Hospice Has Offered Free Care for 40 Years
Oct 20, 2017 - Highlights the work of a non-profit hospice in Washington which, despite external pressure, has depended on volunteers and community donations to avoid accepting federal funding. This has allowed them to operate more flexibly because they are not bound by the regulations that accompany Medicare hospice funding, like only accepting patients with six months or fewer to live and requiring patients to receive care from a hospice physician rather than continuing with their own physician.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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CDC Reports Rising Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths in Rural Areas
Oct 19, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that found that rates of drug overdose deaths are rising in rural areas, surpassing rates in urban areas, despite a lower percentage of rural people reporting illicit drug use. This report, Illicit Drug Use, Illicit Drug Use Disorders, and Drug Overdose Deaths in Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas — United States, also found that the percentage of people reporting past-month use of illicit drugs has declined for youth aged 12-17 and increased substantially for other age groups.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Hospital Closings Likely to Increase
Oct 19, 2017 - Discusses recent hospital closures and indications that they are likely to continue because these hospitals continue to have insufficient patient populations, high rates of uninsured patients, dwindling cash flow, and physician shortages. It is estimated that 9% of rural hospitals are at high risk for financial trouble, and these hospitals often serve vulnerable populations with significant health disparities. Also touches on programs designed to help these hospitals improve quality and track their viability.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
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Traumatic Experiences Widespread Among U.S. Youth, New Data Show
Oct 19, 2017 - Highlights new data on the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) across the county, in individual states, and by demographics like race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Also touches on the lifelong impact ACEs can have on a person's health and well-being and ways to mitigate these impacts by building resilience in children.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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The Health Wagon: A Telehealth Resource in a Rural Wilderness
Oct 18, 2017 - Highlights The Health Wagon, a mobile health service that has been serving rural Virginia for more than 30 years. Initially providing care out of the back of a Volkswagen, this service has expanded to providing care using Remote Area Medical vehicles, telehealth, mHealth devices, and drones. The area served has high rates of chronic disease, opioid abuse, and suicide.
Source: mHealthIntelligence
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Another Outbreak Related to the Nation’s Opioid Crisis: Hepatitis C
Oct 17, 2017 - Details the increased rates of Hepatitis C and how they correlate to the opioid epidemic by looking at West Virginia, which has the highest rates of overdose deaths and new hepatitis B and C infections in the country. Because those infected with hepatitis often do not display symptoms immediately, the disease can go untreated for years, leading eventually to end-stage liver disease. This is one among many diseases that are rising in the midst of the opioid epidemic, and although there is a treatment for it, for many it is not affordable. (May require subscription to view full article.)
Source: The Washington Post
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On Back Roads Of Appalachia’s Coal Country, Mental Health Services Are As Rare As Jobs
Oct 17, 2017 - Highlights the difficulty of accessing mental healthcare in rural West Virginia. Residents are faced with barriers like few providers, long wait times, distance, and limited access to vehicles. With the local economy struggling, common mental health ailments like anxiety and depression can be exacerbated. This is particularly concerning because the region has high suicide rates and because lack of mental healthcare can contribute to other health issues.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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'Katrina Brain': The Invisible Long-Term Toll of Megastorms
Oct 12, 2017 - Highlights the long-term psychological impacts experienced by people who have been through a hurricane or other catastrophic natural disaster and how this increases the need for behavioral health in the areas affected. Also touches on secondary trauma, where people who merely observe the event from afar experience psychological effects from witnessing the devastation and human suffering.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
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CMS Takes Steps to Help with Hurricane Nate Emergency Response
Oct 10, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced agency efforts to support Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi in response to Hurricane Nate, including waivers for hospitals and other healthcare facilities and special enrollment periods for hurricane victims. CMS is also allowing healthcare providers helping with recovery efforts to receive temporary billing privileges and licensed dialysis facilities not certified to provide care for Medicare beneficiaries to gain temporary Medicare provider status.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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A Conversation with Amanda Basso
Oct 10, 2017 - Radio interview with Amanda Basso, a registered nurse, a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), a Certified John Maxwell Speaker, trainer, and Coach, a Certified DiSC Administrator, and the President of CSuite Consulting, a leadership consulting company. Discussion includes efforts to keep rural patients from driving to larger hospitals for care that rural hospitals are equipped to provide, hospital leadership and the value of hiring consultants, and telemedicine, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Accepting Applications
Oct 10, 2017 - The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has announced that it will be accepting applications for its Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program through December 6, 2017. Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 a year for three years to improve healthcare access in rural communities by implementing evidence-based or promising practice models. Applicants may apply under the regular Outreach track for projects that focus on any health-related topic, or under the newly created track addressing cardiovascular disease called Health Improvement Special Project (HISP).
Source: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
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Training New Doctors Right Where They’re Needed
Oct 9, 2017 - Highlights a residency program in California training new doctors in medically underserved areas in an effort to increase access to primary care in these areas. New doctors who complete their residencies in teaching health centers like this one provide care in underserved areas during their residency and are more likely to remain in an underserved community once their education is completed.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Seeks Feedback on Innovation Center New Direction
Oct 6, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center has released an informal Request for Information seeking feedback on a new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms. Comments will be accepted through November 20, 2017.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Americans in Rural Areas More Likely to Die by Suicide
Oct 5, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report which found that from 2001-2015, rural counties consistently had higher rates of suicide than metropolitan counties. Additionally, it found that suicide rates in rural counties were highest among American Indian/Alaska Native Non-Hispanics and that suicide rates were 4 to 5 times higher for males than for females across metropolitan and rural areas.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Hoeven Introduces Bill to Strengthen Public Safety in Indian Communities
Oct 5, 2017 - Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) introduced the Tribal Law and Order Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2017. This bill seeks to improve data collection on Native American youth who come in contact with juvenile justice systems and on victims of human trafficking and to reauthorize several grants to help tribes address crime and substance abuse prevention and treatment, among other things.
Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
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UMMC Designated National Telehealth Center of Excellence
Oct 5, 2017 - The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) has been designated as a Telehealth Center of Excellence by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and has received a $600,000 grant to build infrastructure for research in telehealth, with the possibility for an additional $2 million over two years. This designation will allow UMMC to focus on the impact of telehealth on healthcare spending, creating new and refining existing payment methods, improving physician and patient awareness, and expanding its research portfolio.
Source: The Clarion-Ledger
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IHS Awards $16.5 Million in Grants to Support Behavioral Health Programs
Oct 4, 2017 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) awarded $16.5 million in grants through four behavioral health programs: the Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention (SASP) program, the Domestic Violence Prevention Program (DVPP), the Behavioral Health Integration Initiative (BH2I), and the Preventing Alcohol-Related Deaths (PARD) program. These grants aim to address critical behavioral health needs for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the country.
Source: Indian Health Service
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MUSC Designated a National Telehealth Center of Excellence
Oct 4, 2017 - The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has been designated as a Telehealth Center of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and has been given a three-year, $600,000-a-year grant to develop its program and become a model for telehealth and telemedicine programs across the country. MUSC offers telestroke, telemental health, pediatric critical care teleconsulting, tele-ICU, and a growing telehealth network in schools and prisons, and are developing several other telehealth services.
Source: mHealthIntelligence
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Cancers Associated with Overweight and Obesity Make up 40 Percent of Cancers Diagnosed in the United States
Oct 3, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest Vital Signs report, Cancer and obesity, found that overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for 13 types of cancer, which account for about 40% of all cancers that were diagnosed in the United States in 2014. The rates of obesity-related cancers, excluding colorectal cancer, increased by 7% between 2005 and 2014, while the rates of non-obesity-related cancers declined.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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One Man's Quest To Feed A Hungry, Isolated California County
Oct 3, 2017 - Highlights the efforts of the director of a food bank to provide food to remote areas within his rural California county. Trinity County is one of the state's most food-insecure places, and residents in the remote area face long distances to grocery stores and treacherous roads in winter that can prevent them from getting out or anyone with food from getting in.
Source: NPR
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A Conversation with Tim Putnam
Oct 3, 2017 - Radio interview with Dr. Tim Putnam, the CEO of Margaret Mary Health, a Critical Access Hospital is Batesville, Indiana, and the chair of the National Rural Health Association's (NRHA) Policy Congress, the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium, and the Indiana Board of Graduate Medical Education. He also serves as an EMT. Discussion includes Accountable Care Organizations, the function of the NRHA's Policy Congress, and his work as an EMT, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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CMS Offers Broad Support for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with Hurricane Maria Recovery
Oct 2, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined several of the administrative actions they have taken in Hurricane Maria recovery efforts for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These include a waiver for certain Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP requirements for healthcare facilities, special enrollment opportunities through the Federal Health Insurance Exchange, transfer of patients for dialysis care, and a Medicare Part B Provider hotline to assist providers helping with recovery efforts enroll in federal health programs and receive temporary billing privileges while waiving the typical requirements for this enrollment.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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HHS Broadens Support to Shore up Health Care Facilities Impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Oct 2, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has implemented a three-tiered strategy to further aid healthcare facilities in Puerto Rico. These tiers include HHS deployed medical teams with their own equipment and medical supplies in hospitals in San Juan and in five regions around the island as well as liaisons in each of the other open hospitals to keep HHS up to date with supply and fuel needs. A hospital ship, five federal medical stations, and HHS medical personnel to accompany Urban Search and Rescue, are also being deployed.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Don Wright Designated Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Sep 29, 2017 - President Donald Trump designated Don Wright, MD, MPH, as Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Wright has served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for nearly ten years, and has been Acting Assistant Secretary for Health since February 10, 2017.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Analysis of Human Needs Index Shows Unmet Need in Rural America
Sep 28, 2017 - A new report from the Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University found that the level of need in rural states is higher than government measures suggest. This report is based on the Salvation Army's tracking of basic assistance for things like food, clothing, housing, furniture, medical services, and utilities. Potential explanations for this discrepancy include less rural access to government services, a potential preference for local and church-based assistance over government assistance, and persistent unemployment leading rural people to stop looking for jobs, driving down the state's official unemployment rate.
Source: Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
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Open for Comment: Methods for Evaluating Natural Experiments in Obesity: A Systematic Evidence Review
Sep 28, 2017 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a draft evidence report, Methods for Evaluating Natural Experiments in Obesity: A Systemic Evidence Review, and is accepting comments through October 25, 2017. This report is intended to help inform healthcare decision-makers in an effort to improve the quality of healthcare services.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
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HHS DRAFT Strategic Plan FY 2018 - 2022
Sep 28, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a draft of their Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022. Includes strategies to address provider shortages and improve access to mental health and substance use disorder services in rural and underserved communities, among other things. Comments will be accepted through October 27, 2017.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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The Return of the Doctor House Call
Sep 27, 2017 - Highlights several programs that provide in-home care to patients who struggle to make it to a doctor's office regularly, whether due to age, severity of illness, or because of long distances for rural patients. Also touches on the benefits of being in a patient's home to assess their living quality, any hazards in their homes, and how their medications are managed, among other things.
Source: Governing
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Hospice Services in Rural Areas Can Reduce Need for More Expensive Services
Sep 26, 2017 - Highlights on a recent report from the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center that found that expanding the use of hospice services in rural areas could reduce patients' need for more expensive and inconvenient medical treatments. Patients who use hospice services are less likely to visit a doctor's office, be admitted to hospitals, or require an ambulance. In rural areas, non-hospice patients were 22% more likely to use a skilled nursing facility and were also less likely to use home-based care.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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A Conversation with Pam Tripp
Sep 26, 2017 - Radio interview with Pam Tripp, the Chief Executive Office of CommWell Health. Discussion includes the work of CommWell Health and its specific programs, including lessons learned in making the organization financially solvent and in developing new programs, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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Call for Papers for Health Services Research Theme Issue on Health Equity
Sep 26, 2017 - Health Services Research (HSR) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) are partnering to publish a Theme Issue on Health Equity, which includes efforts to reduce health disparities experienced by racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities, persons with disabilities, and individuals living in rural areas. They are accepting studies, evaluations, and policy analyses that pertain to health equity from a variety of disciplines and encourage research that explores the intersectionality of social risk factors. Abstracts must be submitted by November 1, 2017.
Source: Health Services Research
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Findings from NSDUH Reveal That Only a Subset of Individuals Receive Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues
Sep 21, 2017 - A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Receipt of Services for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues among Adults: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found that only 10.8% of the 19.9 million adults that needed substance use treatment in the past year received treatment at a specialty facility. It also found that 43.1% of the 44.7 million adults with any mental illness and 64.8% of the 10.4 million adults with serious mental illness received mental health services.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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Rural Americans Less Likely to Wear Seat Belts, More Likely to Die in Crashes
Sep 21, 2017 - The newest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Rural Health Series found people in rural areas have a motor vehicle death rate 3-10 times higher than in urban areas. This is attributed to lower seat belt use in rural areas. Includes specific death rate data comparisons for urban and rural in different regions around the country.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., On the Agency’s Continued Efforts to Promote the Safe Adoption of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Sep 20, 2017 - Statement on the opioid epidemic and the intention to promote more widespread adoption of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to treat people struggling with opioid use disorder from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Includes the Drug Safety Communication the FDA distributed to healthcare providers and patients that highlights the risk of serious side effects associated with combining certain MAT drugs with certain other prescription drugs.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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Unbudgeted: How the Opioid Crisis Is Blowing a Hole in Small-town America's Finances
Sep 19, 2017 - Discusses the financial impact of the opioid epidemic in small and rural towns. Includes costs associated with increased use of the foster care system, law enforcement, the justice system, emergency medical services, and coroner and toxicology services. It's leading some counties to consider cutting money from economic development and youth programs. Also includes the impact on small businesses struggling to find drug-free employees.
Source: Reuters
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Indian Health Service Publishes Paper on Child Obesity
Sep 19, 2017 - Blog post from the Indian Health Service (IHS) on its recently released article in the American Journal of Public Health which found that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children aged 2-19 may have stabilized. However, the prevalence of obesity is still higher among AI/AN children than the general U.S. population of children.
Source: Indian Health Service Blog
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MAP Rural Health Workgroup 2017-2018 Call for Nominations
Sep 19, 2017 - The National Quality Forum (NQF) is establishing a rural health workgroup under the Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) to advise the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the selection of rural-relevant measures for use in certain federal value-based purchasing and quality reporting programs. The MAP Rural Health Workgroup will consist of no more than 25 members with expertise in the areas of rural health, program implementation, and quality measurement. The NQF is accepting nominations through September 29, 2017 at 6:00 pm Eastern time.
Source: National Quality Forum
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A Conversation with Mark Lindsay
Sep 19, 2017 - Radio interview with Mark Lindsay, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and the Medical Director for Allevant, a training and education company that helps Critical Access Hospitals manage post-acute care. Discussion includes Lindsay's work at Mayo and the work of Allevant, Critical Access Hospitals and swing-bed programs, and population and preventative health, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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Rural Areas Struggle with Health Care Availability
Sep 16, 2017 - Insights on the barriers to rural healthcare access from Dr. Alana Knudson, Co-Director of the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis. Includes discussion on hospital closures, transportation, and demand for physicians.
Source: WRVO Public Media
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Rural Hospitals Struggle To Stock Expensive Drugs That Could Save Lives
Sep 15, 2017 - Rural healthcare providers often struggle to stock sufficient quantities of certain kinds of life-saving prescription drugs because of their high price tag. A provision expanded under the Affordable Care Act extended the 340B drug discount program for hospitals that primarily serve low-income people to cover rural providers as well. However, this provision includes an exception for "orphan drugs," or prescription medications used to treat rare diseases, meaning they are not discounted for rural facilities. Because many prescription drugs are granted orphan drug status while they are being tested on rare conditions, this exception prevents rural hospitals from getting discounts on widely-used and life-saving medications.
Source: NPR
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VA Releases Veteran Suicide Statistics by State
Sep 15, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released findings from its analysis of veteran suicide data in their State Data report. They found that the risk for suicide is 22% higher for veterans than for non-veteran adults, that 65% of veterans who commit suicide are 50 or older, and that the highest rates of suicide are in Western states and in states with smaller populations.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Opioid Crisis Takes a Toll on Rural Older Adults
Sep 15, 2017 - Highlights the impacts of the opioid epidemic on older people living in rural areas. Those dealing with addiction face limited access to treatment, while those who are not addicted may still be affected by the diversion of community resources to address the needs of those who are. Discusses the scope of the opioid epidemic, provides an overview of access issues in rural areas that affect older adults, explains how elderly people can become addicted through valid prescriptions, and touches on some potential solutions.
Source: Next Avenue
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HHS Commits $144.1 Million in Additional Funding for Opioid Crisis
Sep 15, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $144.1 million in grants to prevent and treat opioid addiction. These grants will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through six grant programs: First Responders, the State Pilot Grant for Treatment of Pregnant and Postpartum Women, Building Communities of Recovery, Improving Access to Overdose Treatment, Targeted Capacity Expansion: Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), and the Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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HUD Awards $55 Million for Housing and Community Development Projects in 77 Native American Communities
Sep 14, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it would be awarding $55.2 million through its Indian Community Development Block Grant Program. These grants will be distributed to 77 Native American tribes throughout the country to improve housing conditions and to stimulate economic development.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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HRSA Awards $200 Million to Health Centers Nationwide to Tackle Mental Health and Fight the Opioid Overdose Crisis
Sep 14, 2017 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced that it is awarding more than $200 million to 1,179 health centers and 13 rural health organizations to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services. This money will be distributed to every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. 496 of the health centers receiving these awards are located in rural communities.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Broadband Analysis: Scrappy Wireless ISPs Get the Job Done
Sep 14, 2017 - Discusses the utility of Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) in bringing higher speed internet access to rural areas. Although WISPs typically provide slower internet than broadband, they tend to be quicker and cheaper to build and implement, and for most families and small businesses the speed is adequate for their needs. Also touches on hybrid fiber/wireless systems.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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Indiana, Reeling from Opioid Crisis, Arms Officials with Data
Sep 14, 2017 - Highlights Indiana's online opioid database and how it's being used to combat the opioid epidemic. This database includes data on drug arrests, drug seizures, death records, pharmacy robberies, overdose-related emergency calls, and the use of naloxone. Also delves into what other states are doing with data in regards to the opioid crisis and ways that this kind of data could be used in the future.
Source: WIRED
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Drones Carrying Blood Could Be the Future of Rural Medicine
Sep 13, 2017 - Details the results of a recent study on the impact of drone transport on blood samples. In this study, blood samples driven in a car were compared to blood samples transported in a drone for 3 hours over an Arizona desert to see if the motion of the drone or the outside temperature would affect the blood. Studies like this bring the use of drones for medical transports much closer to becoming a reality, which could potentially have significant impacts in rural communities.
Source: The Verge
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More Opioid Prescriptions than People in Some California Counties
Sep 8, 2017 - In rural and semi-rural areas of California, prescription drug use and death rates are significantly higher than the state average. In 2016, some counties had more prescriptions filled than there are people in the county. Includes an overview of state legislation proposed in response to the opioid epidemic as well as state-specific data and maps.
Source: The Sacramento Bee
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National Survey Reveals the Scope of Behavioral Health Across the Nation
Sep 7, 2017 - Details the results of the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In 2016, there were 11.8 million people aged 12 and older who misused opioids in the past year. 11.5 million of those were misusing pain relievers rather than heroin, despite higher rates of people with heroin misuse disorder receiving treatment at a specialty facility. Even so, less than a quarter of people with an opioid use disorder received treatment at a specialty facility in the last year. Additionally, the prevalence of serious mental illness, depression, and suicidal ideation has increased among young adults in recent years.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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More than Half of Rural Counties Don’t Have a Hospital Where Women Can Give Birth
Sep 5, 2017 - Highlights a recent study that found that from 2004 to 2014, the percentage of rural counties without a hospital with obstetric services rose from 45 to 54, leaving 2.4 million women of childbearing age without nearby access to care. The study also found that the most geographically isolated counties were less likely to have obstetric services, and rural counties with lower median incomes and higher percentages of African American women of reproductive age were less likely to have hospitals with maternity wards. (May require subscription to view full article.)
Source: The Washington Post
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A Conversation with Christian Curtis
Sep 5, 2017 - Radio interview with Christian Curtis, a registered nurse who works with the Fort Peck Tribes Health Promotion Disease Prevention (HPDP) program in Montana. Discussion includes the work of the HPDP, including school-based clinics and telehealth, and the influence of historical trauma on health, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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Syringe Exchange Program Aims To Slow Hepatitis C Infections In Alaska
Aug 29, 2017 - Highlights the work of a syringe exchange program in Alaska and the impacts of these types of exchange programs generally. Among Alaskans 18-29, the hepatitis C rate doubled between 2011 and 2015. In some rural areas, hepatitis C rates have increased by 490%. With only four exchange programs in the state, people in small towns often have limited access to clean syringes. Hepatitis C is also extremely expensive to treat. This exchange program could operate for nearly a year for the cost of curing one person with hepatitis C.
Source: NPR
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A Conversation with Don Kelso
Aug 29, 2017 - Radio interview with Don Kelso, the executive director of the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA). Discussion includes the general state of rural health in Indiana, telehealth, and the need for better behavioral health access in rural areas, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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With Opioid Crisis, a Surge in Hepatitis C
Aug 28, 2017 - Details the spike in new hepatitis C infections as a result of the opioid epidemic and the specific challenges created by the fact that this epidemic is so prevalent in rural areas with less access to care and to syringe exchange programs.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
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HRSA: Meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services Federal Register
Aug 28, 2017 - The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) will hold an open meeting on September 11-13, 2017, at the Spring Hill Suites in Boise, Idaho. The meeting will consist of a discussion on the issues of Rural Health Clinic modernization and suicide in rural areas, and conclude with a planning session to discuss plans for the next quarter. Committee site visits are also scheduled on the morning of September 12. The final agenda will be posted on NACRHHS's website prior to the meeting start date, and members of the public may attend the meeting in person.
Source: Federal Register
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HHS Establishing Pain Management Task Force/Seeks Member Nominations
Aug 25, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the creation of a Pain Management Task Force to develop a set of best practices for prescribing pain medication and for managing chronic and acute pain in order to address any gaps or inconsistencies among federal agencies. HHS is currently seeking member nominations from the public, due September 27, 2017.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Appalachian Region Endures Dramatic Health Challenges Compared with Nation, New Research Shows
Aug 24, 2017 - Highlights a recent study that found significant health disparities between Appalachia and the country as a whole. This study, Health Disparities in Appalachia is part of the larger, multi-part health research project Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots. Health disparities were found in relation to health conditions, drug overdoses, supply of healthcare professionals, and risk factors for health issues, among other things. Also touches on some areas in which Appalachia is doing better than the national average.
Source: Appalachian Regional Commission
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