Rural Health
Top Stories

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

Growing Accessibility of Opioids in Rural Areas
Feb 21, 2017 - Discusses the opioid epidemic, focusing specifically on rural areas in Kentucky and West Virginia. In these areas, the number of prescription opioids being received by pharmacies is extremely high when compared to the population. Unsurprisingly, these areas also have high rates of hospitalizations and overdoses due to abuse of opioids. Also addresses the social and economic realities which may have contributed to the use of opioids and the barriers faced by rural people seeking healthcare services to help with addiction.
Source: Community Commons
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Solving The Rural Health Care Access Crisis With The Freestanding Emergency Center Care Model
Feb 21, 2017 - Highlights the economic difficulties faced by many rural hospitals and offers Freestanding Emergency Centers (FECs) as a potential solution. FECs can still provide urgent and emergency care to rural communities without the same costs that are inherent to hospitals. Barriers to the dissemination of FECs are also discussed.
Source: Health Affairs Blog
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A Conversation with Mark Hamed
Feb 21, 2017 - Radio interview with Mark Hamed, the Medical Director of the Departments of Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine at a Critical Access Hospital in Michigan. Hamed is also a faculty member at three medical schools and spearheaded an initiative to combat opioid abuse. Discussion includes rural health policy, substance abuse, and healthcare quality, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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CMS Awards Approximately $100 Million to Help Small Practices Succeed in the Quality Payment Program
Feb 17, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded approximately $20 million to 11 organizations to provide training and education about the Quality Payment Program to small practices, especially in historically underserved areas like rural areas, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas. This is the first year of a five-year program; CMS intends to invest an additional $80 million over the next four years.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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HIV/AIDS in Rural America
Feb 16, 2017 - Details the specific obstacles faced by rural people with HIV or AIDS. They are less likely to get tested and, for those who do get tested, the virus is more likely to have advanced to AIDS. They are less likely to stay in care and more likely to internalize stigmas. Because of this stigma and concern over their condition being discovered, they are also often burdened with traveling long distances to urban areas to be tested or treated to avoid the notice of people in their communities.
Source: Health Resources & Services Administration
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Senators Reintroduce Legislation to Aid Rural Hospitals
Feb 16, 2017 - The office of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced that Isakson, along with five other senators, had introduced legislation to correct what is described as a flawed formula for determining Medicare payments. The Fair Medicare Hospital Payments Act of 2017 would establish a national minimum area wage index that would provide rural and low-income hospitals with more equitable Medicare payments.
Source: Office of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson
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Senators Highlight Need for Quality Health Care in Rural America
Feb 15, 2017 - In a bipartisan letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, 41 U.S. Senators emphasized the importance of rural healthcare and expressed their desire work with Price to avoid any federal regulations that would negatively impact rural communities.
Source: Office of U.S. Senator Roger Wicker
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2016-2025 Projections of National Health Expenditures Data Released
Feb 15, 2017 - A report authored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT) and published by Health Affairs found that national health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.6% annually from 2016-2025. This report also projects, among other things, that the health share of GDP will rise approximately 2 percentage points from 2015 to 2025.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Chairman Smith Opening Statement at Hearing on the Geography of Poverty
Feb 15, 2017 - Opening statement from the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-NE) at a Subcommittee hearing entitled "The Geography of Poverty." Discusses poverty in rural and remote areas and the importance of federal policies that support employment opportunities in communities with high poverty rates.
Source: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
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CMS Issues Proposed Rule to Increase Patients’ Health Insurance Choices for 2018
Feb 15, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for 2018 that aims to stabilize individual and small group health insurance markets. The rule would impact special enrollment periods, the annual open enrollment period, guaranteed availability, network adequacy rules, essential community providers, and actuarial value requirements. It also announced upcoming changes to the qualified health plan certification timeline.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Maternal Health Care Is Disappearing in Rural America
Feb 15, 2017 - Addresses the high demands for obstetrical and gynecological services in rural areas around the country, with a focus on Alabama. Highlights the various factors that contribute to this situation, including obstetrical wards closing, inability to recruit OB-GYNs to practice in rural areas, and the relative price of providing obstetrical and gynecological care.
Source: Scientific American
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Judge Upends Effort To Limit Charity Funding For Kidney Patients’ Insurance
Feb 14, 2017 - Highlights the potential challenges faced by dialysis patients with and without a new rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would have gone into effect January 13, 2017, but was temporarily blocked by a federal judge. The rule would have required dialysis centers to inform insurers if the centers are making premium payments for people covered by marketplace plans, either directly or indirectly through a third party, allowing insurers to accept or deny the payments.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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VA Project Expands Clinical Pharmacy Services to Rural Veterans
Feb 13, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office (CPPO) and its Office of Rural Health (ORH) are collaborating on a five year project to increase access to care for rural veterans. The $70 million project will place 115 new clinical pharmacy specialists in rural outpatient clinics. About half of these pharmacists will provide primary care services while the other half will provide mental health and pain management services.
Source: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
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Hoeven Delivers Congressional Response to 2017 State of Indian Nations Address
Feb 13, 2017 - The Congressional Response, given by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), to the 2017 State of Indian Nations address. Hoeven, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, touches on healthcare access and quality, veterans' health, homelessness and overcrowding, economic development as it relates to quality of life, the safety and well-being of children in foster care, and resources for victims of violent crimes, among other things.
Source: United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
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Trump Travel Ban Spotlights U.S. Dependence On Foreign-Born Doctors
Feb 11, 2017 - Details the impacts the travel ban could have on the medical community, including international students who will be matched with U.S. residency programs in March and practicing doctors working under the J-1 Visa Waiver program who may choose not to visit their home country for fear that they will not be allowed back in to the U.S. International medical graduates make up approximately 25% of practicing doctors in the U.S., many of whom work in underserved areas.
Source: NPR
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Medical Memberships Fill Some Gaps When People Can't Afford Insurance
Feb 9, 2017 - Focuses on a medical membership clinic in a rural town in Missouri to explore the way medical memberships work and the appeal of this alternative model. Medical memberships charge patients a monthly fee for unlimited care, in this case primary care, and offer some labs and medications at wholesale prices. Patients do not pay co-pays, but also do not have coverage for specialty or emergency care.
Source: Side Effects Public Media
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New Federal Rules Will Require Home Health Agencies To Do Much More For Patients
Feb 9, 2017 - Details the changes associated with new federal regulations governing home health agency participation in Medicare and Medicaid. The new rules are aimed at providing better quality care that is more inclusive of patients and their families. They are scheduled to take effect in July.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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For Migrant Farmworker Families, a Head Start Builds Momentum
Feb 8, 2017 - Details the impact of the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project on migrant families with small children. This project operates 38 preschool centers on the east coast that provide children with an early childhood education, connect families with services, and create stability for both children and their parents.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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Guarding our Military’s Behavioral Health
Feb 8, 2017 - Blog post from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on their partnership on the National Guard's Guard Your Health readiness campaign which provides behavioral health resources to current service members and veterans. Because of increased stress often faced by service members as well as increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury, service members experience high rates of substance abuse and suicide.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Blog
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Pharmacies Thrive Selling Opioids For Depressed Small Town Pain
Feb 8, 2017 - Focuses on a small town in Kentucky to provide a view of the opioid epidemic. The town, with eleven pharmacies for a population of 1,500 people, has been hit hard by prescription drug abuse. This area is one of the unhealthiest places in the country and also has one of the highest concentrations of Medicaid patients. Article includes county-by-county data on hydrocodone use.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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Drugmaker Kaleo Raises Price Of Lifesaving Drug By Thousands
Feb 7, 2017 - NPR interview with Kaiser Health News reporter Shefali Luthra on the price increase of a particular auto-injector of naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug that has been in considerable demand due to the opioid epidemic. The company in question donates many naloxone auto-injectors to first responders and requires no co-pay from people with private insurance, but some say these efforts do not do enough to offset the new $4,500 price tag.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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Isakson, Tester Applaud Committee Approval of Dr. David Shulkin as VA Secretary
Feb 7, 2017 - Announcement from the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on the bipartisan committee approval of David Shulkin, M.D. to the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The nomination will now move to a full senate vote.
Source: The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
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How Rural Hospitals Can Ensure Vulnerable Communities Continue to Get Care
Feb 7, 2017 - Details the panel discussion of several rural health leaders at the annual Rural Health Care Leadership Conference. Discussion included, among other things, innovative ways rural hospitals have kept themselves afloat, the findings of the American Hospital Association Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities report, and the challenges as well as the potential of telemedicine for rural areas.
Source: Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine
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CMS Proposes 2018 Payment and Policy Updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans
Feb 1, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed changes to the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs. The updates for 2018 will result in a .25% increase, on average, for Medicare Advantage plans, which is described as being comparable to last year's update.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Medicare Patient Deaths Shortly after Leaving the ER Raise Questions about Rural Hospitals
Feb 1, 2017 - A new study found that hospitals with the lowest inpatient admission rates, often rural hospitals, had significantly higher rates of unexplained death within 7 days of being released from emergency departments. This study, looking at Medicare patient outcomes from 2007 to 2012, raises questions about allocation of resources, policies aimed at reducing unnecessary admissions, and issues related to limited staffing and patient access to transportation.
Source: STAT News
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Medicaid Enrollment Growth Higher in Urban Areas, New Study Finds
Jan 30, 2017 - Discusses the discrepancy in Medicaid growth rates between urban and rural areas. In states where Medicaid was not expanded, growth rates from 2012 to 2015 were 14% in metropolitan areas, but only 7% in rural areas. Differences were much smaller in states where Medicaid was expanded as part of the ACA.
Source: Medical Xpress
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More White, Native Americans Dying Early, Study Says
Jan 26, 2017 - A new study has found premature death is increasing for white and Native Americans, due in large part to drug overdose and suicide. From 1999 to 2014, mortality rose from 2% to 5% for members of these groups aged 25-30.
Source: KVIA
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Good Outcomes with 'Telepsychiatry' in Medical Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
Jan 25, 2017 - Details a study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine that found that people receiving medication-assisted treatment using telepsychiatry has similar clinical outcomes to people who received the same treatment in-person.
Source: EurekAlert!
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Nearly One-Quarter of Veterans Live in Rural Areas, Census Bureau Reports
Jan 25, 2017 - A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey found that between 2011 and 2015, approximately 24% of U.S. veterans lived in rural areas. It also found that, aside from median household income and employment rates which were lower for rural veterans, urban and rural veterans had similar demographic and economic characteristics.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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1.5 Million Adults Experiencing Serious Mental Illness Misused Opioids in the past Year
Jan 24, 2017 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a report revealing that approximately 1.5 million adults with serious mental illnesses had misused an opioid in 2015. This number accounts for about 13% of adults who misused opioids.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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VA Researcher Working to Improve HIV Care for Rural Veterans
Jan 24, 2017 - Highlights the work of Dr. Michael Ohl, of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Iowa City VA Health Care System, who is creating a model titled Telehealth Collaborative Care. This model uses videoconferencing to connect rural veterans with HIV to VA specialists in an effort to improve access to quality HIV treatment. The study explores rural veterans' interest in using telehealth through community-based outpatient clinics to connect them to HIV specialists, pharmacists, psychologists, and nurse-care managers.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Diabetes-Related Kidney Disease Drops among Native Americans
Jan 22, 2017 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 54% reduction in the number of diabetes-related kidney failures in Native American populations from 1996 to 2013. This drop is attributed to efforts by the Indian Health Service to provide education and opportunities to help people make healthy choices as well as screening activities and health workers and specialists traveling to provide care in areas without access, among other things.
Source: PBS News Hour
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More Rural Americans Got Insurance through Affordable Care Act Last Year
Jan 19, 2017 - Details the results of a report from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis which found that the number of rural Americans who purchased insurance through the federally managed marketplace increased by more than 10% in the last year. Data was unavailable for states that manage their own health insurance marketplaces, but there is state-by-state data for those states using the federal system.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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IHS and VA Renew, Expand Partnership
Jan 19, 2017 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced that it has extended its national reimbursement agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which allows the VA to compensate the IHS for direct healthcare provided to American Indian and Alaska Native veterans that are eligible for and enrolled in the VA's healthcare system. The IHS also announced a new Interagency Agreement with the VA, authorizing the IHS to use the VA's Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy, which delivers filled prescriptions to patient homes around the country via mail.
Source: Indian Health Service
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HUD Releases Comprehensive Assessment of Housing Needs Of American Indians and Alaska Natives
Jan 19, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has released three new reports on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs: Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Tribal Areas, Mortgage Lending on Tribal Land, and Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Urban Areas. The reports revealed that overcrowding and the physical condition of housing in tribal areas are worse than in other areas of the country.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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New Participants Join Several CMS Alternative Payment Models
Jan 18, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that over 359,000 clinicians are confirmed to participate in four of CMS's Alternative Payment Models (APMs) in 2017. These APMs are the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Model, the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Model, and the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Model, which all provide reimbursements based on quality and effectiveness of care.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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New Report Examines the Non-Medical Use of Opioids Among Women of Childbearing Age
Jan 17, 2017 - Details the results of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) Women of Childbearing Age and Opioids statistical report.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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A Conversation with Michael Glasser
Jan 17, 2017 - Radio interview with Michael Glasser, the director of the National Center for Rural Health Professions and the co-director of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford Public Health Program. Discussion focuses primarily on the rural health workforce and the efficacy of efforts to recruit rural students to medical professions in rural areas.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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Drugmakers Manipulate Orphan Drug Rules To Create Prized Monopolies
Jan 17, 2017 - Provides an overview of the history of Orphan Drug rules and the way that these rules have been used to increase profits for prescription drug companies. The rising cost of prescription drugs is attributed, in part, to these rules.
Source: Kaiser Health News
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Congress Completes First Step Toward Obamacare Repeal
Jan 13, 2017 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the 2017 budget resolution that instructs committees to write legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will later allow the ACA to be repealed with a simple majority. Includes opposing views in the House on the ACA.
Source: USA Today
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VA’s Rule Establishes a Presumption of Service Connection for Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune
Jan 13, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has established a presumption of service connection for eight diseases that may be associated with exposure to contamination in the water supply at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987. This will make it easier for veterans to receive the care and benefits they need. The eight diseases are adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplatic syndromes, bladder, kidney, or liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Parkinson's disease.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Vilsack Leaving USDA early, No Trump Replacement Named
Jan 13, 2017 - Details former U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's unexpected early exit. Vilsack sent an email to employees on Friday informing them that it was his last day and returned to his home state of Iowa. President-elect Donald Trump has yet to name a new Secretary of Agriculture.
Source: Associated Press
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The Death Rate Gap Between Urban and Rural America Is Getting Wider
Jan 13, 2017 - New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that mortality rates in rural areas for preventable deaths are plateauing and even increasing for the five leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. They found that more than 70,000 deaths in rural areas could have been prevented with better public health resources and better access to healthcare.
Source: Vox
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Senate Opens Obamacare Repeal Drive with Overnight Marathon
Jan 12, 2017 - Details Senate Republicans' late-night efforts to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Covers opinions both for and against repeal, some specific to the potential impact in rural areas.
Source: CNN
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Pennsylvania Rural Health Model Aims to Help Rural Hospitals Improve Quality, Address Community Health Needs
Jan 12, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, a new initiative designed to improve health and healthcare in rural Pennsylvania. The model will provide rural hospitals with all-payer global budgets to cover their costs, resulting in predictable budgets around which they can redesign their care.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Outpacing Last Year, More than 11.5 Million People Are Signed up for Marketplace Coverage
Jan 11, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report revealing that more than 11.5 million people nationwide have signed up for health insurance using the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2017, including 1.6 million from rural areas. Additionally, more than 8 in 10 will receive advance premium tax credits to assist with premiums.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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A Conversation with Leslie Marsh
Jan 10, 2017 - Radio interview with Leslie Marsh, the CEO of Lexington Regional Health Center, a Critical Access Hospital in Lexington, Nebraska discussing the her leadership style and focus on quality healthcare.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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IHS Scholarship, Loan Repayment Programs Aim to Recruit More Health Care Providers
Jan 10, 2017 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced the opening of its application period for its 2017 scholarship and loan repayment programs. Approximately $13.7 million in scholarships and $30 million in loan repayments will be available, with a focus on physicians, physician assistants/nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, and behavioral health providers.
Source: Indian Health Service
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RTT Collaborative Annual Meeting Travel Stipend Available
Jan 10, 2017 - Notification from the Rural Training Track Collaborative announcing that registration for their annual meeting is open. Also includes information on travel and meeting stipends, which are now available. The meeting will take place in Anderson, SC on April 19-21, 2017.
Source: The RTT Collaborative
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Indian Health Service Plans to Expand Community Health Aide Program
Jan 9, 2017 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) published a report on the process IHS will use to expand the use of community health aides in American Indian and Alaska Native health programs across the country. This is anticipated to increase access to much-needed health services in tribal communities.
Source: Indian Health Service
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CMS Finalizes New Medicare and Medicaid Home Health Care Rules and Beneficiary Protections
Jan 9, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized minimum health and safety standards for home health agencies to be eligible to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This final rule includes requirements concerning patients' rights, communication between patients, the home health agency, and the patients' physicians, data driven quality assessment, and expanded patient care coordination, among other things.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
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Native American Communities Explore New Territory
Jan 9, 2017 - Details affordable housing in New Mexico, where The Domingo Housing Project offers rural transit-oriented homes. Discusses some of the difficulties associated with funding and building affordable housing on tribal land and some of the ways these problems have been solved in other states.
Source: Affordable Housing Finance
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Why Sharing May Be The Fastest Way To Transform Rural Health Care
Jan 5, 2017 - Interview with Project ECHO founder Sanjeev Arora concerning the success of Project ECHO and its upcoming national implementation.
Source: Forbes
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VA Urges National and Local Partners to Act Now to End Veteran Homelessness
Jan 5, 2017 - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert A. McDonald announced a nation-wide "surge" over the next 30 days to address veteran homelessness. McDonald is calling on members of the VA's network of federal, local, and nongovernmental partners to strategically target available resources and housing to homeless veterans.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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USDA Announces Retailer Volunteers for SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot
Jan 5, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its selection of the seven retail firms that will take part in a two-year pilot program. This program will allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to purchase groceries online, a change that is anticipated to increase access to healthy foods for participants. Pilot will be tested in both rural and urban locations.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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How Project ECHO Will Advance Rural Health through Telehealth
Jan 4, 2017 - Details the way the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Project works as well as the impact it will have if it passes President Obama's desk and is implemented nationwide. The program connects specialists with clinicians working in rural or underserved areas using telehealth technology to provide education and improve the quality of care for patients.
Source: mHealthIntelligence
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In a Small Town in Texas, a Rural Hospital Thrives Against All Odds
Jan 4, 2017 - Focuses on a rural hospital in Texas that is not only succeeding but expanding its services in a time when many rural hospitals, even in the same state, are closing their doors. Details the expansion and also the methods employed to keep the hospital in the black.
Source: STAT News
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A Conversation with Drs. Khare and MacDowell
Jan 3, 2017 - Radio interview with Drs. Khare and MacDowell from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford's Department of Family and Community Medicine. Khare and MacDowell created Win With Wellness, a community-based initiative in two rural Illinois counties aimed at addressing obesity and chronic disease risk. This initiative is funded by a grant through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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US Labor Department Proposes New Rule to Modernize Medical Benefits Payments Under Black Lung Benefits Act
Jan 3, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a rule under the Black Lung Benefits Act to adopt modern payment formulas based on those used by Medicare. It is anticipated that this rule would provide improved access to healthcare for miners with such severe pneumonoconiosis, or Black Lung, that it has left them totally disabled.
Source: United States Department of Labor
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America’s Economic Distress Belt
Jan 3, 2017 - Details the results of a new study from the U.S. Census' Population Reference Bureau which has found that both income inequality and poverty have risen dramatically in the past 25 years. Includes data on inequality and poverty by county type, including non-metropolitan and rural counties.
Source: City Lab
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Six Facts About Dying Young
Dec 29, 2016 - Features "key findings" from a series published over the last year focused on the increases in premature death among white Americans, particularly middle-aged white women in rural areas.
Source: The Washington Post
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In Ohio, Fighting to Survive an Epidemic of Self-Destruction
Dec 29, 2016 - Focuses on opioid addiction in rural Ohio to explore the implications of the nationwide epidemic. Addresses overdoses, the over-prescription of pain medication, the changing culture in parts of rural America due to the epidemic, and the severity of the impact on white women in particular.
Source: Alaska Dispatch News
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Amid Opioid Crisis, Schools Help Students Heal (Video)
Dec 28, 2016 - Video documenting the impact of the opioid epidemic in West Virginia on the children of drug users. There has been a sharp increase in the number of children in foster care. Law enforcement has begun contacting schools when they have an interaction with a child's parent so that the school is prepared that the child may have had a difficult night. Schools have also begun providing clothing, counseling, and weekly time with mentors for kids impacted by the opioid epidemic.
Source: Education Week
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Measuring the Impact of Opioid Policies
Dec 27, 2016 - Overview of the efforts taken by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Congress to address the opioid epidemic. Although some progress has been made, some efforts are too recent to gauge their efficacy, and access to care for rural people still remains an issue.
Source: MedPage Today
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How the Opioid Epidemic Is an Infrastructure Issue
Dec 27, 2016 - Interview with Alan Morgan, the director of the National Rural Health Association, about the connection between housing and infrastructure development and the opioid epidemic. This link has been emphasized by Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, among others. Interview also includes discussion on potential approaches to this crisis, the disparities between urban and rural areas, and the lack of access to care for rural people.
Source: City Lab
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Will Children’s Uninsured Rate Double If Obamacare Is Repealed?
Dec 27, 2016 - Details the decline in uninsured rates for children over the past twenty years and its various causes. Offers speculation on what would happen to those rates, and to the children they represent, if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, if certain changes are made to Medicaid, or if funding for the the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is not renewed in the coming year.
Source: Center for Health Journalism
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