Skip to main content

Rural Health
Top Stories

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

Jul 10, 2020 - Highlights measures the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken to address the opioid epidemic, focusing on preventing opioid misuse, expanding access to treatment, and using data to better target their efforts. Describes efforts to increase access to these services in rural areas that have been among the hardest hit by the opioid crisis.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Jul 9, 2020 - Highlights rural-focused funders responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly providing funding to help rural communities and organizations address their specific needs. Discusses how federal and state funding has supported rural response efforts, emphasizes how rural funders are vital because of their role in immediate response. (May require a subscription to view full article).
Source: Health Affairs
Jul 9, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $21 million to support health centers' COVID-19 response efforts. $17 million of the funding will support 78 Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) in expanding testing capacity in their communities, including the purchase of personal protective equipment; training for staff; outreach; and laboratory services.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jul 8, 2020 - Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges to seasonal and migrant farmworkers, identifies the internet as a necessity so workers and their families have access to telemedicine and online education. Highlights efforts to get hotspots and wifi installed in orchards along the Columbia River Gorge.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jul 8, 2020 - The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is seeking input from primary care providers regarding clinical experiences in screening for suicide risk, such as patient suicide risk assessment, brief interventions, the use of telehealth for behavioral health consultation, and referral to specialty care. Comments must be submitted to ResearchRTF@mail.nih.gov by August 7, 2020.
Source: National Institutes of Health
Jul 7, 2020 - The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is seeking input on scientific gaps and research needs that should be addressed as cancer-related care via telehealth becomes a more common part of routine clinical practice. This RFI is part of a planning effort to identify promising research opportunities, methods, and strategies to address gaps in this area. Responses are accepted through July 30, 2020.
Source: National Institutes of Health
Jul 6, 2020 - A heart failure nurse who serves mostly rural patients discusses how telehealth has made providing medical care more convenient and personal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses how doctor's offices can often be anxiety-inducing and that telehealth has helped to strengthen connections between healthcare workers and their patients.
Source: Texas Monthly
Jul 2, 2020 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced the national expansion of the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP), which provides education and training to tribal community health providers. The CHAP model increases access to healthcare in rural and remote areas of Indian Country by delivering care to patients in their own environment.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jul 2, 2020 - The U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a public service announcement reminding Americans to do their part to stay healthy and follow instructions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Video asks that people follow state and local guidelines, wash hands frequently, stay six feet away from others, and wear a face covering.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jul 1, 2020 - The director of the Small Town Center at Mississippi State University highlights small cities in Mississippi that are adapting during the coronavirus pandemic to keep their communities active and vibrant. Small towns have begun investing in sidewalks, bike paths, and parks to promote an active lifestyle; buying directly from local farmers; and promoting in-state tourism as a means to support local economies.
Source: The Conversation
Jul 1, 2020 - The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) is requesting examples of creative ways communities are adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples can include innovations in healthcare, childcare, food access, supporting local businesses, and other areas.
Jun 30, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Education announced the Rural Tech Project, a challenge that invites high schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) to develop competency-based distance learning programs to improve instruction in rural communities. Five finalists will receive an equal share of a $500,000 pool and then have two years to refine their program before one finalist is chosen and awarded an additional $100,000 prize. Proposals are due October 8, 2020.
Source: U.S. Department of Education
Jun 30, 2020 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) directed unused funds from previous years of the Rural Health Care Program to carry forward to satisfy funding year 2020 demand for the program. An additional $197 million will now support healthcare providers' access to broadband, totaling over $802 million available for the 2020 funding year.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
Jun 30, 2020 - Covers an investigation into a hospital executive who led a fraudulent lab-billing scheme in rural hospitals across eight states. Half of the nation's rural hospital bankruptcies in 2019 were affiliated with his empire, and many former employees went without pay to keep their hospitals afloat.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Jun 30, 2020 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updating the calendar year (CY) 2021 payment rates and wage index for the home health prospective payment system and proposing permanent changes to the home health regulations regarding the use of technology that were adopted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also discusses policies finalized in the CY 2020 final rule with comment period related to home infusion therapy services, among other things. Comments on this proposed rule are due by August 31, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Jun 29, 2020 - The U.S. Census Bureau created the Community Resilience Estimates (CRE), a tool to measure the degree of a community's resilience in the face of disasters and other emergencies. Some factors associated with high-risk communities include low income, especially in rural communities; greater proportion of single mothers; majority Black and Hispanic population; and greater proportion of residents ages 65 and older.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Jun 29, 2020 - The University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center (RHRC) invites scholars from diverse backgrounds to apply for their Rural Health Equity Postdoctoral Fellowship. One scholar will receive the opportunity to co-lead, with RHRC faculty or staff, a one-year rural health focused project specified by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, as well as lead an additional one-year project in their second year. Applications are due by July 20, 2020.
Source: University of Minnesota
Jun 25, 2020 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated and expanded the list of who is at increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19. CDC clarifies that risk increases steadily as you age, lists chronic conditions that may increase a person's risk, and recommends individuals follow prevention strategies.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Jun 25, 2020 - During the COVID-19 pandemic, a rural hospice in North Carolina made necessary changes to ensure the safety of their staff and patients, including utilizing protective gear, new visitation policies, and reduction of non-essential staff. Highlights creative solutions hospice workers have taken to help patients feel comfortable while in their care.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 25, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration will hold a virtual public meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS) on July 30, 2020. The agenda will include the development of a vision statement that emphasizes rural community transformation, sustainable services, and resiliency. Written statements and request to make oral comments should be submitted to Steven Hirsch at least 3 business days prior to the meeting.
Source: Federal Register
Jun 24, 2020 - Explores the challenges schools will have to overcome to reopen in the fall in the during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses transportation barriers, social distancing and class sizes, masks, cleaning protocols, and access to high-speed internet. Introduces the Rural Community Resource Hub which offers resources to help rural schools make informed decisions and respond to COVID-19.
Source: Successful Farming
Jun 24, 2020 - The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll joined Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and local officials to launch the Rural Community Toolbox (RCTB). The RCTB is an online clearinghouse of resources from 16 Federal departments and agencies, created to connect rural leaders with funding, data, and information to combat drug addiction in rural America.
Source: The White House
Jun 24, 2020 - Addresses rural maternal healthcare challenges and the additional burden the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on new mothers and access to care. Discusses how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of midwives and doulas, describes changes necessary to make midwifery more accessible for people of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 23, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) selected the Morehouse School of Medicine as the awardee for a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities. The National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities (NIMIC) Initiative is a three-year project working with community-based organizations to deliver resources to fight the pandemic.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 23, 2020 - The American Farm Bureau Federation announced that their farm stress management online training course is now available to the general public. Developed by Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) and University of Illinois Extension (Illinois Extension), the course will help farming communities identify and cope with stress.
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation
Jun 22, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) called for a commitment to value-based care due to Medicare claims data that shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Medicare population. Data highlights disparities in health outcomes for minority communities and low-income populations and shows that older Americans and those with chronic health conditions are at the highest risk for COVID-19.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Jun 22, 2020 - Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Center for American Progress (CAP) have released an interactive map showing areas considered to be child care deserts, or locations where the demand for child care is greater than the availability of child care. Discusses the impact that COVID-19 has had on child care facilities and potential funding to help with the burden.
Source: The Washington Post
Jun 21, 2020 - Discusses restrictions that tribal governments across the country are putting in place to prevent further spread of COVID-19 on reservations, as surrounding communities and states loosen their precautions.
Source: The Hill
Jun 18, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $107.2 million in funding to 310 recipients to increase the health workforce in rural and underserved communities. The awards support several healthcare training programs in 45 states and U.S. territories.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 17, 2020 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander recommended the federal government permanently extend policy changes that allow physicians to be reimbursed for a telehealth appointment wherever the patient is located as well as policy changes that doubled the number of telehealth services that could be reimbursed by Medicare. Explains that 29 other temporary federal policy changes should also be considered for being made permanent.
Source: U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Jun 15, 2020 - The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Workforce Studies team and Health Equity Research and Policy team are seeking health equity-focused research proposals with research questions that can be answered using data from the AAMC Consumer Survey of Health Care Access. Applicants must be participants in AAMC Collaborative for Health Equity: Act, Research, Generate Evidence (CHARGE). Research proposals are due July 24, 2020.
Source: Association of American Medical Colleges
Jun 15, 2020 - Telehealth's potential to transform healthcare has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also revealed the extent of the healthcare gap that exists for rural and low-income residents. Provides recommendations to address the gap, including investing in rural broadband, marrying chronic and home care, and expanding telehealth in mental healthcare facilities, emergency responder vehicles, and hospitals.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 15, 2020 - The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Senior Administration Officials invite rural stakeholders to attend a virtual launch of the Rural Community Toolbox website on June 24, 2020. The Rural Community Toolbox will serve as a clearinghouse for funding and resources in over a dozen different federal agencies to help rural leaders build strong, healthy, and drug-free communities.
Source: White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
Jun 15, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration announces the availability of the complete lists of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary care, mental health, and/or dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Lists are available on the Shortage Areas website and are current as of May 1, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Jun 15, 2020 - The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) announced they are accepting applications from healthcare facilities to become NHSC approved sites. Includes information on the benefits of a NHSC membership and encourages facilities that provide substance use disorder (SUD) treatment to apply. Applications are due July 21, 2020.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
Jun 12, 2020 - Features the Quapaw Tribe and how they reclaimed their sustainable food system after relocating to Indian Territory. The tribe began herding their own livestock and growing their own food, supplying the local casinos and businesses with their crops, and opened their own certified meat processing plant.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 11, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $8 million to 73 organizations that provide training and technical assistance (T/TA) to HRSA-funded health centers. The funding ensures that the organizations can continue to provide resources to health centers to aid in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 11, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the opportunity to apply for funding under The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program - Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (RCORP-NAS). The purpose of the program is to reduce the incidence and impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in rural communities and the target population is pregnant women and mothers with history of substance use disorder whose families reside in HRSA-designated rural areas.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
Jun 10, 2020 - Viewpoint article discusses how all-payer global budgets may provide rural hospitals with financial stability and flexibility to respond to changing health needs, as well as address economic challenges posed prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explores the global budget models used in Maryland and Pennsylvania and includes considerations for policy implementation in other states.
Source: JAMA Network
Jun 10, 2020 - Summarizes a new study that illuminated health and healthcare-related risks among rural residents compared to urban and suburban residents. Findings show rural residents are less likely to describe themselves as being in "excellent" or "good" health, as well as less likely to have health insurance, be offered various healthcare benefits, and use mobile health technology.
Source: Transamerica Center for Health Studies
Jun 9, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a guide for patients and beneficiaries to ensure that non-emergency healthcare resumes safely and that patients receive in-person treatment that was postponed due to COVID-19. Recommendations cover facility considerations, testing and sanitation protocols, personal protective equipment and supplies, and workforce availability.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Jun 9, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund, distributing $15 billion to eligible providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and have not received a payment and $10 billion to safety net hospitals. HHS launched an enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal that will allow eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers to report their annual patient revenue to help determine their payment.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 8, 2020 - The Daily Yonder and the Rural Assembly are hosting a livestream on June 9, 2020 to discuss rural housing challenges and opportunities that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel includes experts on homeownership and rental housing, community development, rural data, and rural poverty.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 8, 2020 - The Journal for Rural Health, the National Rural Health Association's (NRHA) scholarly journal, announced its 2020 Article of the Year, "Utilization of Interactive Clinical Video Telemedicine by Rural and Urban Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration Health Care System." The article explores the potential uses of clinical video telemedicine (CVT) in integrated healthcare systems, highlighting the use of CVT in the Veterans Health Administration and how its increased access to care for rural veterans.
Source: National Rural Health Association
Jun 8, 2020 - Highlights a network of recovery programs in North Carolina that provide life-saving services to those recovering from drug misuse and abuse, as well as food, supplies, and other services to those in rural communities whose lives were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Describes how they are dedicated to meeting their communities' most immediate needs, but looking ahead to what they can provide during the winter months as well.
Source: 100 Days in Appalachia
Jun 5, 2020 - The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) is requesting information to gain a more complete understanding of how organizations, networks, non-federal government agencies, and other relevant stakeholders have operationally defined "resilience" in their respective components of the health system, especially as it relates to resilience during disturbances such as the COVID-19 pandemic. OASH also seeks to identify opportunities to strengthen the U.S. healthcare system through public-private partnerships in data sharing and comprehensive analytics. Includes a set of questions to prompt responses from the public which are due by July 8, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Jun 4, 2020 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $545 million in payments to more than 35,000 producers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The program provides assistance to producers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Applications are accepted through August 28, 2020.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Jun 3, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is teaming up with the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to build teleoncology programs that reach veterans in rural communities. The Foundation will provide $4.5 million in grants to the VA to establish a national teleoncology center.
Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Jun 3, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has taken actions to help rural communities and businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Provides a list of opportunities for immediate relief, including the Rural Housing, Rural Utilities, and Rural Business-Cooperative Services. Items with an asterisk are new or updated as of June 3, 2020.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Jun 2, 2020 - Non-coronavirus patients avoid seeking emergency medical care in fear of the pandemic, so hospitals are bringing care to their patients through telehealth. Explains how rural patients will benefit from telemedicine after the pandemic and why it is necessary to address technological disparities between rural and urban areas. (May require a free account to view full article).
Source: National Geographic
Jun 2, 2020 - The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) created the Rural COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center to help rural providers overcome barriers they face during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Technical Assistance Center will focus on finance/reimbursement and operations/supplies, assessing and triaging needs to ensure rural communities are equipped with knowledge, resources, and connections.
Source: National Rural Health Association
Jun 2, 2020 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) announced that it is forming a Critical Care Response Team of physicians, registered nurses, and other healthcare professionals to provide urgent medical care to COVID-19 patients admitted to IHS or tribal hospitals. If a hospital or other medical location needs additional resources, the critical care response team can be at the bedside of the patient within 24-48 hours.
Source: Indian Health Service
Jun 2, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS ASPR) provided an additional $250 million to support healthcare systems with treating patients and responding to COVID-19. Funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will help hospitals train the healthcare workforce, expand telemedicine, and procure supplies.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 2, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $20.3 million to 44 recipients to support the training of addiction specialists at facilities in high need communities. HRSA's Addiction Medicine Fellowship (AMF) program aims to address the opioid crisis and increase the number of the number of fellows accredited addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellowship programs.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jun 1, 2020 - Provides an overview of a recent Health Affairs study that found profit margins decreased over a six-year period for all rural hospital types except nonprofit Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Findings also conclude that rural hospitals were outperformed by urban hospitals in median margin, median occupancy rate, and median change markup.
Source: Healthcare Leaders Media
Jun 1, 2020 - Discusses research that shows suicide rates in America have been rising for the past two years and are expected to continue to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts and researchers explain how a lack of access to mental healthcare in rural areas and a combination of economic failure, unemployment, social isolation, and uncertainty could result in additional deaths of despair.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jun 1, 2020 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau issued a temporary waiver to allow Lifeline carriers to provide services to low-income consumers in rural Tribal areas even if they have not submitted documentation to complete their application. The waiver will allow consumers to access affordable broadband service necessary for telehealth, online learning, telework, and communicating with loved ones during the pandemic.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
May 28, 2020 - The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement released the 2020 Compendium of Rural Oral Health Best Practices as part of their National Rural Oral Health Initiative. The initiative highlights best practices, models, research, and policies that can be built upon to improve dental healthcare in rural communities.
Source: National Rural Health Association
May 28, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $15 million to 52 Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and other health services providers to Tribes across 20 states to aid in COVID-19 response efforts. The funding is provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and aims to support the healthcare workforce, maximize telehealth services, and increase testing capacity.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 28, 2020 - Explores the future of healthcare post COVID-19, discusses how changes in telehealth improved patient access to care and will continue to do so. Describes the negative impact of the pandemic on rural hospitals, but explains how our healthcare system can learn from the public health emergency.
Source: USA Today
May 27, 2020 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced the investment of $281 million to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities across 36 states and Puerto Rico. Funding is provided by the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program and will benefit 106 projects.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
May 26, 2020 - Highlights the Department of Veterans Affairs Women's Health Mini-Residency for Primary Care Rural Providers and Nurses program. The program uses a combination of online and on-site training intended to increase healthcare providers' skills related to women's health.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
May 25, 2020 - Hospitals in Eastern Washington are working to reopen for elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures after being closed on March 19th. Hospital officials are hoping this will begin to repair the financial damage done by COVID-19.
Source: The Spokesman-Review
May 22, 2020 - The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy invites rural stakeholders to participate in a call to discuss federal efforts to increase access to substance use disorder treatment in rural areas during COVID-19. The call will take place on June 2, 2020.
Source: White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
May 22, 2020 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Department is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Also announced that agricultural producers not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under the USDA Business & Industry (B&I) CARES Act Program.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
May 22, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has begun distributing relief funds to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to aid in supporting COVID-19 response efforts. Funds may help nursing facilities address critical needs such as labor, testing capacity, personal protective equipment, and other related expenses.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 22, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized requirements that will increase access to telehealth for seniors in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, expand MA options for beneficiaries in rural communities, expand supplemental benefits for those with chronic diseases, and expand access to MA for patients with End Stage Renal Disease. CMS is also finalizing proposals to enhance the MA and Part D Star Ratings system.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
May 21, 2020 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is partnering with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to promote the use of the $50 million in CARES Act funding to help address the digital divide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was distributed to states and territories through State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) and through grants to libraries and museums.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
May 21, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) seeks input from the public on considerations that may inform decisions regarding the criteria for and identification of Maternity Care Health Professional Target Areas (MCTAs). Outlines areas of consideration for public input which is due by September 18, 2020.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
May 21, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) seeks input from the public on considerations that may inform future changes to Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) scoring criteria. Submissions may include feedback regarding current HPSA scoring criteria and alternative approaches; comments may be submitted through September 18, 2020.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
May 21, 2020 - The U.S. Census Bureau released its latest population estimates for cities and towns, revealing that most of the nation's population lives in incorporated places, with 76 percent of those places having fewer than 5,000 people. Includes a map showing the fastest-growing city or town in each state.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
May 21, 2020 - As states lift stay-at-home restrictions, tourism experts discuss whether or not rural areas will see an influx of visitors Memorial Day weekend. Describes how travelers will be looking to spend time outdoors, and while some rural counties are ready to reopen, residents fear tourists will reintroduce COVID-19 into the community.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
May 20, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided $225 million to over 4,500 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing. The funding is provided through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act and may be used to expand testing capacity, procure supplies for testing, train staff, report data, and build facilities to support COVID-19 response efforts.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 20, 2020 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released two resources to aid states, tribes, localities, and territories in safely reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first summarizes CDC initiatives and includes information on infection control; the second resource is a set of health considerations to be used by summer camps, schools, youth sports organizations, institutes of higher education, and restaurants and bars.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 19, 2020 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced a challenge competition to highlight local innovations to improve postpartum mental healthcare for rural Americans. AHRQ will award five success stories and two new program proposals for a total of $175,000. Submissions are due in September 2020.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
May 19, 2020 - During the coronavirus pandemic, rural libraries continued to serve their communities by offering free Wi-Fi, providing laptops to patrons outside the closed buildings, and offering virtual storytimes online. As some counties reopen, libraries are taking measures to keep staff members and the public safe.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 18, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is delivering $11 billion in new funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indian Health Service (IHS) to support testing for COVID-19. Funding is provided by the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to help states with their efforts to re-open America.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 18, 2020 - Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai shared draft procedures for the $16 billion Phase I Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction, which aims to expand broadband service across unserved areas of rural America. The FCC will vote on the final procedures on June 9, 2020.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
May 18, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new guidance for state and local officials, detailing steps nursing homes and communities should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when reopening. Guidance encourages state leaders to collaborate with the state survey agency and local health departments and make decisions after reviewing several factors.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
May 18, 2020 - Describes initiatives implemented to expand telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic and how imperative the changes have been to increasing access to care and keeping patients healthy. Discusses how telehealth will become a standard of care, but should never replace in-person visits.
Source: Xtelligent Healthcare Media
May 18, 2020 - Summarizes a report that found 13 percent of rural roads are rated in poor condition and another 21 percent are rated mediocre. Analyzes how poor road conditions lead to higher than average fatality rates. Describes how rural residents have less direct access to the Interstate Highway system and how poor rural road conditions could impact the supply chain.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 15, 2020 - Examines how COVID-19 is spreading through U.S. communities. Identifies the largest increase in number of cases in Hispanic Centers, Native American Lands, and Rural Middle America. Explains that each of these communities has their own driving factors and the increase could be contributed to prevalence of meat-packing plants, a lack of health insurance, and higher rates of chronic disease.
Source: American Communities Project
May 14, 2020 - The coronavirus pandemic is hitting many rural communities hard. In response, medical schools and teaching hospitals work to set up testing sites, educate patients and physicians, and provide essential care.
Source: Association of American Medical Colleges
May 14, 2020 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will award $5 million to support studies that help understand the ways in which our health systems were impacted by COVID-19. The deadline for submitting applications is June 15, 2020.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 14, 2020 - For rural people with substance use disorders, it can be difficult to access behavioral health treatment, and pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic only makes it harder. With lockdowns, financial stress, isolation, and the closures of healthcare practices, rural residents lose their care and support systems.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 14, 2020 - Appalachia has seen a rise in substance use disorder relapses as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Health officials attribute this to social distancing measures that strip recovering addicts of crucial support systems. Discusses how the pandemic takes a physical and emotional toll on those recovering from substance use disorders and describes how online forums and meeting platforms attempt to fill the support gaps.
Source: 100 Days in Appalachia
May 14, 2020 - Rural Toole County quickly became Montana's hot spot for coronavirus infections and county officials worry the disease will breach the local correctional facility. Discusses how an outbreak in the prison could overwhelm medical resources in the area and describes efforts by the county and the Montana Department of Corrections to respond in the event this happens.
Source: Kaiser Health News
May 13, 2020 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (COVID-19 ERSP) grant program which will award $40 million to 50 grantees. The program aims to support states and communities in implementing efforts to prevent suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
May 13, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new toolkit to help nursing homes, and agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The toolkit includes resources and direction for quality improvement assistance and helps facilities implement interventions to mitigate the spread of the disease.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
May 13, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $15 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to 159 organizations across five health workforce programs. The funding aims to increase telehealth capabilities and maintain primary care services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 13, 2020 - Describes how the COVID-19 threat is growing in rural areas, including concerns about the older and sicker population that tends to reside in rural communities. Discusses where the virus may be transmitted in small towns, challenges associated with testing and contact tracing, and the struggles of rural hospitals.
Source: U.S. News & World Report
May 12, 2020 - Summarizes an analysis of data that found 470,000 dwellings in the United States lack adequate plumbing, making it more difficult to practice sanitation recommendations and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Describes how those in rural homes and Native villages are less likely than other Americans to have access to running water and other utilities.
Source: Kaiser Health News
May 11, 2020 - Doctors Without Borders sent a team of nine to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding in the Navajo Nation. Discusses how Native Americans are at a much higher risk for complications from the disease due to limited access to healthcare, food, and water, as well as higher chronic disease rates.
Source: CBS

Information on this page is also available via RSS feed: rss icon
Learn more about RHIhub's RSS feeds