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Rural Health
Top Stories

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

Aug 17, 2021 - Reports on rural COVID-19 vaccinations in the week of August 6-12, noting that vaccination rates continued to exceed that of mid-July with 37.1% of the U.S. rural population fully vaccinated. Provides an interactive map with county-level vaccination data and charts comparing rural and metro vaccination rates and state rankings as of August 12.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Aug 16, 2021 - Covers efforts in rural Cairo, Illinois to increase vaccination rates through the University of Illinois Extension program. Discusses the role of trust between rural community members and the extension program and partnerships with local churches, businesses, and civic groups. Describes the history of Cairo, which was a prominent city in the early 20th century, its economic challenges, and factors driving vaccine hesitancy.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Aug 13, 2021 - Notice of final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding changes to the hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) for operating and capital-related costs of acute care hospitals for fiscal year 2022, and implements changes for the Medicare Promoting Interoperability, Hospital Value-Based Purchasing, Hospital Readmissions Reduction, Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting, Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction, the PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Reporting, and the Long-Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting programs. Also finalizes the May 10, 2021 interim final rule regarding rural reclassification through the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board, among other things. This rule will be effective October 1, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
Aug 12, 2021 - Analyzes COVID-19 infection data for the week of August 1-7, noting that new infections in rural counties increased 40% while rate of increase in cases slowed from 50% the week prior to 42%. Provides a county-level data map and charts comparing metro and nonmetro infection rates, as well as nonmetro and metro deaths.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Aug 11, 2021 - Describes vaccination outreach efforts of a retired woman and the county commissioner in the majority Black, rural community of Panola, Alabama. Highlights the importance of empathetic, community-based responses to vaccine hesitancy and addressing logistical barriers to vaccine access rather than focusing on ideological reasons for people to not get the vaccine.
Source: The New Yorker
Aug 11, 2021 - Summarizes a published study in The Journal of Rural Health examining smoking rates among high-school seniors between 1998 and 2018, finding that while the rate of rural and urban teens who have regularly smoked went down, the likelihood of them ever smoking rose significantly for rural teens compared to urban teens. Provides a chart representing difference in prevalence for rural teen smoking.
Source: The Rural Blog
Aug 10, 2021 - Reports on rural COVID-19 vaccination rates as of August 5, with a county-level map comparing rural and metro counties. Points out that 260,695 rural Americans completed vaccination in the week of July 30 - August 5, a 74% increase from two weeks prior, and that Colorado saw the largest one-week increase in rural vaccinations. Provides charts with rural vaccinations during that week as well as overall rural vaccinations by state.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Aug 7, 2021 - Article highlighting the role of farmers and ranchers to encourage vaccination in their rural communities, noting their knowledge of vaccination science and the importance of livestock vaccination in their industry. Discusses impacts of COVID-19 on rural areas and the agriculture economy and the respected position of farmers in rural communities.
Source: National Public Radio
Aug 7, 2021 - Summarizes the findings of a study on death by suicide in head and neck cancer patients, noting 50% higher rates of suicide for rural patients. Reports that the majority of the 405 reported deaths by suicide were among non-Hispanic males and that the median time between diagnosis and suicide was 26 months. Discusses the implications of these findings on suicide prevention and rural health nationwide.
Source: Cancer Network
Aug 5, 2021 - Announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of over $90 million in funding to support rural programs addressing substance use and opioid use disorders, as well as programs to improve maternal healthcare in rural communities. Provides links to a list of award recipients for each program funded, including the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) Implementation program, the RCORP Psychostimulant Support program, the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program, and the Rural Northern Border Regional Planning Program.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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