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News by Topic: Access

May 25, 2023 - Outlines research showing that art can positively impact a person's health and highlights a community in Wisconsin using art to address mental health for youth. Describes a partnership between a local arts organization, mental health organization, and the health system to advocate for mental health support through art and a skatepark. Notes that a local study found lack access to mental healthcare and initiatives regarding art can be creative attempts to address the lack of access.
Source: National League of Cities
May 25, 2023 - Describes a partnership between rural area Georgia churches and the University of Georgia to put telehealth hubs in the churches. Highlights challenges faced such as broadband access in the most remote churches.
Source: UGA Today
May 25, 2023 - Highlights a Project ECHO line focusing on athletic training access at schools in Oklahoma. The goal is to reduce injury and improve health outcomes, particularly in rural regions. More than half of Oklahoma counties have no athletic trainer or sports medicine professional. Meeting twice a month, anyone providing care to student-athletes is invited to participate.
Source: OSU Headlines: News and Media
May 25, 2023 - Notice of final rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) confirming the January 30, 2023, final rule. This final rule makes updates to the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) regulation to remove outdated requirements to ensure that requirements are clear, accurately presented, and in compliance with Federal reporting requirements. This rule is effective May 1, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 25, 2023 - Describes the Rural Emergency Hospital Act, a bill passed by the Arkansas Legislature to create Rural Emergency Hospitals within the Department of Health and declare an emergency. The bill aims to save some hospitals in rural areas from closing, though it will require no longer offering in-patient services.
Source: KATV
May 24, 2023 - Doctors offered ideas for improving health care in remote areas of Pennsylvania during a meeting of the Pennsylvania House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on May 18 in Pittsburgh. Suggestions included increasing incentives, bolstering Medicaid, expanding use of community health workers, finding uses for disused hospitals, and enhancing broadband access.
Source: Lancaster Farming
May 24, 2023 - About 60,000 Alaskans lack broadband access entirely, while 200,000 have limited access to broadband. Alaska Tribal Spectrum, a tribally-owned nonprofit, is working to bring high-speed internet and cell reception to rural Alaska. With greater access to high-speed internet, services like telehealth could improve care in rural regions.
Source: High Country News
May 24, 2023 - The long-held standard for domestic violence shelters has been to keep residents in hiding at undisclosed addresses, but domestic violence shelter directors have said keeping their locations secret has gotten more complicated, and the practice can isolate residents. A Bozeman, Montana nonprofit recently finished construction of a campus minutes off a main road leading into town, and similar changes are percolating across the nation.
Source: KFF Health News
May 24, 2023 - Rural Mississippi hospitals are increasingly endangered, as poverty, declining populations, and dwindling inpatient revenue chip away at profits. Federal aid appropriated during the pandemic seemed to slow the rate of closures, but now some are in worse shape than before, as they struggle with ongoing staff shortages and rising costs.
Source: Roll Call
May 23, 2023 - The Federal Communications Commission will hold a virtual meeting of the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) on June 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The CSRIC will provide recommendations to the FCC to improve the security, reliability, and interoperability of communications systems. This will be the final meeting of CSRIC under the current charter.
Source: Federal Register
May 23, 2023 - Executives from Dartmouth Heath, MaineHealth, and The University of Vermont Health Network participated in a panel discussion about rural hospitals and their difficulties. Challenges include workforce shortages, hospital closures, housing costs, and the need for creative scheduling.
Source: Chief Healthcare Executive
May 22, 2023 - Describes challenges faced by women seeking maternity care in rural South Carolina counties. Infant death rates in South Carolina are higher than the national average, and a report published by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shows the rate for non-Hispanic Black babies is growing worse. The death rate among infants born to Black mothers in the state increased by nearly 40% from 2017 to 2021.
Source: KFF Health News
May 22, 2023 - The Appalachian Community Cancer Alliance has launched a lung cancer screening initiative to improve cancer care in rural Appalachia. Through partnerships with local advocates in communities at risk, the initiative will focus on developing and implementing new patient-centric approaches to promote the importance of and raise awareness about lung cancer screening in rural Appalachia.
Source: The ASCO Post
May 22, 2023 - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced the 14 communities chosen as finalists for the 2023 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. The prize is awarded to celebrate communities improving health for their members through collaboration to build positive solutions to barriers that have created unequal opportunities for health and wellbeing.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
May 22, 2023 - Georgians living in rural communities continue to call into the national suicide prevention hotline at higher rates than other parts of the state as the one-year anniversary of the rollout of 988 approaches. Calls to Georgia's crisis center have increased by about 12%, but a federal estimate projects those calls will double once the new three-digit number is promoted through a marketing campaign, which is coming later.
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press
May 19, 2023 - Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada introduced legislation to ensure all communities, regardless of population, have access to adequate emergency medical services. The Protecting Access to Ground Ambulance Medical Services Act allows ambulance providers to be properly reimbursed by Medicare for the costs of providing emergency services, while also ensuring that existing EMT services, particularly in rural locations, remain operational, with sufficient staff and supplies.
Source: Office of Senator Susan Collins
May 19, 2023 - Explores healthcare issues facing disparate rural North Carolina counties, including hospital closures, drug overdose deaths, workforce shortages, and high rates of uninsured patients.
Source: North Carolina Health News
May 19, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $65 million in funds to implement innovative approaches to improve maternal health outcomes and reduce disparities for patients at highest risk. This will help ensure healthier pregnancy and postpartum outcomes and address health disparities among women of color and women in rural and medically underserved areas.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 19, 2023 - The Swinomish Dental Clinic in Skagit County, Washington has emerged as a state leader in access to dental hygiene, gaining attention a few years ago for becoming the first in Washington to add a dental therapist to their team. In Washington and some other parts of the country, dental therapists have worked to expand access to oral hygiene, particularly in rural, underserved communities.
Source: The Seattle Times
May 18, 2023 - U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Joni Ernst of Iowa led a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing the Farmers First Act of 2023, legislation to address the mental health epidemic in rural America and expand access to critical mental health support and resources for agricultural communities.
Source: Office of Senator Tammy Baldwin
May 17, 2023 - Describes challenges faced by St. Luke's Health – Memorial San Augustine, a rural, one-story hospital in East Texas. The hospital recently eliminated inpatient services as part of its conversion from Critical Access Hospital status to Rural Emergency Hospital.
Source: Marketplace
May 17, 2023 - U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, Joni Ernst, Jeanne Shaheen, and Jerry Moran reintroduced the Protecting Rural Telehealth Access Act. This legislation would ensure rural and underserved community healthcare providers can permanently offer telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth appointments, that are set to expire in December 2024.
Source: Office of Senator Joe Manchin
May 17, 2023 - Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky (PCCEK) is a Rural Health Clinic whose services include temporary housing for women confronting substance use disorder. PCCEK offers a wide variety of health services, including dentistry, a diabetes center, a women's health center, radiology and imaging, behavioral health services, a pharmacy, and a hospice care center.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 17, 2023 - U.S. Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas and Sen. Welch of Vermont introduced the ReConnect Rural America Act, legislation that helps to promote rural communities' access to high-speed broadband. Lack of accessibility to internet service leaves community members with less access to good-paying jobs, isolation from markets, and lack of healthcare provider technologies.
Source: Office of Senator Roger Marshall
May 16, 2023 - Describes the differing opinions about how opioid settlement money should be used in rural Greene County in northeastern Tennessee. Some feel the money should be used directly for mental health and addiction treatment, while others say the county has for years funded programs to help people harmed by addiction, and settlement money can legitimately be used to pay down debt incurred partly due to those programs.
Source: KFF Health News
May 16, 2023 - A group of industry leaders, advocates, and state officials gathered at the University of Connecticut in Storrs to discuss barriers to care in rural areas. Discussion topics included transportation, workforce, and reimbursement rates.
Source: Journal Inquirer
May 16, 2023 - Nonprofits and other civic agencies in rural areas are at a disadvantage when navigating complex bureaucracies and applying for federal funds. The Ford Family Foundation and the T.L.L. Temple Foundation are using rural-to-rural collaboration to generate scalable solutions that create a more level playing field for rural communities seeking new development pathways.
Source: Inside Philanthropy
May 16, 2023 - Highlights changes and challenges in rural health care access, including hospital closures, transportation issues, lack of obstetric services and mental health services, poor outcomes among Black or Native American populations, and lack of services for veterans.
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office
May 15, 2023 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will hold a virtual tribal consultation session on July 12, 2023, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern. This consultation session will provide opportunities for elected American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal officials to speak openly about the public health issues affecting their tribal nations. CDC and ATSDR are seeking feedback on how the agencies can better engage with Indian Country through meaningful consultation and on how the agency can ensure that a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) from the CDC's Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program is sensitive to the needs and concerns of tribal communities and is as effective as possible regarding the prevention of sexual violence, as well as on how the agency can better support tribes and tribal communities address health inequities related to RPE and injury prevention.
Source: Federal Register
May 15, 2023 - Describes the lack of maternity care services in Vinton County, the least populated county in Ohio. The only available medical care in Vinton County is a Federally Qualified Health Center, and the drive to hospitals in neighboring counties is at least 30 minutes long.
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
May 15, 2023 - A collaborative effort coordinated by MCD Global Health now gives school students and staff in Washington County, Maine access to virtual behavioral health services and other needed resources. A $500,000 matching grant from Point32Health Foundation helped the Baileyville, Maine community get started on the initiative.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 15, 2023 - Highlights a Federal Office of Rural Health Policy-funded Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program located in Clayton, New Mexico. The RMOMS program was created to increase access to maternal healthcare in rural communities through the use of telehealth and the creation of networks of hospitals and clinics.
Source: KFF Health News
May 12, 2023 - Since its launch on Mother's Day 2022, the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline's professional counselors have provided emotional support, resources, and referrals to almost 12,000 pregnant and postpartum individuals who struggled with mental health concerns, and their loved ones.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 12, 2023 - Highlights the lack of facility schools in rural Colorado. Facility schools provide specialized services for children with disabilities and/or mental health issues. Small population sizes and a shortage of trained teachers and behavioral professionals has led to closures of the few schools that existed. Rural Colorado children in need of their services either do not get them or must travel to other parts of the state to residential facilities.
Source: KFF Health News
May 11, 2023 - Summarizes research showing the impact healthcare costs have on healthcare access for rural adults. When compared to urban adults, rural adults are more likely to be unable to pay medical bills. Additionally, rural adults are more likely to ration prescription medicine or go without medical care, citing financial burdens. Discusses financial burdens specific for rural women and the rural middle class.
Source: Daily Yonder
May 10, 2023 - Notice from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issuing a temporary rule to extend certain exceptions to existing DEA regulations implemented in March 2020 because of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (COVID–19 PHE). The full set of telemedicine flexibilities regarding the prescription of controlled medications that were in place during the COVID–19 PHE will remain in place through November 11, 2023. In addition, if a patient and a practitioner have established a telemedicine relationship on or before November 11, 2023, the same telemedicine flexibilities that have governed the relationship to that point are permitted until November 11, 2024. This rule is effective May 11, 2023, through November 11, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
May 10, 2023 - An HHS fact sheet outlining what is and is not changing around telehealth as the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends, including information on coverage of services. Provides guidance around licensure portability, a measure intended to increase access to healthcare for rural and underserved communities. Also outlines broadband initiatives that increase access to healthcare and reduce disparities.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 10, 2023 - A naloxone vending machine will be placed at a rural health center in Vermont, giving access to the medication for free, 24 hours a day. The community worked to find a machine after a local resident died from an opioid overdose. For the third year in a row, Vermont set a record for opioid overdose deaths in 2022.
Source: VTDigger
May 9, 2023 - The Reforming Broadband Connectivity Act, a bipartisan bill to improve the availability of broadband internet, will be heard before the Senate Commerce Committee 2 years after being introduced. The bill will require the FCC to modernize the Universal Service Fund which is primarily used to expand telephone service. Lawmakers want the fund to include broadband service to benefit rural areas, low-income households, and health services.
Source: The Hill
May 9, 2023 - Describes anticipated nursing home closures in Iowa due to financial challenges from rising medical care costs and static Medicaid reimbursement rates. Notes that fewer long-term care facilities means other long-term care facilities and rural hospitals must absorb the communities served by the closed facilities. Iowa's aging population means that the strain of fewer long-term care facilities will impact the healthcare system far into the future.
Source: N'West Iowa REVIEW
May 8, 2023 - Announces the launch of the COVID Treatment Access Tool, a web tool that connects American Indian and Alaska Native communities in California with COVID-19 treatment near them. The tool will also feature culturally relevant materials about COVID-19 medications and treatment. The tool was created to address difficult to access health resources specifically for rural Native populations. Notes that a similar tool will launch later this year for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.
Source: Native News Online
May 8, 2023 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting applications for the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) Tribal Assessment and Planning (TAP) program. The national CHAP will increase access to direct health services, including inpatient and outpatient visits, by providing a network of health aides trained to support licensed health professionals while providing direct health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services. The purpose of the TAP program is to support the assessment and planning of Tribes and Tribal Organizations (T/TO) in determining the feasibility of implementing CHAP in their respective communities. Applications are due by August 7, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 8, 2023 - Describes the Wilson Area School Health Centers (WASH) in North Carolina, school-based health clinics with the aim of increasing access to healthcare for students. A nurse practitioner can screen for diseases, write prescriptions, provide primary care, and more. Students can meet with the nurse practitioner virtually if they are at a different site. Clinic sites were chosen to accommodate high-poverty areas. WASH is working to expand services to include mental and behavioral health.
Source: Public Radio East
May 7, 2023 - Discusses the rollout of a new Alzheimer's treatment currently before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Notes that shortages of neurologists nationwide means if treatment is approved, long wait times to see a doctor and distance to care will be a barrier for many. In addition, testing and treatment may not be covered by insurance and may be labor intensive, leading some rural health systems to wait to offer the treatment at their clinics. May require a subscription to read full article.
Source: Wall Street Journal
May 5, 2023 - Highlights the work of a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) in Montana. Notes that 80% of U.S. hospitals do not have SANEs, leading to long travel times to see a SANE for sexual assault survivors. Rural residents in particular may be hundreds of miles from the nearest SANE. Highlights recent and proposed legislation in states around the country to increase access to sexual assault healthcare.
Source: NPR, KFF Health News
May 4, 2023 - Highlights a lung cancer screening program at a Veterans Assistance medical center in Houston, Texas. Since beginning in May 2021, the program has diagnosed 30 lung cancer instances, 90% which were symptom free and in early stages. Success of the program has led the system to expand into other rural sites in the VA system, ensuring rural veterans have access to the same screenings and care as veterans in Houston.
Source: VA News
May 4, 2023 - The Center for Clinical Research at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita is using telehealth and mail to ensure rural residents are better represented in clinical trials. Notes that rural residents have specific stressors, environmental exposures, and other social determinants of health that are valuable for inclusion in clinical trials.
Source: University of Kansas Medical Center News
May 3, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposing improvements that aim to increase transparency and accountability, standardize data and monitoring, and create opportunities for States to promote active beneficiary engagement in their Medicaid programs, with the goal of improving access to care. Comments are due by July 3, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 3, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would advance CMS' efforts to improve access to care, quality and health outcomes, and better address health equity issues for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) managed care enrollees. The proposed rule would specifically address standards for timely access to care and States' monitoring and enforcement efforts, reduce burden for some State directed payments and certain quality reporting requirements, add new standards that would apply when States use in lieu of services and settings (ILOSs) to promote effective utilization and specify the scope and nature of ILOS, specify medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements, and establish a quality rating system for Medicaid and CHIP managed care plans. Comments are due by July 3, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 3, 2023 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting applications for the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) Tribal Assessment and Planning (TAP) program. The national CHAP will increase access to direct health services, including inpatient and outpatient visits, by providing a network of health aides trained to support licensed health professionals while providing direct health care, health promotion, and disease prevention services. The purpose of the TPI program is to support the planning and implementation for Tribes and Tribal Organizations (T/TO) positioned to begin operating a CHAP or support a growing CHAP in the contiguous 48 states. Applications are due by August 1, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 2, 2023 - Examines lack of access to recovery services in rural Minnesota, noting that withdrawal services are particularly difficult to find. Withdrawal and detox services are a first step for many seeking addiction recovery services and lack of access can be a barrier to progressing in recovery. Highlights the services that are available at different stages of the recovery process.
Source: The Globe
Apr 30, 2023 - Highlights the expansion of community paramedicine programs while focusing on a particular program in Wyoming. Notes that 55% of community paramedicine programs are located in rural areas. Programs increase access to healthcare by doing home visits, transportation to appointments, and more. Early data show that these programs can increase positive health outcomes and reduce costs for patients. Discusses funding challenges for programs, including coverage by Medicaid and private insurance.
Source: Louisiana Illuminator, KFF Health News
Apr 28, 2023 - Summary of an interview describing the impact of the digital divide on rural healthcare, particularly as it relates to access to healthcare. University of Cincinnati epidemiologist Diego Cuadros was interviewed by the podcast Cincinnati Edition to discuss his research. Telehealth is named as a possible solution to some health disparities between rural and urban communities. Also highlights a $73 million investment by the federal government to make affordable high-speed internet available to more Americans.
Source: University of Cincinnati News
Apr 25, 2023 - Discusses the role of psychiatric nurse practitioners in filling gaps due to mental healthcare shortages. 80% of rural counties do not have a psychiatrist. Psychiatric nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat some illnesses. Yale University has started an online program for psychiatric nurse practitioners with the goal of training nurses in rural areas to reduce the shortages nationwide.
Source: NewsChannel 5
Apr 25, 2023 - Outlines the goals of the Joseph Maxwell Cleland and Robert Joseph Dole Memorial Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improve Act of 2022. The Cleland-Dole Act will address rural health, telehealth, rural transportation, and more.
Source: VA News
Apr 25, 2023 - Discusses the shortage of oral healthcare in Oregon and efforts by the state legislature to fix it with licensed dental therapists, who can perform some procedures like filling minor cavities and pulling teeth. Lack of oral healthcare is particularly noticeable in remote areas of Oregon and especially in tribal communities. Discusses issues with licensure and lack of accredited training in the state as barriers to increasing the dental therapist workforce.
Source: The Lund Report
Apr 23, 2023 - Describes a program between the Champaign County Farm Bureau and the Carle Illinois School of Medicine in Urbana to incorporate agriculture specific health and safety issues into the curriculum. Students take field trips to farms and then present on issues and potential solutions. Discusses broadband problems, physical injuries, mental health, and access to healthcare.
Source: Jacksonville Journal-Courier
Apr 21, 2023 - Describes the creation of the North Mason Regional Fire Authority Mobile Integrated Health Program in Belfair, Washington, a collaboration between the local fire department and a local Physician Associate to provide access to non-emergency health care and other wraparound services in a rural community.
Source: Kitsap Sun
Apr 20, 2023 - Summarizes a study from the Rural and Minority Health Research Center that investigates disparities in healthcare access by ZIP code. Finds that rural ZIP codes are further from healthcare facilities and services than their urban counterparts and rural ZIP codes with high proportions of minorities are even more likely to be far away from those services, with American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) populations have the least access.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Apr 19, 2023 - Describes issues in rural and tribal America stemming from a lack of broadband access. Highlights efforts by Rural LISC and local leaders, governments, and nonprofits in Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia to enhance broadband coverage in their communities.
Source: Rural LISC
Apr 19, 2023 - Notice from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) seeking comment on the re-establishment of a computer matching program between the VA Veterans Health Administration and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) to verify veterans' employment status and earnings to determine eligibility for its health benefit programs. Comments are due by May 19, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 18, 2023 - The Administration for Children and Families, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and other federal agencies are working together to recruit partners to help people stay connected to healthcare coverage, by updating contact information and learning what actions are needed to retain healthcare coverage.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Apr 18, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services announces a new program that will provide support for the existing public sector vaccine safety net, which is implemented through local health departments and Health Resources and Services Administration-supported health centers. It will also create a novel, funded partnership with pharmacy chains that will enable them to continue offering free COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments to the uninsured.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 18, 2023 - Notice from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking comment on a new computer matching program between the Federal Communications Commission, the Universal Service Administrative Company, and the U.S. Department of Education to verify the eligibility of applicants and subscribers to Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP, formerly known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, is designed to facilitate access to affordable broadband services for families. Comments are due by May 18, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 18, 2023 - According to a 2018 report by the Center for American Progress, about half of the American population lives somewhere with inadequate access to child care. The number goes up to 59% for residents in rural communities. A 2022 study from the Saint Louis Federal Reserve shows that 54% of Missourians live in a place where there are more than three times as many children as there are licensed child care spots.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Apr 17, 2023 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the 2024 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters Final Rule, which finalizes standards for issuers and Marketplaces, as well as requirements for agents, brokers, web-brokers, and Assisters who help consumers with enrollment through Marketplaces that use the federal platform. The rule also builds on the Affordable Care Act by expanding access to quality, affordable health coverage and care and making it easier to select and enroll in health coverage.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Apr 17, 2023 - The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $171.2 million in grants for 115 new projects in 29 Continuum of Care (CoC) communities, and adds to the first set of grant awards announced in February. This brings the total value of grants to $486 million to 62 CoC communities.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Apr 17, 2023 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $20 million to deliver broadband technical assistance resources for rural communities, and to support the development and expansion of broadband cooperatives.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Apr 16, 2023 - Examines food insecurity in rural Connecticut, including food desserts and a lack of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers. Discusses barriers to access to fresh food including transportation challenges, zoning regulations, and the burden on retailers to apply for and receive SNAP. Outlines efforts to address food insecurity by both local organizations and state legislators.
Source: CT Mirror
Apr 15, 2023 - Explores the workforce challenges faced by rural school-based counseling services' ability to address mental health issues for rural children in Wisconsin.
Source: Wisconsin Public Radio
Apr 15, 2023 - Highlights a bill in the Oregon State Senate to fund a state suicide helpline for agricultural workers struggling with mental health issues.
Source: Oregon Public Broadcasting
Apr 14, 2023 - Discusses the expansion of a VA program to connect rural veterans to information about VA telehealth and mental health services to Wyoming, Kansas, Louisiana, and Nevada, as well as the initial pilot project state, Montana.
Source: VA News
Apr 14, 2023 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will hold a virtual public meeting on April 26-27, 2023. Agenda items include updates from VA leadership, the Acting Executive Director of the VA Office of Rural Health, and the Committee Chair, as well as presentations on general rural healthcare access.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 13, 2023 - Alabama is in need of roughly 3,000 doctors right now, and a new bill working its way through the 2023 state legislature aims to address that shortage. The Physician Workforce Act introduces immediate, mid-range, and long-term solutions for filling the gap of licensed medical doctors in Alabama.
Source: WVUA
Apr 12, 2023 - The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices is supporting rural communities through the Toward Better Rural Futures project, which seeks to address systemic and structural barriers and chronic disinvestment impeding rural and tribal communities' health, well-being and opportunity, thereby perpetuating deep-rooted inequities. A recent roundtable featured initiatives in Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kentucky, and Wyoming.
Source: National Governors Association
Apr 11, 2023 - The closure of Madera Community Hospital and three associated clinics earlier this year has left Madera County's 160,000 residents with no general hospital and only a small handful of clinics operated by other providers. According to a Farmworker Health Study, between one-third and one-half of California farmworkers surveyed suffer from chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension, and the vast majority are considered either overweight or obese.
Source: PBS News Hour
Apr 11, 2023 - Chiropractors and chiropractic residents who are working, teaching, and training at the Fort Dodge Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Iowa are providing access to more interprofessional care for rural veterans while training future health professionals.
Source: VA News
Apr 11, 2023 - Highlights the closure of a residency training program in rural northeastern Nevada, and describes common barriers to establishing and sustaining training programs for doctors throughout rural America.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Apr 11, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Notifications of Enforcement Discretion issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will expire on May 11, 2023, due to the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The OCR will continue to support the use of telehealth after the PHE by providing a transition period for healthcare providers to make any changes to their operations that are needed to provide telehealth in a private and secure manner.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 11, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for public comment on proposals to advance interoperability, improve transparency, and support the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. The ONC will be hosting a series of information sessions about the proposed rule in the coming weeks.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 11, 2023 - A series of recommendations from an advisory committee to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the expansion of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) could enable elderly residents in rural communities to age in place. Recommendations include expanding telehealth, supporting a program focused on Medicare beneficiaries, allowing PACE sites to be eligible for student loan repayment, and encouraging students trained through the Indian Health Service to rotate to PACE sites.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Apr 10, 2023 - The Helmsley Charitable Trust is equipping first responders in communities across rural states in the Midwest and West with automated external defibrillators (AEDs), to enhance rural healthcare. The trust has provided over $60 million in funding for more than 25,000 AEDs to local law enforcement agencies in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nevada.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Apr 10, 2023 - Dr. Vida Passero is spearheading ground-breaking National TeleOncology services such as National Virtual Tumor Boards, and is helping veterans at smaller or rural facilities receive the same standard of care as patients of larger VA medical centers. According to a report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 66 percent of rural counties have no oncologist.
Source: VA News
Apr 10, 2023 - The role of telehealth in trauma was highlighted in a session at the recent American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma annual meeting in Chicago. The session focused on teletrauma as an important tool to support providers and patients.
Source: American College of Surgeons
Apr 10, 2023 - Early in the pandemic the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona created a platform to provide up-to-date information to rural healthcare providers on COVID-19 protocols. It has been updated to provide additional information, such as mental health best practices, healthy aging tips, and updates on the newest strains of COVID-19 to the general public and medical workers.
Source: Cronkite News
Apr 10, 2023 - The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health has three new programs that will impact future healthcare workers in the Appalachian mountains. The programs are the Appalachian Center for Assistive Technology, the Kentucky Homeplace Community Health Worker Training Center, and the Systems Integrated Modeling and Simulation Lab.
Source: WYMT
Apr 7, 2023 - New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed into law 5 healthcare-related bills that will support and strengthen the state's healthcare workforce and make healthcare more affordable and accessible across the state.
Source: Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Apr 7, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing funding to Pennsylvania to support community wellness and resilience, following the train derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, on the Pennsylvania border. Pennsylvania will receive an initial $48,782, with additional funding expected after 90 days to continue for an additional 12 months to support activities.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 7, 2023 - According to a report by the healthcare consulting firm Chartis, 217 hospitals in the United States have closed their labor and delivery departments since 2011. Bonner General Health, in rural Idaho, announced that it would suspend its labor and delivery services in May.
Source: CNN Health
Apr 7, 2023 - A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Rural Health Clinics showed that the Rural Health Clinic program serves approximately 37.7 million patients per year, which is more than 11% of the entire population and approximately 62% of the 60.8 million Americans who live in rural areas.
Source: National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Apr 6, 2023 - Notice from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of four virtual listening sessions on the Digital Equity Act Request for Comment. The listening sessions will be held on throughout April and are designed to inform the development of the State Digital Equity Capacity and State Digital Equity Competitive grant programs. The goal of these programs is to promote the adoption and meaningful use of the internet across covered populations, including low-income individuals, aging individuals, veterans, people with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural residents, among others. Meeting details will be posted on the Internet For All website.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 6, 2023 - A study published in Health Affairs found that 77 percent of rural hospitals experiencing financial instability between 2010-2018 remained open without merging, 7 percent faced closures, and 17 percent merged. Demand for care in rural hospitals has decreased because of declining populations, patients seeking care outside their local area, and a shift toward ambulatory care.
Source: RevCycleIntelligence
Apr 5, 2023 - A severe shortage of pediatric psychiatrists in Hawaii, combined with growing demand for mental health services, has made many Hawaii families desperate to find whatever help they can get. Efforts are underway to ease some of the strain by getting more people trained as mental health providers, including master's-level community therapists, advanced nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists.
Source: Honolulu Civil Beat
Apr 5, 2023 - Notice from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking comment on a new computer matching program between the Federal Communications Commission, the Universal Service Administrative Company, and the Florida Department of Children and Families Office of Economic Self Sufficiency to verify the eligibility of applicants and subscribers to Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP, formerly known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, is designed to facilitate access to affordable broadband services for families. Comments are due by May 5, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 5, 2023 - Highlights the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving Bertie, Gates, Washington, Northampton, and Hertford counties in rural North Carolina. The facility serves 17,000 people annually.
Source: Spectrum News
Apr 5, 2023 - The Food and Drug Administration recently made it easier for people to obtain Narcan, a powerful overdose-reversing medicine. This medication previously required a prescription, but soon will be sold over the counter. Highlights efforts of harm reduction programs in rural New York State.
Source: PBS News Hour
Apr 4, 2023 - A new study from the University of Cincinnati found that although the rise in technology use benefits many aspects of healthcare delivery, telehealth access disparities are likely to continue in rural areas due to limited resources and weaker internet access. Researchers found that access to high-speed internet was highly inconsistent across the country.
Source: mHealthIntelligence
Apr 3, 2023 - Discusses how the state of Virginia is maintaining access to many of the telehealth services that were allowed through waivers during the COVID-19 public health emergency, even after it is set to expire in May.
Source: Virginia Mercury