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Rural Health
News by Topic: Access

Nov 9, 2021 - Describes impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural fire departments and challenges related to recruitment of firefighters. Addresses trauma experienced by firefighters, workforce shortages, and concerns about vaccine mandates.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
Nov 8, 2021 - Reports on a method of managing patient transfers in Colorado through the Combined Hospital Transfer Center (CHTC), which serves as the single point of contact for hospitals that are experiencing capacity issues and need to transfer patients. Notes that the state has moved to Tier 3 due to high patient volumes at larger hospitals and that some patients may be transferred to rural hospitals to open up acute care beds. Describes the benefits of having a centralized agency managing transfers, which makes the process more efficient.
Source: KUSA-TV
Nov 8, 2021 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a virtual public meeting of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) on December 16, 2021, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern. The meeting will include information on federal efforts related to serious mental illness (SMI) and serious emotional disturbance (SED). The agenda and information on how to join the meeting will be posted on the SAMHSA website before the meeting.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 8, 2021 - Reports on staffing issues facing hospitals nationwide even though the recent COVID-19 surge is subsiding in many areas. Highlights the impacts of nurse shortages on rural hospitals, including the suspension of services including newborn delivery, colonoscopies, and chemotherapy. Examines issues impacting nurse shortages, including widespread retirement, burnout, and changing places of employment.
Source: Vox
Nov 5, 2021 - Reports on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' final rule for the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule, which expands telehealth coverage for mental health services. Discusses efforts to respond to mental health and substance abuse issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the establishment of permanent coverage for telehealth mental health services through Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Nov 4, 2021 - Describes a study of proximity of urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods to fast-food outlets, discussing the relationship between food availability and choice to rates of type 2 diabetes.
Source: Patient Engagement HIT
Nov 4, 2021 - Describes the role of police in small towns to respond to mental health crises, focusing on a police department in Americus, Georgia, which has enrolled its officers in Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) training. Discusses the increase in 911 calls for mental health issues and the lack of mental health resources for crisis intervention and the challenges facing small police departments in Georgia.
Source: The Current
Nov 4, 2021 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is requesting information to inform VA's review of access standards for furnishing hospital care, medical services and extended care services to covered veterans, for purposes of the Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP). Specifically, VA requests information regarding access standards, including but not limited to, information regarding health plans on the use of access standards for the design of health plan provider networks; referrals from network providers to out-of-network providers; the appeals process for exemptions from benefit limits to out-of-network providers; and the measurement of performance against federal or state regulatory standards. Comments are due by December 6, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 3, 2021 - Describes efforts to increase access to audiology services for children in rural North Carolina through telehealth interventions, providing an overview of a trial in Alaska and Kentucky. Discusses the lack of access to audiologists and ear doctors in rural areas and the impacts that hearing care has on children's speech and language development, education, and adulthood opportunities.
Source: North Carolina Health News
Nov 2, 2021 - Announces the Rural Heath Network Development Planning Program, a funding opportunity of up to $100,000 through the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) to support rural healthcare access and quality of care through the planning and development of integrated healthcare networks. Describes eligibility requirements for the program and provides contact information.
Source: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy