Feb 5, 2024 - Final action from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) summarizing wind-down procedures for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Outlines important dates, impacts on consumers and providers, and procedures for notifying enrolled ACP households about the impacts of program termination. Offers guidance to providers regarding advertising, awareness, and outreach requirements, timing of claims submissions, and participation during a possible partially funded month of ACP. The wind-down procedures and guidance for the Affordable Connectivity Program were effective beginning January 11, 2024. The requirements of 47 CFR 54.1804(b) are waived beginning February 8, 2024, and will remain in effect for the duration of the enrollment freeze.
Feb 5, 2024 - Profiles a homeless teen in rural Texas and discusses lack of access to homeless shelters and other support services rural homeless youth may need. Notes that data gathering challenges means rural homeless teens are likely undercounted. Describes the impact of her homelessness on her physical and mental health.
Feb 3, 2024 - Highlights a Rural Health Clinic serving Native Veterans in Arizona. The clinic recently expanded primary care services to 5 days a week. Discusses difficulties with accessing care and plans to expand services in other rural areas.
Feb 2, 2024 - Highlights the installation of new 3D mammography machines in rural South Dakota, bringing access to breast cancer screenings that previously required rural residents to drive long distances to access.
Feb 2, 2024 - Announces new legislation to increase Medicare reimbursements for rural hospitals in Hawaii and Alaska performing outpatient procedures for older adults. The legislation is meant to recognize the higher costs of living in Alaska and Hawaii and ensure continued access to care for the older adults living in those areas.
Feb 2, 2024 - Notice of final rule from the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) modifying and
updating certain regulatory provisions related to opioid
treatment program (OTP) accreditation, certification, and
standards for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD)
with medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). These
changes include making flexibilities established during the
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) permanent and
expanding access to care and evidence-based treatment for
OUD. This rule also removes all language and rules relating
to the Drug Addiction and Treatment Act (DATA) Waiver from
the regulations pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations
Act, 2023. This rule is effective April 2, 2024, and the
compliance date is April 2, 2026.
Jan 31, 2024 - Announces a new 2 year initiative to combat food insecurity in rural Iowa and Wisconsin. The initiative plans to increase work at existing food pantries and add food pantries to communities without them.