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Rural Health
News by Topic: Health conditions

Commissioner Carr Announces $100 Million ‘Connected Care Pilot Program’
Jul 11, 2018 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that they will seek to establish a new $100 million "Connected Care Pilot Program" to support telehealth for low-income Americans, especially veterans and those living in rural areas. Investments in chronic care have resulted in substantial savings, particularly in the management of chronic diseases.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
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New CMS Proposals to Modernize and Drive Innovation in Durable Medical Equipment and End-Stage Renal Disease Programs
Jul 11, 2018 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed innovative changes to the payment rules for Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) and the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program. These changes aim to increase access to items for patients and simplify Medicare's DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program to drive competition and increase affordability. It also includes ESRD proposals, including to reduce facility-related documentation burden and to address new renal dialysis drug and biological costs and foster innovation in treatment by incentivizing new therapies for patients on dialysis.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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'Fundamental Shift' Needed To Protect Miners From Deadly Black Lung
Jun 28, 2018 - Details a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) which found that new and tougher rules to protect coal miners from the coal and silica dust that causes black lung disease may not be enough. More than compliance is needed, according to this study, to address the fact that Central Appalachia has the highest rates of this disease in 25 years.
Source: NPR
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HRSA Needs New and Experienced Grant Reviewers
Jun 28, 2018 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking experienced grant reviewers with expertise in health professions training, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health service, organ donation/transplantation, primary care for underserved populations, and rural healthcare.
Source: Grant Solutions
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Reaching Rural Residents
Jun 19, 2018 - HIV.gov interview with Kristine Sande, Program Director of the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), on barriers to and strategies for reaching rural Americans with information and resources related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Source: HIV.gov Blog
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CDC: More Obesity in U.S. Rural Counties than in Urban Counties
Jun 14, 2018 - Press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which found that obesity prevalence was significantly higher among adults living in rural counties than among those living in metropolitan counties. Includes some discussion of the health risks of obesity, steps rural communities can employ to address this disparity, and the CDC's High Obesity Program (HOP).
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Fewer U.S. High School Students Having Sex, Using Drugs
Jun 14, 2018 - Details the results of the 2017 National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey. This survey found that although fewer high school students are having sex and using drugs, condom use has gone down and 14% reported misusing prescription opioids. 1 in 5 students reported being bullied at school, 1 in 3 reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, 1 in 10 female students reported having been physically forced to have sex, and 1 in 28 male students reported the same.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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OWCP: Black Lung Benefits Act: Medical Benefit Payments Federal Register
Jun 14, 2018 - This final rule revises the regulations under the Black Lung Benefits Act governing the payment of medical benefits and maintains the level of care available to miners. The final rule establishes methods for determining the amounts that the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund will pay for covered medical services and treatments provided to entitled miners to more accurately reflect prevailing community rates for authorized treatments and services. In addition, it eliminates two provisions considered obsolete. This rule will be effective August 31, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Rule to Update Payment Of Medical Benefits Under Black Lung Benefits Act
Jun 13, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) published a final rule under the Black Lung Benefits Act, which provides compensation and payment for medical services to miners who are totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. The new regulations adopt industry-standard payment formulas, codify the black lung program's current payment practice for prescription drug payments, and its bill-processing procedures.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
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As California’s Largest Lake Dries up, It Threatens Nearby Communities with Clouds of Toxic Dust
Jun 6, 2018 - Details the health and environmental impacts related to California's Salton Sea drying up. As more and more of the sea floor is exposed and dries out, most dust is blown up into the air. Thick with years of agricultural run-off, this dust has contributed to this rural area having some of the highest rates of asthma in the country.
Source: The Verge
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