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Rural Health
News by Topic: Health occupations

Dec 2, 2020 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the physician self-referral law to allow exceptions to the law for referral for certain value-based compensation arrangements between physicians, providers, and suppliers. This final rule is effective January 19, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
Dec 1, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, increasing payments to physicians and practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions. This final rule adds more than 60 services to the Medicare telehealth list that will continue to be covered beyond the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Nov 30, 2020 - The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) announces the renewal of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) charter, authorizing the Council to operate until November 30, 2022.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 30, 2020 - Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted primary care offices and summarizes a study that estimated 16,000 physician practices have closed under the stress of the pandemic, while many more struggle financially. Describes how rural areas are especially impacted, as they already lack an adequate number of healthcare providers.
Source: NBC News
Nov 27, 2020 - Describes the challenges an administrator at Choctaw General Hospital faces while trying to recruit nurses in rural Alabama. Discusses how a shortage of nurses makes recruitment difficult, but the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional challenges, as nurses are in high demand across the entire country and urban hospitals have the resources to pay higher salaries.
Source: Advance Local Media
Nov 24, 2020 - Features the Bridges to Health program in rural Oregon that utilizes Community Health Workers (CHWs) to improve access to resources and empower community members to improve their health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CHWs shifted to providing resources, such as medical or dental care, housing, food, transportation, and other basic needs, to those in isolation.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 23, 2020 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcing the application fee for providers that are initially enrolling in the Medicare or Medicaid programs, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); revalidating their Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP enrollment; or adding a new Medicare practice location. The new fee is $599 and is required for applications submitted January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 23, 2020 - Summarizes a study that found access to buprenorphine as a treatment for opioid use disorder increased in rural and frontier Oregon since nurse practitioners were given the authority to prescribe it in 2017. Describes how nurse practitioners are sometimes the only healthcare provider in very rural areas.
Source: Washington State University
Nov 19, 2020 - The Census Bureau is extending the comment period on an information collection called the Management and Organizational Practices Survey — Hospitals (MOPS-HP). The survey will be used to collect data on management practices from chief nursing officers (CNOs) at general medical and surgical hospitals in an effort to identify factors affecting clinical and financial performance. The Census Bureau has modified the survey proposal in order to obtain a better understanding of how hospitals have had to adjust and pivot operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency and measure hospital preparedness. Comments are due by January 19, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 12, 2020 - Notice of an interim final rule from the Department of Veterans Affairs to confirm that its healthcare professionals may practice their healthcare profession consistent with the scope and requirements of their VA employment, notwithstanding any State license, registration, certification, or other requirements that unduly interfere with their practice. This also confirms VA's authority to establish national standards of practice for healthcare professionals, which will standardize a healthcare professional's practice in all VA medical facilities. This interim final rule is effective November 12, 2020. Comments are due by January 11, 2021.
Source: Federal Register