Skip to main content

Rural Health
News by Topic: Illicit drug use

Aug 14, 2019 - Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a proposed rule. Rural specific provisions include: proposing to allow opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to use Medicare telehealth for substance abuse counseling; requesting information on rural access to opioid use disorder treatment; updates to several payment codes for Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers; proposed revisions to physician supervision of physician assistants to better align with state laws; a proposed Medicare ground ambulance data collection system that would include information on types of services provided in rural areas; proposed revisions to certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to align pre-surgery evaluation and pre-discharge standards; request for feedback on small and rural practices participating in MVPs; a proposed update to the MIPS rural area definition correcting the file name; and requesting comments on Promoting Interoperability performance measures related to OUD prevention and treatment that would be applicable to clinicians in rural areas. Comments are due September 27, 2019.
Source: Federal Register
Aug 9, 2019 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that deaths from opioid overdoses in Oregon will rise 6.5% in 2019 and again in 2020. About half of the deaths occur in rural areas, though only 20% of the Oregon population lives in rural communities. Two state programs attempt to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions.
Source: The LaGrande Observer
Aug 8, 2019 - Announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources and Services Administration that nearly $400 million has been awarded to organizations across the country to help combat the opioid crisis. This includes over $200 million for health centers through the Integrated Behavioral Health Services Program (IBHS), over $111 million through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), almost $70 million through the Opioid Workforce Expansion Programs for Professionals and Paraprofessionals, and $17 million through the Graduate Psychology Education program.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Aug 6, 2019 - Notice from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announcing a public meeting of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) National Advisory Council (NAC) on August 21, 2019 from 9-5 p.m. Eastern. The agenda will include the review of minutes from the March 28, 2019 CSAT NAC meeting, updates from Division Directors, discussions on SAMHSA's data strategy and trends and issues identifies in the State Opioid Response Grants. The meeting may be accessed in person or via telephone, and pre-registration is requested.
Source: Federal Register
Aug 6, 2019 - Press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding their recent report that found that while there has been an overall increase in the number of naloxone prescriptions across the country, rural counties have a much lower rate of prescriptions than metropolitan counties.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Aug 5, 2019 - Fayette County, Indiana has the highest suicide and overdose death rates in the state and a drug overdose rate 5 times higher than the national average. Article describes the efforts of End Stigma, a local group dedicated to addressing the stigma related to substance abuse and mental health issues.
Aug 2, 2019 - A new study by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics shows varied victim and drug patterns in urban and rural areas, but similar trends in rising death rates. Death rates were higher in urban areas for most age groups, with the highest rate among people ages 25-44 in both rural and urban areas.
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Aug 2, 2019 - Provides a state-by-state list showing the county having the worst drug problems, with statistics on population, poverty rate, number of drug-related deaths from 2013-17, and annual drug deaths per 100,000 residents.
Source: USA Today
Jul 30, 2019 - Request for information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on how to ensure legitimate access to controlled substances such as opioids while preventing diversion and abuse. The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 (EPAEDEA) requires that HHS submit a report to Congress that incorporates feedback and recommendations from various stakeholders. Comments are due August 29, 2019.
Source: Federal Register
Jul 29, 2019 - Notice from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) extending the comment period for a proposed information collection that seeks to validate and expand the Six Building Blocks to Safer Opioid Management (6BBs) Toolkit. The toolkit is intended to support safer opioid prescribing for primary care providers and the evaluation will address barriers and facilitators of its implementation and effectiveness, including whether specific organization types benefit more from using the toolkit, such as rural clinics. Comments are now due 30 days after publication of this notice.
Source: Federal Register