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Rural Health
News by Topic: Infectious diseases

Oct 13, 2020 - While telehealth increases access to healthcare services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis describes how broadband speeds in rural areas are insufficient, with up to 37 percent of rural residents lacking access to broadband. Discusses federal efforts to support the expanded use of telehealth in rural communities, describes the need to roll out rural broadband infrastructure.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 12, 2020 - Features the COVID-19 Epidemiology, Research, Testing and Services (CONCERTS) project at Washington State University's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, which will help to reduce health disparities among American Indians and Native Alaskans. The project will work to understand who has been tested for the coronavirus and what challenges exist to getting people tested and ultimately vaccinated.
Source: Washington State University
Oct 9, 2020 - Addresses how the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the loss of rural hospitals in Ohio Valley and summarizes a report that estimates 16 to 28 rural hospitals in Kentucky could eventually close. Describes how rural counties suffer from greater mortality rates, as well as higher rates of poverty and unemployment, which are exacerbated by hospital closures.
Source: Ohio Valley Resource
Oct 9, 2020 - Provides overview of a survey which found physicians in the Upper Midwest received compensation that's 10-15 percent higher than the national average. Describes how rural physicians are likely compensated more due to the difficulty in recruiting new talent to rural communities. Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the job market for physicians, leading to the reduction in starting salaries.
Source: Healthcare Finance
Oct 9, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they are extending flexibilities to allow free meals to continue to be available to all children throughout the 2020-2021 school year. This decision ensures kids receive the food they need as our nation recovers and reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Oct 8, 2020 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Repayment will begin one year from the loan's issuance date, after which Medicare will automatically recoup 25 percent of Medicare payments for eleven months, and 50 percent for an additional six months.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Oct 8, 2020 - Executive Order from the Office of the President to create a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group to facilitate an "all-of-government" response to the mental-health conditions induced or exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues related to suicide prevention. This order also directs agencies to encourage current grantees to consider adopting policies that have been shown to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk and award contracts or grants to community organizations or other local entities to enhance mental-health and suicide-prevention services.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 8, 2020 - Notice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announcing a virtual meeting to implement the "Voluntary Agreement for the Manufacture and Distribution of Critical Healthcare Resources Necessary to Respond to a Pandemic" on October 13, 2020. The meeting will be open to the public from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Meeting objectives include updating interested parties on the status of the implementation of FEMA's Voluntary Agreement, requesting that interested parties sign up to participate in the Voluntary Agreement, requesting that specific parties sign up to participate in one or more specific Plans of Action, and discussing the activation of the first Plan of Action under the Voluntary Agreement to identify more efficient methods of allocating and distributing Personal Protective Equipment to meet national demand and ways of expanding the production of critical healthcare resources.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 8, 2020 - Announcement of funding available from the Federal Transit Administration to support research demonstration grants for public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Applications are due by November 2, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 8, 2020 - Analyzes rural COVID-19 infection rates by state, identifying troublesome levels of new infections in Upper Midwest states, including Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota. Includes interactive maps of states' new infection rates, as well as a list of each state's percentage of rural counties in the red zone.
Source: The Daily Yonder