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Rural Health
News by Topic: Pharmacy and prescription drugs

Aug 15, 2019 - Rural clinics in Washington are having success reducing opioid prescriptions thanks to changes in chronic pain management. The clinics participated in a research study giving them protocols to support appropriate prescribing.
Source: KOMO News
Aug 9, 2019 - Notice of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revising payments for the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and Medicare ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system and updating quality reporting requirements. Also proposes requirements for making hospital standard charges public and other revisions and requests comments on remedying litigation related to 340B drugs. Rural specific items include: proposed adjustments for Rural Sole Community Hospitals (SCHs) and Essential Community Hospitals (EACHs), minimum supervision requirements for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), a proposed wage index update, continued rural hospital payment adjustments, and an increase in the OPD fee schedule. Comments on the proposed rule 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 7, 2019 - The Health Resources and Services (HRSA) requests comments on a revised information collection related to a May 9, 2019 comment request for the 340B Drug Pricing Program. In this notice, HRSA has responded by revising the draft instruments based on technical comments received. Comments on these revisions are due September 6, 2019.
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 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new guidance to promote proper use of prescription opioids by updating requirements for the Medicaid Drug Utilization Review (DUR) program. The guidance will help states implement drug use review procedures so that state Medicaid programs can better monitor opioid prescribing and dispensing patterns.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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
Jul 26, 2019 - Request for information from Health and Human Services Department (HHS) on how to ensure legitimate access to controlled substances such as opioids, as well as preventing diversion and abuse. HHS will be submitting a report to Congress. Comments are due August 26, 2019.
Source: Federal Register
Jul 12, 2019 - Pain clinic pharmacists at the Gallup Indian Medical Center (GIMC) in New Mexico are providing naloxone education to chronic opioid patients, family members, caregivers, healthcare providers, and first responders. Pharmacists at GIMC began co-prescribing naloxone with opioids in May 2015, and the naloxone training has reduced the amount of opioids prescribed at the facility.
Source: Indian Health Service