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Rural Health
News by Topic: Service delivery models

Jul 16, 2020 - Addresses the lack of access to mental health treatment in rural Texas, describes how telehealth has the potential to fill critical gaps in access to healthcare, but many rural homes also lack access to broadband. Discusses local and federal efforts to expand broadband into rural Texas, but some challenges include resistance from corporations and lawmakers.
Source: Texas Observer
Jul 15, 2020 - Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), shares data highlighting the impact of telehealth on beneficiary access and discusses how this information will be used to determine whether current expanded policies should remain in place beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Describes specific CMS actions to expand Medicare telemedicine before and during COVID-19 and explains how telehealth is an important source of care, especially in rural areas.
Source: Health Affairs
Jul 14, 2020 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking comment on a proposed information collection project to develop, implement, disseminate, and evaluate clinical decision support tools for the management of chronic pain. The goal of the program is to reduce opioid doses for patients at risk of harm from opioids. Comments are due within 60 days of this notice.
Source: Federal Register
Jul 13, 2020 - Texas A&M University Health Science Center and OnMed deployed a telehealth station in rural Milam County, Texas. The station addresses the lack of access to healthcare in the rural area by providing patients with a live virtual consultation with a clinician who can diagnose, prescribe, and dispense medication on the spot.
Source: Texas A&M
Jul 8, 2020 - The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau approved an additional 25 applications in their last round of funding for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. In total, the FCC has approved $200 million in funding for 539 applications in 47 states plus Washington, D.C. and Guam, which aided urban and rural healthcare providers in implementing telehealth services.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
Jul 8, 2020 - Discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges to seasonal and migrant farmworkers, identifying the internet as a necessity so workers and their families have access to telemedicine and online education. Highlights efforts to get hotspots and Wi-Fi installed in orchards along the Columbia River Gorge.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jul 7, 2020 - The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is seeking input on scientific gaps and research needs that should be addressed as cancer-related care via telehealth becomes a more common part of routine clinical practice. This RFI is part of a planning effort to identify promising research opportunities, methods, and strategies to address gaps in this area. Responses are accepted through July 30, 2020.
Source: National Institutes of Health
Jul 6, 2020 - A heart failure nurse who serves mostly rural patients discusses how telehealth has made providing medical care more convenient and personal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses how doctor's offices can often be anxiety-inducing and that telehealth has helped to strengthen connections between healthcare workers and their patients.
Source: Texas Monthly
Jul 1, 2020 - The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau approved an additional 70 funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Over $31 million will help to provide telehealth services in both rural and urban areas of the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
Jun 30, 2020 - Notice of proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updating the calendar year (CY) 2021 payment rates and wage index for the home health prospective payment system and proposing permanent changes to the home health regulations regarding the use of technology that were adopted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also discusses policies finalized in the CY 2020 final rule with comment period related to home infusion therapy services, among other things. Comments on this proposed rule are due by August 31, 2020.
Source: Federal Register