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Rural Health
News by Topic: Service delivery models

Healthcare Organizations Voice Worry over End of Net Neutrality
Dec 15, 2017 - Details the recent vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to roll back net neutrality regulations. Some healthcare organizations are concerned about the impact of this vote on telemedicine services and access to healthcare in rural areas.
Source: Health Data Management
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Opioid Program Grant Performance Measures, OMB No. 0906-xxxx-New Federal Register
Dec 15, 2017 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting public comments regarding their intent to collect information from grantees of the Rural Health Opioid Program, which aims to promote rural healthcare services outreach by expanding opioid-related healthcare services to rural communities. Specifically, HRSA will use the collected information to measure grantee performance and assess the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy's (FORHP) progress toward meeting set goals. Comments regarding the proposed information collection must be submitted no later than February 13, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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FCC and National Cancer Institute Champion Critical Role of Broadband in Rural Cancer Care
Dec 12, 2017 - Announces a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to increase broadband access and adoption in rural areas. The inaugural project, L.A.U.N.C.H. (Linking and Amplifying User-Centered Networks through Connected Health), is a public-private collaboration to improve broadband health connectivity in Appalachia and will target areas with high cancer mortality and low levels of broadband access.
Source: Federal Communications Commission
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CMS: Medicare Program; Cancellation of Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment and Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Models; Changes to Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model: Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model Federal Register
Dec 1, 2017 - Final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cancelling the Episode Payment Models (EPMs) and Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) Incentive Payment Model. The rule also finalizes revisions to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model, making participation in CJR voluntary for all low-volume and rural hospitals, regardless of geographic location. Additionally, the included interim final rule provides flexibility when determining episode costs for providers located in areas affected by extreme circumstances, such as hurricanes, in 2017. Comments regarding provisions of the interim final rule must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on January 30, 2018. Additional information is available on the November 30, 2017, CMS fact sheet.
Source: Federal Register
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HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS) Measures, OMB No. 0906-0009-Revision Federal Register
Nov 27, 2017 - Notice of intent from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to revise information collection efforts related to the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Performance Improvement and Measurement Systems (PIMS). The revisions will reduce the number of measures collected from Outreach Program grantees, and add requirements for data collection to help inform the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Heart Age Calculator and BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen. Comments regarding these revisions must be submitted no later than January 26, 2018.
Source: Federal Register
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Industry Voices—the FCC's Rural Health Care Fund Is a Victim of Its Own Success
Nov 27, 2017 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a proposal to increase the $400 million annual cap on the Rural Health Care Fund. Among other things, this proposal would target funding to rural and tribal healthcare providers and prioritize the distribution of grants based on remoteness, type of service requested, whether the funding will come from the Telecom Program or the Healthcare Connect Fund, and the economic need of the provider's population.
Source: FierceHealthcare
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RUS: Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loan and Grant Programs Federal Register
Nov 27, 2017 - Final rule from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) designed to streamline, revise, and update the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. The DLT Program works to encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning in rural areas through the use of computer networks and other advanced technologies. Included changes seek to reduce the regulatory burden of applying for the grants and ensure funds are awarded to projects with the most demonstrable need. Provisions of the rule take effect December 27, 2017.
Source: Federal Register
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CMS: Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2018; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; and Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Federal Register
Nov 15, 2017 - Final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) addressing changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) and other Medicare Part B payment policies. Also includes policies necessary to begin offering the expanded Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program model, and information about new care coordination services and payments for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQCHs). Provisions of the rule take effect January 1, 2018. Additional information is available on the November 2, 2017, CMS fact sheet.
Source: Federal Register
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A Conversation with Dale Gibbs and Tom Klobucar
Nov 7, 2017 - Radio interview with Dale Gibbs, the Chairman of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee and a member of the National Rural Health Association Rural Health Congress and Rural Veterans Task Force, and Tom Klobucar, Acting Director of the Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health. Discussion focuses on rural veterans' health in honor of Veterans Day, including barriers to access like provider shortages and transportation concerns, telehealth, and the Veterans Choice program, among other things.
Source: Rural Health Leadership Radio
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CMS Won’t Cover Telehealth in Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
Nov 3, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) declined to cover virtual weight management coaching programs in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, citing concerns that the mHealth and telehealth platform isn't reliable enough. CMS will, however, consider testing the platform in a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) demonstration project. Advocates for the platform are concerned that lack of reimbursement will threaten access to these services for rural patients.
Source: mHealthIntelligence
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