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Rural Health
News by Topic: Service delivery models

Mar 30, 2023 - Oklahoma health officials and city leaders across the state discussed ways the state could help rural communities maintain access to health care. They suggested that the state offer more incentives to physicians, and advised offering telehealth and adopting a new model combining both online and in-person healthcare visits for those living in rural areas.
Source: KOCO
Mar 27, 2023 - Announcement from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy of the application period for the Rural Health Care Coordination Program. The program is designed to improve and expand the delivery of healthcare services in rural areas through comprehensive care coordination strategies. Applications are due May 15, 2023.
Source: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Mar 23, 2023 - Notice of final rule from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) summarizing the January 26, 2023, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order regarding the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program. This final rule covers urban and rural rates, funding prioritization, and invoicing for the program. This rule is effective April 24, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 23, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) summarizing the January 26, 2023, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second FNPRM) regarding the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program. This notice proposes revising the rate determination rules, making it easier for healthcare providers to receive RHC Program funding as soon as they become eligible, and aligning the deadline to request a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) change with the invoice filling deadline. The FCC also seeks comments on reinstating the cap on support for satellite services and revising data collected in the Telecom Program. Comments are due by April 24, 2023, and reply comments are due by May 22, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 23, 2023 - The Montana Produce Prescription Collaborative was recently awarded a federal grant of $500,000 to support Montana produce prescription programs over the next 3 years. Participating partners screen patients for chronic health conditions and food access, and eligible patients receive coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Mar 23, 2023 - Highlights the career of Alison Hughes, who helped create the Arizona Telemedicine Program in the mid-1990s through her work with Arizona's Rural Health Office.
Source: Arizona Telemedicine Program
Mar 20, 2023 - Last fall Congress passed the MOBILE Health Care Act, which gives Federally Qualified Health Centers greater flexibility to use federal funding to create and operate mobile units. Health and community organizations have started using mobile units to bring COVID-19 testing and vaccination, primary care, behavioral health, and reproductive services to rural patients.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Mar 18, 2023 - Describes a telemental health program for patients in nursing homes and assisted living centers in rural Iowa. Providers predict demand for remote mental health services will continue to increase in rural nursing homes.
Source: Kaiser Health News, USA Today
Mar 15, 2023 - Describes the work of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECC) Connect program, which provides support for elderly veterans and their caregivers. GRECC Connect allows veterans to receive real-time virtual care from geriatricians, eliminating the need to travel long distances for specialty care.
Source: VA News
Mar 14, 2023 - Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology are exploring a new way to deliver radiation therapy to cancer patients. They hope to bring radiation therapy to rural areas by vehicle, similar to a mammogram van that provides breast cancer screening services to rural communities.
Source: Medical Xpress
Mar 13, 2023 - Leaders in the Van Far R1 School District in Audrain County, Missouri are trying to help lessen the mental health crisis by prioritizing students' mental health in the classroom. College students studying counseling complete lab hours at the schools, and telehealth resources are also used.
Source: KOMU
Mar 10, 2023 - Summarizes a roundtable discussion at the American Hospital Association Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in February focused on "Redefining Quality Essentials." Topics included telemedicine, patient-centered medical homes, sharing patient information electronically, quality and performance improvement initiatives, and improving patient engagement.
Source: American Hospital Association
Mar 10, 2023 - Mercer University's new Faith in Rural Health initiative, a partnership among the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center, School of Medicine, and McAfee School of Theology, aims to support the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in rural Georgia counties by coordinating efforts of clergy, physicians, and healthcare professionals.
Source: The Den
Mar 2, 2023 - Describes Psychiatric Advanced Practice Registered Nurse TechNology-Enhanced Residency (PARTNER), a Medical University of South Carolina-led program that pairs board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners with patients in rural areas through telemedicine. The program has treated and diagnosed almost 100 different behavioral health conditions over the course of more than 1,600 patient visits.
Source: Medical University of South Carolina
Mar 1, 2023 - Notice of proposed rule from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) amending its regulations to increase access to buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorders (OUD). The DEA proposes expanding the circumstances under which individual providers are authorized to prescribe buprenorphine for OUD via telemedicine, including an audio-only telemedicine encounter. Comments are due by March 31, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 1, 2023 - Notice of proposed rulemaking from the Drug Enforcement Administration regarding the ability of healthcare providers to prescribe controlled medications via telehealth. This proposed rule would also require telemedicine providers to initially limit prescriptions for controlled medications to a 30-day supply without an in-person evaluation or referral from a medical practitioner that has conducted an in-person evaluation. Comments are due by March 31, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Feb 22, 2023 - Describes changes that are scheduled to occur in policies related to COVID-19 testing and treatment, emergency use authorization for medical countermeasures, liability immunity, Medicaid eligibility and disaster relief, nursing homes, SNAP benefits, student loan repayment, telehealth, and more.
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
Feb 17, 2023 - A new report addresses the demand for and shortages of mental health services in rural Minnesota, based on survey data and interviews with leaders in rural mental health. The report calls for upfront tuition reimbursement programs and for states to buoy the expansion of mental health-related programs.
Source: Behavioral Health Business
Feb 15, 2023 - Describes policy changes set to occur when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. Hospitals will no longer be reimbursed an additional 20% for treating COVID-19 patients during the pandemic, and Medicaid recipients will have to re-enroll to ensure they meet the requirements for coverage.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Feb 13, 2023 - Describes a program through which students at Texas A&M University's School of Nursing are using virtual reality to gain real-world experience in treating patients. The simulations revolve around common medical conditions people in rural areas often face, such as managing chronic conditions, mental and maternal postpartum care, and substance abuse.
Source: WTKR
Feb 11, 2023 - Describes challenges faced by patients in Washington County, Maine, due to healthcare workforce shortages and lack of available hospital beds. People from rural Maine sometimes must travel three to four hours to find hospitals with any open beds.
Source: The Maine Monitor
Feb 10, 2023 - Highlights some of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' policies to support rural providers, improve access to care in rural areas, and support the transformation of the rural health delivery system.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Feb 9, 2023 - Announces that the Department of Health and Human Services plans for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 to expire on May 11, 2023. Specifies what will and will not be affected by the expiration of the PHE.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Feb 9, 2023 - Highlights the work of the Chiricahua Community Health Centers in rural Arizona to increase vaccination rates and improve access to other health services. Approaches include offering childhood immunizations at dental clinics, adding more walk-in hours at health clinics, and reaching farmworkers with mobile medical and dental clinics.
Source: Arizona Republic
Feb 8, 2023 - Highlights ways that schools can use telehealth programs to increase access to mental and physical health services for students, including a program in South Dakota that provides virtual care services for rural students with Type I diabetes.
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Jan 31, 2023 - Announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program will provide nearly $8 million in investments that will improve healthcare and water infrastructure in rural Louisiana. The funds will be used to buy medical supplies including telehealth equipment, and help rural communities obtain the technical assistance and financing necessary to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Jan 31, 2023 - The Virginia Consortium to Advance Healthcare in Appalachia will use $5.1 million in federal grant money to launch or expand several innovative programs to improve access to care in southwestern Virginia. The effort is aimed at tackling health inequity, improving rural healthcare, and expanding evidence-based models in telehealth for underserved communities.
Source: HealthLeaders