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Rural Health
News by Topic: Technology for health and human services

Funding and Staff Shortages Keep Rural Libraries Focused on the Basics
Dec 15, 2017 - A report from the American Library Association (ALA) found that rural libraries tend to spend more per capita for fewer services and fewer open hours compared to their urban counterparts. Because rural libraries often function to reduce the technology gap between urban and rural areas, this can be especially problematic.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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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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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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As Coal Falls, a Digital Revolution Begins in Appalachia. This Hurdle Blocks the Way.
Nov 12, 2017 - Details attempts to diversify Kentucky's rural economy in an effort to counteract the economic impacts of coal mines closing, focusing on a software development company and a telecommuting company. Although these companies have made progress and offer promising opportunities, limited access to broadband internet connection is a serious barrier for potential telecommuting employees and for business expansion.
Source: Lexington Herald Leader
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Critical Access Hospitals Unlikely to Engage in Advanced EHR Use
Nov 8, 2017 - According to a new study, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are less likely than other hospitals to use Electronic Health Record (EHR) data for performance measurement and patient engagement. The study suggested that this disparity could indicate a digital divide impacting small, rural and safety-net hospitals' ability to effectively use this data to improve the quality of patient care.
Source: EHR Intelligence
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USDA Invests in Broadband Infrastructure in Unserved and Underserved Rural Areas
Nov 6, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $200 million to expand broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved rural communities. These awards, financed through the USDA's Telecommunications Program, will fund projects in West Virginia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture
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