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Rural Health
News by Topic: Telehealth

Dec 1, 2021 - Discusses the increase in telehealth use during the COVID-19 pandemic and state-level efforts to further extend telehealth policies or make those changes permanent. Describes concerns about barriers to using telehealth among populations with less access to broadband internet, including rural populations, and highlights the perspectives of providers in Oklahoma and North Carolina.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts
Nov 23, 2021 - Describes concerns about audio-only telehealth access following the end of COVID-19-related policy flexibilities. Discusses equity issues related to requiring video devices for telehealth visits, particularly for rural and remote patients who may lack internet access. Also notes concerns with patient quality related to audio-only telehealth.
Source: NPR
Nov 18, 2021 - Describes Oklahoma State University's Rural Renewal Initiative, a research partnership based in 2 rural counties that examines the benefits of telehealth EMS care, youth leadership development, soil health, and other rural-specific research projects. Describes the program's efforts to engage with and include rural communities in the research process.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 17, 2021 - Describes the Study to Promote Innovation in Rural Integrated Telepsychiatry (SPIRIT), a trial to offer mental telehealth services through a collaborative care model, with local care managers and clinics delivering treatment. Addresses the history of collaborative care and policy challenges related to integrating urban-based providers into rural clinics.
Source: Stat
Nov 17, 2021 - Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to obtain further information regarding the practice of telepharmacy, which is not specifically defined by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or DEA regulations. DEA is considering implementing regulations regarding telepharmacy and seeks to be fully informed about the practice, industry, and state regulations. Comments are due by January 18, 2022.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 10, 2021 - Discusses the expansion of digital technology and telemedicine in rural hospitals as a secondary impact of federal COVID-19 funding, which allowed rural hospitals to invest in innovation. Highlights the necessity of digital investments and challenges related to the Delta variant surge and patient transfers.
Source: Becker's Hospital CFO Report
Nov 5, 2021 - Reports on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' final rule for the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule, which expands telehealth coverage for mental health services. Discusses efforts to respond to mental health and substance abuse issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the establishment of permanent coverage for telehealth mental health services through Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).
Source: HealthLeaders Media
Nov 3, 2021 - Describes efforts to increase access to audiology services for children in rural North Carolina through telehealth interventions, providing an overview of a trial in Alaska and Kentucky. Discusses the lack of access to audiologists and ear doctors in rural areas and the impacts that hearing care has on children's speech and language development, education, and adulthood opportunities.
Source: North Carolina Health News
Oct 22, 2021 - Announces funding of up to $1.15 billion through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ReConnect Program to expand broadband availability in rural areas through loans and grants. Addresses ReConnect Program eligibility and additional investments in rural distance learning and telemedicine projects.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Oct 20, 2021 - Discusses research on telehealth utilization for chronic disease management, finding that telehealth flexibilities did not lead to overutilization but that only 34% of rural Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth in 2020, compared to 47% of urban Medicare beneficiaries. Describes implications of these findings on rural healthcare access.
Source: Patient Engagement HIT