Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Health
News by Topic: Telehealth

May 31, 2023 - Describes the experiences of counseling interns working in rural schools. Notes that the students benefit from access to care not usually easily available, but the interns also learn about the specific needs of rural communities. The program will expand in the fall to include telehealth mental healthcare.
Source: Nevada Today
May 25, 2023 - Describes a partnership between rural area Georgia churches and the University of Georgia to put telehealth hubs in the churches. Highlights challenges faced such as broadband access in the most remote churches.
Source: UGA Today
May 24, 2023 - Doctors offered ideas for improving health care in remote areas of Pennsylvania during a meeting of the Pennsylvania House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on May 18 in Pittsburgh. Suggestions included increasing incentives, bolstering Medicaid, expanding use of community health workers, finding uses for disused hospitals, and enhancing broadband access.
Source: Lancaster Farming
May 24, 2023 - About 60,000 Alaskans lack broadband access entirely, while 200,000 have limited access to broadband. Alaska Tribal Spectrum, a tribally-owned nonprofit, is working to bring high-speed internet and cell reception to rural Alaska. With greater access to high-speed internet, services like telehealth could improve care in rural regions.
Source: High Country News
May 22, 2023 - Describes challenges faced by women seeking maternity care in rural South Carolina counties. Infant death rates in South Carolina are higher than the national average, and a report published by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shows the rate for non-Hispanic Black babies is growing worse. The death rate among infants born to Black mothers in the state increased by nearly 40% from 2017 to 2021.
Source: KFF Health News
May 19, 2023 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking comment on a proposed information collection titled "National Electronic Health Records Survey (NEHRS)." The NEHRS will collect information about the use of electronic health records (EHRs) systems, documentation of social determinants of health, interoperability, exchange of patient health information with public health agencies, and use of telemedicine among office-based and outpatient physicians in the United States. Comments are due July 18, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 17, 2023 - U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, Joni Ernst, Jeanne Shaheen, and Jerry Moran reintroduced the Protecting Rural Telehealth Access Act. This legislation would ensure rural and underserved community healthcare providers can permanently offer telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth appointments, that are set to expire in December 2024.
Source: Office of Senator Joe Manchin
May 15, 2023 - A collaborative effort coordinated by MCD Global Health now gives school students and staff in Washington County, Maine access to virtual behavioral health services and other needed resources. A $500,000 matching grant from Point32Health Foundation helped the Baileyville, Maine community get started on the initiative.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 15, 2023 - Highlights a Federal Office of Rural Health Policy-funded Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program located in Clayton, New Mexico. The RMOMS program was created to increase access to maternal healthcare in rural communities through the use of telehealth and the creation of networks of hospitals and clinics.
Source: KFF Health News
May 10, 2023 - Notice from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issuing a temporary rule to extend certain exceptions to existing DEA regulations implemented in March 2020 because of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency (COVID–19 PHE). The full set of telemedicine flexibilities regarding the prescription of controlled medications that were in place during the COVID–19 PHE will remain in place through November 11, 2023. In addition, if a patient and a practitioner have established a telemedicine relationship on or before November 11, 2023, the same telemedicine flexibilities that have governed the relationship to that point are permitted until November 11, 2024. This rule is effective May 11, 2023, through November 11, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
May 10, 2023 - An HHS fact sheet outlining what is and is not changing around telehealth as the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends, including information on coverage of services. Provides guidance around licensure portability, a measure intended to increase access to healthcare for rural and underserved communities. Also outlines broadband initiatives that increase access to healthcare and reduce disparities.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 10, 2023 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is accepting applications for the National Indian Health Outreach and Education (NIHOE) program. The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to further the IHS mission and goals related to providing quality health care to the AI/AN community through outreach and education efforts with a focus on improving healthcare, promoting awareness, visibility, advocacy, training, technical assistance, and education efforts. Applications are due by July 10, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
May 8, 2023 - Describes the Wilson Area School Health Centers (WASH) in North Carolina, school-based health clinics with the aim of increasing access to healthcare for students. A nurse practitioner can screen for diseases, write prescriptions, provide primary care, and more. Students can meet with the nurse practitioner virtually if they are at a different site. Clinic sites were chosen to accommodate high-poverty areas. WASH is working to expand services to include mental and behavioral health.
Source: Public Radio East
May 4, 2023 - Describes a change in the telehealth use trends for February 2023 across the United States. Telehealth use increased between November 2022 and January 2023, but decreased in February 2023. There were also changes in the health conditions being evaluated using telehealth with COVID-19 dropping off the list. In spite of this downturn, audio-only telehealth increased in the Midwest and rural parts of the West, noting that audio-only telehealth is generally higher in rural areas when compared to urban ones.
Source: Xtelligent Healthcare Media
May 4, 2023 - The Center for Clinical Research at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita is using telehealth and mail to ensure rural residents are better represented in clinical trials. Notes that rural residents have specific stressors, environmental exposures, and other social determinants of health that are valuable for inclusion in clinical trials.
Source: University of Kansas Medical Center News
May 2, 2023 - Highlights programs by rural hospitals to address rural maternal health. Initiatives include prenatal curriculum to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes and telehealth for both neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients and women seeking prenatal care.
Source: American Hospital Association
Apr 28, 2023 - Summary of an interview describing the impact of the digital divide on rural healthcare, particularly as it relates to access to healthcare. University of Cincinnati epidemiologist Diego Cuadros was interviewed by the podcast Cincinnati Edition to discuss his research. Telehealth is named as a possible solution to some health disparities between rural and urban communities. Also highlights a $73 million investment by the federal government to make affordable high-speed internet available to more Americans.
Source: University of Cincinnati News
Apr 25, 2023 - Outlines the goals of the Joseph Maxwell Cleland and Robert Joseph Dole Memorial Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improve Act of 2022. The Cleland-Dole Act will address rural health, telehealth, rural transportation, and more.
Source: VA News
Apr 14, 2023 - Discusses the expansion of a VA program to connect rural veterans to information about VA telehealth and mental health services to Wyoming, Kansas, Louisiana, and Nevada, as well as the initial pilot project state, Montana.
Source: VA News
Apr 13, 2023 - Notice announcing that four Notifications of Enforcement Discretion issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regarding how the Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules promulgated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act will be applied to certain violations during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency (PHE) will expire upon expiration of the COVID-19 PHE, which is currently scheduled for May 11, 2023. OCR is affording covered healthcare providers a 90-calendar day transition period to come into compliance with the HIPAA Rules with respect to their provision of telehealth using non-public-facing remote communication technologies. The 90-calendar day transition period will expire on August 9, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 11, 2023 - The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the Notifications of Enforcement Discretion issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will expire on May 11, 2023, due to the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The OCR will continue to support the use of telehealth after the PHE by providing a transition period for healthcare providers to make any changes to their operations that are needed to provide telehealth in a private and secure manner.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Apr 10, 2023 - Notice from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) making corrections to the March 23, 2023, final rule. Corrections are effective April 10, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Apr 10, 2023 - Dr. Vida Passero is spearheading ground-breaking National TeleOncology services such as National Virtual Tumor Boards, and is helping veterans at smaller or rural facilities receive the same standard of care as patients of larger VA medical centers. According to a report by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 66 percent of rural counties have no oncologist.
Source: VA News
Apr 10, 2023 - The role of telehealth in trauma was highlighted in a session at the recent American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma annual meeting in Chicago. The session focused on teletrauma as an important tool to support providers and patients.
Source: American College of Surgeons