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Federal Agencies and Councils Addressing Rural Health

The focal point for rural health issues in the Federal government is the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, which is located within the Health Resources and Services Administration:

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP)
Phone: 301.443.0835
Coordinates activities related to rural healthcare within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Focuses on matters affecting rural hospitals and healthcare, coordinating activities within the department that relate to rural healthcare, and maintaining a national information clearinghouse.

Organizations

The other Federal agencies and councils listed on this page also have a national interest in rural health. To find organizations and agencies that focus on a specific topic, please consult the related topic guide.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Sponsors and conducts research that provides evidence-based information on healthcare outcomes, quality, cost, use, and access. The information helps healthcare decision makers - patients and clinicians, health system leaders, purchasers, and policymakers - make more informed decisions and improve the quality of healthcare services.
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Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW)
Works to address workforce shortage issues; manages federal shortage designations; administers grant programs related to the healthcare workforce; and administers scholarship and loan repayment programs designed for healthcare professionals. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC)
Supports access to primary care services. Works to increase health centers in communities, and to provide access to high quality, family oriented, and comprehensive primary and preventive health care, regardless of patients' ability to pay. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Operates the Medicare and Medicaid programs - two national healthcare programs that benefit millions of Americans. Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Website includes access to research, statistics, and data related to their programs.
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Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Works to improve and expand access to quality health care for all. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Indian Health Service (IHS)
Provides federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Works to positively affect the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Administers scholarship and loan repayment programs for American Indian and Alaska Native health professionals. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
Provides information and resources which promote safe and healthful workplaces for miners in the United States and which aim to prevent death, disease, and injury from mining. Part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
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Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
Supports the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve healthcare.
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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. Works to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
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Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)
Supports access to broadband services needed to work, learn, heal, and communicate. Collects and delivers funding through four programs focused on places where broadband and connectivity needs are critical. These programs - High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and the Schools and Libraries Program - serve people in rural, underserved, and difficult-to-reach areas.
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USDA Economic Research Service (USDA ERS)
Anticipates trends and emerging issues related to agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America. Conducts economic research on these topics to inform and enhance public and private decision making.
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USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)
Helps improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America through programs that support economic development and essential services such as housing, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.
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Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health (VHA ORH)
Works to improve health care delivery for enrolled rural Veterans and supports research and program development to address challenges rural Veterans face.
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