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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Legislation and regulations

Demand for Broadband in Rural Areas: Implications for Universal Access
Reports on the characteristics of demand for fixed broadband among households and small businesses in rural areas and how they affect private sector infrastructure investments. Discusses the role of schools and libraries as providers of broadband service and training to rural residents, and how broadband enabled services, such as telemedicine, may encourage rural households and small businesses to adopt the technology. Highlights federal programs and policies that may increase or impede broadband demand, and offers options for the U.S. Congress to consider as it addresses rural broadband demand.
Date: 12/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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New Suicide Prevention NPSG for Critical Access Hospitals
Presents the prepublication requirements and elements for performance for the National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) chapter on suicide prevention. Notes that these requirements will apply to Critical Access Hospitals beginning on July 1, 2020.
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Joint Commission
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Intergovernmental Advisory Committee to the Federal Communications Commission Advisory Recommendation No: 2019-2 in the Matter of State, Local Tribal, and Territorial Regulatory and Other Barriers and Incentives to Telemedicine
Examines the technical infrastructure necessary for effective telemedicine delivery in state, territorial, tribal, and local (rural and urban) areas. Discusses the regulatory barriers including legislation, licensing, reimbursement, malpractice insurance, and privacy that obstruct its development and utilization, and offers recommendations addressing these barriers. Appendix A presents case studies of broadband and telehealth development in several states and territories.
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Federal Communications Commission, Intergovernmental Advisory Committee to the Federal Communications Commission
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The Development of Telehealth Laws in the U.S. from 2008 to 2015: A Legal Landscape
Policy brief examining the scope and evolving nature of telehealth statutes and regulations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Explores the extent to which state laws regulate primary care delivery through use of telehealth. Features U.S. maps showing changes from 2008 to 2015 in terms of various types of telehealth-related laws, including those governing insurance coverage, and statistics with breakdowns by the top 25 and bottom 25 rural states.
Author(s): Cason D. Schmit, Alva O. Ferdinand, Timothy Callaghan, et al.
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
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Finalized CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule
Fact sheet describing calendar year 2020 changes to Medicare's telehealth reimbursement policy as a part of the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule. Includes sections on opioid use disorder treatment services, care management services, chronic care remote physiologic monitoring services, and online digital evaluation service (E-visit).
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
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Rural Hospitals: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Describes the conditions facing rural hospitals and their communities contributing to the high rate of rural hospital closure. Discusses state and federal legislation, policies, and programs developed to support rural hospitals. Provides data for 15 Southern states including their state and rural populations, percentage of population uninsured, Medicaid expansion status, percentage at high financial risk, and number of rural hospital closures.
Author(s): Nick Bowman
Date: 11/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments
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Telecommunications: FCC Should Take Additional Action to Manage Fraud Risks in Its Program to Support Broadband Service in High-Cost Areas
Examines the funding reforms and fraud controls implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for small, rural telecommunications carriers, identified as "rate-of-return carriers". Includes recommendations to the FCC supporting fraud risk management, regular assessments, and newly designed strategies. Appendix I identifies key elements of a fraud-risk management assessment process.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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State Telehealth Laws & Reimbursement Policies
Summary of telehealth-related policies, laws, and regulations for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Focuses on Medicaid fee-for-service policies and includes the most recent policy language in each state as of September 2019.
Additional links: Infographic, Interactive Map - Current State Laws & Reimbursement Policies, Interactive Map - Legislation and Regulation Tracking
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
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A View from the States: Key Medicaid Policy Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020
Report examines changes taking place in Medicaid programs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Features sections on eligibility, delivery systems, benefits, long-term services and supports, and provider rates and taxes. Full report includes a section on rural payment adjustments.
Author(s): Kathleen Gifford, Eileen Ellis, Aimee Lashbrook, et al.
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
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Broadband Data and Mapping: Background and Issues for the 116th Congress
Explores policy issues and challenges related to high-speed internet access, including federal agency roles in broadband mapping. Includes a section comparing urban and rural areas in terms of access to telecommunications and information technologies.
Author(s): Colby Leigh Rachfal
Date: 10/2019
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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