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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Policy

Measure Applications Partnership 2021-2022 Considerations for Measure Set Removal in Federal Programs: Final Report
Describes the Measure Set Review (MSR) process and the consideration of quality measures for potential removal from Medicare quality programs. Summarizes the National Quality Foundation (NQF) Coordinating Committee discussion and public input on selected hospital quality measures, including the impact of these measures on rural providers. Offers future considerations for the MSR process.
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Quality Forum
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Going to the Doctor: Rideshare as Nonemergency Medical Transportation
Discusses the role of rideshare-based non-emergency medical transportation (RB-NEMT) in serving the transportation needs across the country, including in rural areas. Details the different types of RB-NEMT services, such as door-to-door, curb-to-curb, hand-to-hand, and area-to-area. Breaks down the different groups that benefit from RB-NEMT by transportation limitations, age, and insurance type, among other factors. Discusses RB-NEMT's efficacy for rural areas, medical and logistical barriers, and makes policy recommendations.
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: RAND Corporation
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Statewide Age-Friendly Initiatives: An Environmental Scan
Policy brief examining statewide programs that support the health, independence, and well-being of elders as they age in place. Categorizes 33 initiatives in 22 states, distinguishing those that include specific rural focus, which are examined in greater detail in the additional policy brief.
Additional links: Examples of Statewide Age-Friendly Initiatives
Author(s): Jill Tanem, Carrie Henning-Smith, Megan Lahr
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
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State of Telehealth: Removing Barriers to Access and Improving Patient Outcomes
Presents a recording of an October 7, 2021, hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband. Examines the importance of access to telehealth services, telehealth utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on telehealth regulations, and the role of broadband access in the public health response. Features testimony from the American Academy of Family Physicians, Project ECHO, Avel eCare, and the Federal Communications Commission.
Additional links: American Academy of Family Physicians Testimony, Avel eCare Testimony, Federal Communications Commission Testimony, Project ECHO Testimony
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
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HHS Draft Strategic Plan, FY 2022 – 2026
Draft strategic plan identifying strategic goals and objectives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Includes information specific to meeting the needs of underserved communities, including rural and tribal communities. The Department is seeking public comment through November 7, 2021.
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Affordability and Availability: Expanding Broadband in the Black Rural South
Report examining broadband access in African American communities in the rural South, highlighting economic, healthcare, and educational opportunities that accompany broadband access. Discusses financial and policy barriers to broadband access in the Black rural South and offers policy recommendations to increase access.
Author(s): Dominique Harrison
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
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State Cross-Agency Collaboration During the COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Examines cross-agency approaches to COVID-19 response efforts in Illinois, Indiana, and Rhode Island. Identifies key themes, lessons, and best practices for other states to consider when preparing for future public health emergencies. Highlights efforts to serve rural populations.
Author(s): Elinor Higgins, Rebecca Cooper
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Academy for State Health Policy
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Nursing Homes & COVID-19
Provides information and resources for counties on federal guidance, policies, data, and local best practices relating to COVID-19 outbreaks and ongoing infection control measures in long-term care facilities. Includes interactive maps highlighting the overall number of nursing homes and county-supported facilities in each county. Highlights other key resources for addressing COVID-19 and vaccinations in nursing homes.
Date: 10/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Counties
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Provider Bridge
Connects healthcare professionals with state agencies and healthcare entities to increase access to care for patients in rural and underserved communities, and assists in mobilizing volunteer healthcare professionals during public health emergencies. Features COVID-19 resources including state-by-state telehealth information and links to help providers find answers to telehealth licensure questions.
Date: 10/2021
Type: Website
Sponsoring organization: Federation of State Medical Boards
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COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Hub
Resources and information to help counties plan for and equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Includes information on federal, state, county, city, and company vaccine mandates. Provides data on vaccines administered and vaccine hesitancy. Offers resources on the county role in vaccination, county examples, vaccine funding, and more.
Additional links: NACo Brief: Legislative Summary of CDC Playbook
Date: 10/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Counties
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