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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Specialty care

The Role of Comorbidities, Medications, and Social Determinants of Health in Understanding Urban-Rural Outcome Differences among Patients with Heart Failure
Analyzes health outcomes for patients with heart failure and mitigating factors such as comorbidities, guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT), and social determinants of health (SDOH) in rural versus urban areas. Utilizes data from Medicare beneficiaries who had a heart failure hospitalization between 2008 to 2017 to observe mortality rates within 30 days or 1 year, hospital readmission rates, and emergency room (ER) admissions. Discusses health outcome disparities that correlate to patient location.
Author(s): Emily P. Zeitler, Joanna Joly, Christopher G. Leggett, et al.
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 40(2), 386-393
Date: 2024
Type: Document
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The Breast-Imaging Operations, Practices and Systems Inventory: A Framework to Examine Mammography Facility Effects on Screening in Rural Communities
Examines how mammogram facility resources, policies, and practices in metro versus nonmetro Appalachia are related to breast cancer burden and outcomes. Analyzes survey data from 192 sites to observe catchment area mammography services such as levels of staffing and available technology, practices and policies that promote screening, and quality review processes.
Author(s): Roger T. Anderson, Marianne M. Hillemeier, Fabian T. Camacho, et al.
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 40(2), 282-291
Date: 2024
Type: Document
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December 2023 MedPAC Meeting Transcript
Transcript from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) December 2023 meeting. Covers payment adequacy and updates for physician and other health professional services, hospital inpatient and outpatient services, hospice services, outpatient dialysis services, ambulatory surgical center services, skilled nursing facilities, skilled nursing facility services, home health services, and inpatient rehabilitation facility services. Includes rural references throughout.
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Differences in Buprenorphine Prescribing Readiness Among Primary Care Professionals With and Without X-Waiver Training in the US
Examines readiness of primary care providers (PCPs) to prescribe buprenorphine to patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). Analyzes PCP knowledge of and confidence in buprenorphine, attitudes toward patients with OUD, and stress and/or empathy toward patients with OUD. Utilizes survey data from 403 PCPs in Ohio and discusses the challenges of addressing OUD in rural contexts.
Author(s): Berkeley Franz, Lindsay Y. Dhanani, O. Trent Hall, et al.
Citation: Harm Reduction Journal, 20, 180
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
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VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Improve Information Reported on Mobile Medical Units
Describes how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) utilizes mobile medical units to provide primary and specialty medical care to veterans in communities with veteran populations too small to support local facilities and in areas with limited access to specialty care, including rural areas. Examines VA's annual reports to Congress between 2018 and 2023 about mobile medical units' operations and performance. Offers recommendations to the VA to improve the reliability of the data and contextual information reported to Congress on mobile medical units.
Additional links: Full Report
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
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National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease: 2023 Update
Action plan outlining 6 goals for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address the challenges facing people with Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) and their families and to minimize the burden of AD/ADRD. Includes action items related to AD/ADRD treatment and care quality, public awareness and engagement, data tracking, and collaboration to support underserved populations, including rural and tribal communities.
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Veterans With Blood Cancers: Clinical Trial Navigation and the Challenge of Rurality
Presents a study on the geographic barriers to accessing cancer trials faced by rural veterans. Explored the availability of cancer trials based on rurality and highlights clinical trial deserts. Breaks down demographic data by race, gender, cancer type, and rurality, among other measures.
Author(s): Daphne R. Friedman, Thomas D. Rodgers, Courtney Kovalick, et al.
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 40(1), 114-120
Date: 12/2023
Type: Document
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The Role of Department of Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinics in Enhancing Rural Access to Geriatrics Telemedicine Specialty Care
Presents a study on the barriers and facilitators for using geriatric telemedicine through community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) to provide specialty care to older rural veterans. Bases finding on interviews with clinicians and staff from 13 rural CBOCs and makes recommendations.
Author(s): Camilla B. Pimentel, Eileen M. Dryden, Kathryn A. Nearing, et al.
Citation: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 72(2), 520-528
Date: 11/2023
Type: Document
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Study Protocol: Maintaining Preventive Care During Public Health Emergencies Through Effective Coordination
Presents a qualitative study protocol that examines screening rates at VA medical centers during COVID-19 to determine strategies that provide continued care during public health emergencies. Discusses selection of sites, which will be based on rurality, COVID-19 patient caseload, and performance related to cancer and mental health screenings. Highlights the importance of care coordination teams in regard to specialty care.
Author(s): Sylvia J. Hysong, Traber Davis Giardina, Jennifer Freytag, et al.
Citation: Implementation Science Communications, 4, 150
Date: 11/2023
Type: Document
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Ensuring Medicare Beneficiary Access: A Path to Telehealth Permanency
Recording of a November 14, 2023, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Health Care hearing on the role of telehealth in improving access to care and the potential to make COVID-19 Medicare flexibilities permanent. Features testimony from Nicki Perisho, Principal Investigator and Program Director for the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center, and Eric Wallace, Medical Director for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System Telehealth Program.
Additional links: Eric Wallace, UAB Health System Telehealth Program - Testimony, Nicki Perisho, Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center - Testimony
Date: 11/2023
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Health Care
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