Introduction – Spring 2012

Health care workforce has been an ongoing issue in rural areas. But the implementation of health care reform, with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will bring a renewed emphasis on primary care and preventative care, and will make workforce recruitment even more important in rural areas.

This year, ARRA’s first paperwork reduction regulation will become effective on October 1st. The new law requires healthcare providers to begin adopting standardized billing and the electronic exchange of health information, in an effort to cut costs and improve the quality of care. Its implementation will require IT staff capable of helping run the new systems.

In this issue, we look at ways rural communities are working to actively recruit primary care providers and to train and establish HIT staff.


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