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The Rural Monitor

Staving Off One's Mortality: Rural Kidney Health and Its Disparities

June 15, 2022
For the 240,000 rural Americans with complete kidney failure, it's likely that very few knew they even had kidney disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kidney disease is usually silent; 90% of people with kidney disease don't know they have it. With research pointing to the high costs of kidney disease for pediatric and adult patients alike — mostly covered by Medicare — experts and researchers discuss rural disparities around access to disease-stabilizing treatment and to renal replacement therapies.

RESEP Clinics Help Rural Residents Access Care and Compensation After Radiation Exposure

June 1, 2022
Nuclear weapons testing from 1945 to 1962 and uranium mining from 1943 to 1971 exposed workers and community members living near the mines or testing sites to harmful levels of radiation that can lead to cancer and other illnesses. Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program (RESEP) grants help healthcare organizations provide screenings, referrals for medical treatment, and other services to this population. Two grantees, the Navajo Area RESEP and the Southwestern Utah RESEP, share their stories.

Let's Get a Good Deal on Health Care

May 18, 2022
Dr. Clint MacKinney explains the challenges rural hospitals face with current payment systems and the potential that value-based payment holds for meeting rural communities' needs.

The Codes of Care: How Words and Numbers Have Transformative Power for Rural Healthcare

April 13, 2022
The greatest opportunity to tell the rural healthcare delivery story is an opportunity often missed — and that opportunity involves translating clinical documentation into medical codes. In addition to describing how the story and quality of clinical care gets translated from words into alphanumeric numbers, medical coding experts also pointed to aligned efforts to familiarize those in graduate medical education settings with the impact of their clinical documentation.

Parent Partners Provide Mentoring and Support in Rural Iowa

March 23, 2022
Parent Partners is a statewide program in Iowa that pairs families whose children have been removed from the home with mentors with shared experience who have successfully navigated the state's Department of Human Services (DHS) system. These mentors coach, advocate, and connect their clients with community resources.

From Idea to Reality: Federal Funding Supports Quapaw Nation's Community Paramedicine Program

February 16, 2022
By leveraging federal COVID-related funding, the Quapaw Nation now serves its local residents with a new community paramedicine program. Current program data indicates that it's bringing significant cost savings, along with valuable information for future local healthcare delivery decision-making. Most importantly, the program is also proving to be widely acceptable to community members.

A New Era of Health Literacy? Expanded Definitions, Digital Influences, and Rural Inequities

February 2, 2022
The priority for rural population health is access, including access to health information needed to make personal health decisions. Two of the nation's health literacy experts join a federal agency official to review current rural challenges of accessing health information that is clear and usable. Along with an exploration of digital health literacy, recently expanded definitions of health literacy are discussed.

“It's the relationships”: Q&A with Peggy Broussard Wheeler

January 19, 2022
Peggy Broussard Wheeler, Vice President of Policy at the California Hospital Association, discusses the challenges that the hospitals in her state and nationwide have faced before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also shares rural hospitals' unique strengths and the importance of collaboration and relationships.