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Rural Health Information Hub

Healthcare Access in Rural Communities – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Aug 16, 2022 - 4-part news series highlighting maternal health disparities impacting rural communities of color. Articles cover maternal health deserts encompassing rural Black communities, access and equity issues for Native American women, and historic inequities and mistreatment of women of color in maternal healthcare.
Source: USA Today via Yahoo! News
Aug 15, 2022 - Highlights research from a Montana sociologist that investigates maternal healthcare access in the state, finding that about half of Montana counties are maternity care deserts or lack a hospital obstetrics unit. Notes disparities in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity for Native American mothers, and describes solutions that aim to increase access through telehealth-based training.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Aug 11, 2022 - Executive Order from the Office of the President to further protect and secure healthcare service delivery and promote access to critical reproductive healthcare services for women, following the original Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services Executive Order, published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2022.
Source: Federal Register
Aug 11, 2022 - Presents new data from the Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) Program within the U.S. Census Bureau, finding a significant decrease in the rate of Americans under age 65 without health insurance in 251 counties, while that number increased in 148 counties. Offers a map that tracks the change in insurance coverage and highlights other SAHIE data points.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Aug 5, 2022 - Describes the maternal health and childbirth-related challenges facing rural communities in Nebraska, highlighting a family that experienced a roadside birth when they could not reach the nearest hospital for delivery. Notes that the state has lost 6 birthing units in rural hospitals that were already 35 miles away from another hospital since 2017, as well as an increase in primary care shortage areas.
Source: Flatwater Free Press
Jul 26, 2022 - Describes the Maternity Care Action Plan launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve maternal health outcomes and reduce pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum health inequities. Offers an invitation for maternal health industry stakeholders to propose commitments, and outlines the new "Birthing-Friendly" hospital designation proposed by CMS.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Jul 19, 2022 - Announces $49 million in funding awarded to organizations that serve uninsured children, parents, and families, with grantees including state and local governments, tribal organizations, safety net organizations, nonprofit organizations, and schools. Describes the funding program's 3-year track and its goals to expand Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment and retention.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jul 19, 2022 - Discusses health challenges and disparities for people in the Appalachian region. Highlights the efforts of regional organizations to address disparities through cancer care, partnerships with rural providers, and working with pharmacists to support patient education and counseling.
Source: Pharmacy Times
Jul 15, 2022 - Highlights the work of rural nurse midwives to support prenatal care access in Iowa, noting issues for one pregnant woman related to reliable transportation to the remaining open birthing unit in her area and the impact of transportation on her delivery options. Describes a pilot project through the University of Iowa that utilizes a midwife team, serving more than 500 patients in the surrounding rural area.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Jul 13, 2022 - Executive Order from the Office of the President to protect healthcare service delivery and promote access to critical reproductive healthcare services. This order directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a report identifying potential actions to protect and expand access to abortion care and the full range of reproductive healthcare services, ways to increase outreach and education about access to reproductive healthcare services, and steps to ensure that all patients receive the full protections for emergency medical care afforded under the law. Among other things, this order also directs the Secretary of HHS and the Director of the Gender Policy Council shall establish an Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access to identify and coordinate activities to protect and strengthen access to essential reproductive healthcare services.
Source: Federal Register

Last Updated: 8/16/2022