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Rural Health Policy – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Health Policy.

Supporting and Sustaining Rural Hospitals
Describes state and federal actions to support and safeguard rural hospitals. Discusses appropriated funding opportunities for struggling hospitals, Medicaid coverage and eligibility, alternative payment models, and technical assistance programs.
Author(s): Noah Cruz
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Conference of State Legislatures
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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2): Private Health Insurance, Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare Provisions
Provides an overview of the provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that relate to private health insurance, Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare. Includes information on provisions specific to rural providers.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act & Related Legislation and Administrative Action Impacting Rural Health
Provides an overview of legislation passed by Congress regarding COVID-19. Identifies provisions relevant to rural healthcare providers, including the Paycheck Protection Program, funding for public health and rural workforce programs, telehealth flexibilities, and more.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) Model Summary
Provides an overview of the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) model, a Medicare provider type established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Describes key features of the REH model and the REH payment methodology. Identifies considerations that must be addressed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state Medicaid programs, as well as areas that will require technical assistance.
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
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States Work to Support Rural Hospitals Despite Pandemic Challenges
Blog post highlighting state-level policies to address and prevent rural hospital closures. Discusses proposals in state legislatures regarding alternative payment methodologies and funding, service delivery models, and the recruitment and retention of a rural healthcare workforce.
Author(s): Beth Giambrone
Date: 04/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
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Determining Rural Communities: Current Changes and Updated Federal Program Eligibility
Provides an overview of the various definitions of rural used by the federal government. Discusses revisions to the eligibility for grant programs administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), as well as a proposal from the U.S. Census Bureau to reclassify certain counties as rural. Describes implications for FORHP funding programs.
Additional links: Presentation Slides
Date: 03/2021
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organizations: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
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MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy, 2021
Annual review of Medicare payment policies, with recommendations to Congress. Includes discussion on Medicare payment policies directly affecting rural providers and beneficiaries. Addresses payment adequacy for healthcare facilities and services, improving Medicare payment for post-acute care, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and the impact of healthcare provider consolidation. Contains information on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Medicare beneficiary healthcare access, mortality, and service use. Presents an option for Medicare's coverage of telehealth beyond the public health emergency.
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
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Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP, March 2021
Reports on five aspects of Medicaid: 1) improving Medicaid's responsiveness during economic downturns; 2) addressing concerns about high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality; 3) reexamining Medicaid's estate recovery policies; 4) integrating care for people who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare; and 5) improving hospital payment policy for the nation's safety-net hospitals. Chapter 5 examines the relationship between disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments to states and the number of uninsured individuals, the amounts and sources of hospitals' uncompensated care costs, and the amounts and sources of hospitals' uncompensated care costs. Table 5-1 details DSH spending for urban and rural hospitals and for Critical Access Hospitals.
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
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Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility and Enrollment Policies as of January 2021: Findings from a 50-State Survey
Provides a detailed overview of state policies related to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Covers policies related to eligibility, enrollment, and renewal. Includes information on state enrollment and renewal procedures during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Identifies state and federal policy considerations as states prepare to return to normal operations at the end of the public health emergency. Includes data tables on state Medicaid and CHIP policies.
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, Kaiser Family Foundation
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The Digital Divide: What Is It, Where Is It, and Federal Assistance Programs
Describes the availability of broadband internet access in the United States by state and across urban, rural, and tribal areas. Outlines federal programs to fund and support broadband infrastructure and deployment.
Date: 03/2021
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
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Last Updated: 5/11/2021