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Rural Health Policy – Resources

Selected recent or important resources focusing on Rural Health Policy.

CMS Framework for Advancing Health Care in Rural, Tribal, and Geographically Isolated Communities
Report outlines the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) plan for improving health equity and health outcomes across the U.S. for rural, tribal, and geographically isolated communities. Details a 6 priority framework emphasizing the application of a community-informed geographic lens; the collection and use of standardized data; support for healthcare professionals; the optimization of medical and communication technology; the expansion of access to comprehensive healthcare coverage, benefits, and services and supports; and innovation and value-based care. Highlights examples of activities CMS is undertaking in support of each priority and recent CMS efforts that align with each priority.
Date: 11/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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Landscape of Area-Level Deprivation Measures and Other Approaches to Account for Social Risk and Social Determinants of Health in Health Care Payments
Examines social determinants of health (SDOH) at the community level and their impact on health-related social needs (HRSNs) of the individual. Discusses how policies related to federal payment systems can incentivize screening for HRSNs as well as referrals to appropriate social and behavioral services. Provides an environmental scan of what measures can be used to provide accountability for funding and policy efforts targeted at SDOH. Includes an appendix that defines and describes indices of social risk, such as the social vulnerability index (SVI) and area deprivation index (ADI), as well as payment models that include measures of social risk.
Author(s): Joshua Breslau, Laurie Martin, Justin Timbie, Nabeel Qureshi, Deborah Zajdman
Date: 09/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organizations: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, RAND Corporation
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Behavioral Health Equity for All Communities: Policy Solutions to Advance Equity Across the Crisis Continuum
Identifies overarching strategies to enhance cultural responsiveness and promote equity in behavioral health services across the crisis continuum of care. Discusses how inadequate access to high-quality and culturally responsive behavioral health care has a direct effect on both the frequency and the outcomes of behavioral health emergencies. Describes levers states can use to advance culturally responsive care, including how rural partnerships can ensure that equity strategies will serve the community effectively.
Date: 08/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Governors Association
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How Increased Funding Can Advance the Mission of the Indian Health Service to Improve Health Outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Provides an overview of health and healthcare disparities experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. Describes the role of the federal government in financing and providing healthcare services to these populations. Discusses how enhanced funding could help further the Indian Health Service's mission to ensure that tribal communities have access to high-quality healthcare services.
Date: 07/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
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ARPA Impact Report: An Analysis of How Counties are Addressing National Issues with Local Investments
Describes how counties are investing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to strengthen the workforce, address behavioral health needs, reinforce public health preparedness, improve housing access, ensure access to clean water, and build prosperous communities. Includes examples from rural counties throughout.
Date: 07/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Counties
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Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration in Rural Health Facilities: Policy Brief and Recommendations to the Secretary
Provides an overview of the prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders in rural areas. Discusses the role of rural primary care providers in treating these conditions. Outlines federal programs and resources to support behavioral health and primary care integration. Offers policy recommendations related to access to care; workforce recruitment and retention; telehealth, technology, and broadband; and reimbursement and sustainable revenue.
Date: 06/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services
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Rx for the Rural Healthcare Workforce and Access to Care
Podcast with Tom Morris of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy about trends related to the rural healthcare workforce and efforts to overcome challenges. Discusses the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, rural hospital closures, telehealth, graduate medical education in rural areas, community health workers and community paramedics, funding opportunities to promote healthcare access in rural areas, the opioid crisis, and more.
Author(s): Jessica Nicholson
Date: 05/2022
Type: Audio
Sponsoring organization: The Conference Board
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Advancing Rural Maternal Health Equity
Summarizes the activities implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health between June 2019 and November 2021 as part of its Rural Maternal Health Initiative. Outlines next steps to address rural maternal health disparities. Includes potential solutions for rural providers and stakeholders from the Rural Obstetric Readiness Workgroup.
Date: 05/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
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ARPA's Enhanced Premium Subsidies Provide Particularly Large Benefits to Residents of Rural Areas
Compares the differences between average Marketplace benchmark monthly premiums in urban and rural areas in each state in 2022. Discusses the impact of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded premium subsidies in rural areas.
Author(s): John Holahan, Erik Wengle, Claire O'Brien
Date: 05/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Urban Institute
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The Impact of COVID-19 on the Rural Health Care Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities
Presents an overview of key findings from interviews with stakeholders in eight states - Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming - regarding the rural healthcare landscape. Discusses rural hospital financial health, rural hospital transformation models, challenges facing the rural healthcare workforce, and the role of telehealth in increasing access to care. Provides recommendations aimed at further advancing the use of virtual care in all communities, including rural and frontier areas, beyond the temporary federal COVID-19 public health emergency flexibilities.
Author(s): Sabah Bhatnagar, Julia Harris, Tara Hartnett, et al.
Date: 05/2022
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Bipartisan Policy Center
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Additional resources are available related to this guide. See the full list of resources by topic for:


Last Updated: 6/7/2024