RHIhub This Week - October 14, 2020
by Kay Miller Temple, MD
Wondering about animal-to-human diseases? Or human medical conditions related to the environment? Federal experts join health educators to talk about how understanding a One Health approach for human, animal, and environmental health can be helpful for rural healthcare organizations.
Archived WebinarHIV Prevention and Treatment Challenges in Rural America from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services
In case you missed it: A recording of the webinar, HIV Prevention and Treatment Challenges in Rural America from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, is now available!
New in Our Online Library
Oct 14, 2020 -- Analyzes new cases of COVID-19 infections between October 4-10, 2020, includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties' case rates. Findings show 61 percent of rural counties are on the red-zone list, having 100 or more new cases per 100,000 population, setting a new record of infections in rural America.
Source: The Daily Yonder
'No Mercy' Chapter 3: Patchwork of Urgent Care Frays After a Rural Hospital Closes
Oct 13, 2020 -- Podcast covers what happens during a medical emergency in Fort Scott, Kansas, a rural town whose hospital shut down, leaving the community with little access to adequate healthcare. Residents of the town discuss what kind of healthcare is necessary to make up for the hospital closure, especially in the event of an emergency.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Bullish on Broadband: New Fiscal Year Means Replenished Grant Funds for Many Programs
Oct 8, 2020 -- Discusses grants available to support rural broadband and broadband-assisted education and telehealth programs as we enter the start of the new federal fiscal year. Provides an overview of the different types of grants and where to find them. See also, Part 2 of this story.
Source: The Daily Yonder
CMS Announces New Repayment Terms for Medicare Loans Made to Providers During COVID-19
Oct 8, 2020 -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Repayment will begin one year from the loan's issuance date, after which Medicare will automatically recoup 25 percent of Medicare payments for eleven months, and 50 percent for an additional six months.
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Federal RegisterEOP: Saving Lives Through Increased Support for Mental- and Behavioral-Health Needs
Oct 8, 2020 -- Executive Order from the Office of the President to create a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group to facilitate an "all-of-government" response to the mental-health conditions induced or exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues related to suicide prevention. This order also directs agencies to encourage current grantees to consider adopting policies that have been shown to improve mental health and reduce suicide risk and award contracts or grants to community organizations or other local entities to enhance mental-health and suicide-prevention services.
Source: Federal Register
Funds for organizations to provide technical assistance and/or training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Dec 31, 2020
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development, USDA Rural Utilities Service
Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals
Grants to develop and expand experiential training opportunities, such as field placements and internships, to improve the distribution and supply of the behavioral health workforce. The program emphasizes relationships with community-based partners to increase access to quality behavioral health services across the lifespan in high need and high demand areas. Special focus is placed on demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the specific concerns for children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth who are at risk for behavioral health disorders.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jan 21, 2021
Sponsors: Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program
Loan repayment for undergraduate and graduate health professional educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian Health Service programs.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Feb 15, 2021
Sponsors: Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Medicare Incentive Payments in Health Professional Shortage Areas
Medicare bonus payments to physicians in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Reports on adults' remembering to wash their hands in six situations: before eating at home; before eating at a restaurant; before preparing food at home; after using the bathroom at home; after using the bathroom in public; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose. Based on survey data from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (October 2019) and during the pandemic (June 2020). Includes data for metropolitan and nonmetro areas.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 69(40), 1443-1449
Community and Research Perspectives on Cancer Disparities in Wisconsin
Assesses cancer disparities in Wisconsin and discusses opportunities to address disparities through research and community partnerships. Includes county-level data on female breast and lung cancer mortality rates from 2008-2013 and 2012-2016 as well as cancer incidence rates from 2012-2016.
Author(s): Jessica Olson, Tobi Cawthra, Kirsten Beyer, et al.
Location: Preventing Chronic Disease, 17
Federal and State Policy Changes Since COVID-19
Video recording of a presentation on federal and state telehealth policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) policies related to geographic and site location for the patient, provider location and type, and telehealth delivery modality. Addresses common issues related to reimbursement and payment codes, Medicare billing guidance for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics, and notes post-COVID policy questions and issues. Transcript available by clicking the dots above the Subscribe tab, then selecting Open Transcript.
Sponsoring organizations: Centers for Connected Health Policy, Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center
How Growing Geographic and Racial Disparities Inhibit the Ability to Live Longer and Healthier Lives
Provides a national-level overview of geographic disparities in life expectancy at mid-adulthood, as well as changes to life expectancy between 1980 and 2014. Discusses gender, racial, and rural differences in life expectancy. Presents nine strategies to address the geographic disparities.
Sponsoring organization: AARP
Implementation of Flex EMS Supplemental Funding Projects: Year One Activities
Provides an overview of the first-year implementation efforts of the eight Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Supplemental funding grant recipients. Describes each grant project, the impact of COVID-19 and other challenges on project implementation, and factors that facilitated implementation. Includes recommendations for grantees.
Sponsoring organization: Flex Monitoring Team
Key Characteristics of COVID-19 Patients: Profiles Based on Analysis of Private Healthcare Claims
Analyzes private health insurance claims to describe key characteristics of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between January-May 2020. Characteristics explored include age, gender, rural versus urban area by age, venue of care where first diagnosed, venue of care by age, comorbidities of hospitalized patients, and median costs of hospitalization.
Sponsoring organization: FAIR Health
Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2019
Reports on the percentage of rural Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid enrollment plans by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan location, and variability by state.
Sponsoring organization: RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) 101 Guide for the 2020 Performance Year
Provides an overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track for clinicians participating in Medicare, one of two options under the Quality Payment Program. Details the 4 performance categories that are weighted as part of MIPS scoring: quality, cost, improvement activities, and promoting interoperability. Addresses calculation of the low-volume threshold exclusion, opt-in options, and the impact of special status designations such as rural and small practices.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS): Participating in the Improvement Activities Performance Category in the 2020 Performance Year
Provides details on how to participate in the performance improvement part of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), one of two payment options under the Medicare Quality Payment Program. Identifies differences for small practices and clinicians located in a rural or Health Professional Shortage Area.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Motor Vehicle Traffic Death Rates Among Adolescents and Young Adults Aged 15–24, by Urbanicity: United States, 2000–2018
Examines trends in motor vehicle traffic death rates among those age 15–24 compared to those 26 and older. For the 15-24 age group, includes death rate data by sex and urban-rural location. Also includes data by level of urbanicity for metropolitan, micropolitan, and noncore areas.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services Meeting Summary, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2-4, 2020
Summarizes the 87th meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS), which was held in Atlanta, Georgia. Presents an overview of national and state perspectives on the meeting's two areas of focus: rural maternal health and HIV prevention and treatment.
Sponsoring organization: National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Preservation Planning Toolkit
A resource to help any PPE-using organization plan and implement preservation strategies. Includes a guide with step-by-step instructions and a tool to enter and analyze PPE-related data.
Sponsoring organization: COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Task Force
Public Health in Indian Country Capacity Scan Report, 2019
Report details the state of public health programs across Indian Country. Draws data based on questionnaires sent to tribal health organizations with questions about workforce, resources, needs, and priorities. Highlights data on immunization, screening, prevention, and surveillance, among other public health activities.
Sponsoring organization: National Indian Health Board
Racial and Ethnic Minorities Made Up About 22 Percent of the Rural Population in 2018, Compared to 43 Percent in Urban Areas
Side-by-side pie charts comparing the race and ethnicity makeup of the rural population and urban population in 2018. Provides data on the percent of each population that is White, Black, American Indian, Hispanic, and other.
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
Rural Success: Pembina County Memorial Hospital, ND
Describes the quality improvement efforts of Pembina County Memorial Hospital (PCMH), a Critical Access Hospital in Pembina, North Dakota. Discusses PCMH's use of patient experience data, communication regarding emergency department transfers, and antibiotic stewardship efforts.
Sponsoring organization: Stratis Health
Rural Transit Fact Book 2020
Features national, state, and county-level information on rural transit in the United States. Includes rural and urban comparisons on demographics and transportation. Provides information for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. Includes a section on tribal transit.
Sponsoring organization: Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
Rural-Urban Differences in Hospital Payer Mix in 2017
Fact sheet reporting payer mix, which refers to the percentage of inpatient days paid by Medicare and Medicaid, by hospital location and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) status. Highlights key observations on data drawn from the 2017 American Hospital Association annual survey.
Sponsoring organization: Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Rural/Urban Differences in Children's Health
Examines differences in child health conditions by rural and urban residency. Explores differences in mental and behavioral health, weight status and physical activity, adverse childhood experiences, and access to healthcare.
Sponsoring organization: Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Supporting American Indian & Alaskan Native Communities Combating COVID-19
Reports on a virtual roundtable panel on health disparities related to COVID-19 facing American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Discusses the Indian Health Service response to the pandemic and gaps in pandemic-related services, including telehealth access, underfunded and understaffed healthcare facilities, data quality and information access, cultural literacy, and behavioral health needs. Addresses social determinants of health for Native populations, citing data from research studies and quoting roundtable panelists.
Sponsoring organization: eHealth Initiative
Tele‐ICUs for COVID‐19: A Look at National Prevalence and Characteristics of Hospitals Providing Teleintensive Care
Discusses a study on the prevalence of intensive care unit telemedicine (tele-ICUs) in hospitals across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Compares hospitals by region, ICU beds, and emergency visits, among other measures.
Author(s): Dunc Williams Jr., John Lawrence, Young-Rock Hong, Aaron Winn
Location: Journal of Rural Health
VA Video Connect for Clinical Care in Older Adults in a Rural State During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Study
Highlights a study on the ability of older veterans to use the VA Video Connect (VVC) app for telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Breaks down data by race, age, and rural versus urban location, among other factors.
Author(s): Kalpana P Padala, Kerrie B Wilson, Heath Gauss, Jessica D Stovall, et al.
Location: Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(9), e21561
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