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RHIhub This Week - April 21, 2021

Updated RHIhub Topic Guide

US capital building Rural Health Policy
This recently updated topic guide provides an overview of the rural health policymaking process, relevant issues, and the roles that different groups play in formulating rural health policy.

Models and Innovations

Avita Health System Comprehensive Cardiology Program: STEMI team Avita Health System Comprehensive Cardiology Program
Looking to improve cardiovascular population health of its service area, Ohio's Avita Health System invested in a full-service interventional cardiology program.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

HRSA Awards over $12.7 Million to Programs Enhancing Health Care Delivery to Rural Underserved Populations
Apr 20, 2021 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $12.7 million in funding to 61 recipients serving rural communities across 35 states as part of its community-based Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program (Outreach Program). Funding will support the Healthy Rural Hometown Initiative (HRHI) to address rural health disparities related to heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration

Snag a Vaccine Appointment, Then Face the Next Hurdle: How to Get There?
Apr 19, 2021 -- Discusses challenges that both urban and rural residents face getting to COVID-19 vaccination appointments, such as lack of public transportation or local vaccine availability. Highlights efforts in Colorado, Ohio, and Texas to help accommodate those who need transportation for their appointments.
Source: Kaiser Health News

Attracting Doctors to Rural Colorado Is a Big Problem. This CU Anschutz Researcher Has a Few Ideas to Fix That
Apr 15, 2021 -- Addresses the nationwide shortage of primary care doctors, especially in rural areas where it can be difficult to recruit and retain healthcare workers. Features Mark Deutchman, physician and director of the Rural Track Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, who discusses challenges to recruitment and how the program encourages medical students to work in rural primary care.
Source: Colorado Public Radio

FCC Announces Round 2 COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application Portal Will Open on April 29
Apr 15, 2021 -- The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau announced they will accept applications for the second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program between April 29-May 6, 2021. Round two includes almost $250 million to support the utilization of telehealth services during the pandemic.
Source: Federal Communications Commission

RHC Grandfathering Fix Signed into Law
Apr 15, 2021 -- Summarizes the impact of H.R. 1868 on Rural Health Clinics. Includes a link to the full text of the legislation which was signed by President Biden on April 14, 2021.
Source: National Association of Rural Health Clinics

Funding & Opportunities

Rural PREP Microresearch Grants
Funding for locally generated and implemented, community-based research projects leading to local solutions to problems in underserved rural communities in the areas of healthcare, population health, and workforce training.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 10, 2021
Sponsors: RTT Collaborative, Rural PREP


Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Competitive Grant: Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS
Funding to create and implement new projects that align with initiatives aimed at ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic using housing as an intervention in ending the epidemic. HUD is looking to fund innovative projects including community-level coordination, data collection with emphasis on stable housing and positive health outcomes, culturally competent approaches to providing housing and services, and a systemic approach to advance equity in underserved communities that can serve as a national place-based model.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jul 6, 2021
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Telehealth in Cancer Care
Notice of Special Interest for research on the use of telehealth in cancer-related care, with a focus on populations that experience inequities in access to care and have worse cancer outcomes compared to the general population.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Application Deadline: Mar 8, 2024
Sponsors: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


New Markets Tax Credits Preparation Program
Technical and financial assistance for Federally Qualified Health Centers that are seeking or considering seeking New Markets Tax Credit financing.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Community Health Center Capital Fund


Project Talk Initiative Host Site Applications
Partnerships with community-based organization host sites to evaluate the impact of several approaches to promote advance care planning in underserved populations including those from ethnic and racial minority backgrounds, rural communities and low-income areas. Host sites will be provided tools and trained in facilitating community conversations.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsors: Hospice Foundation of America, National Institutes of Health, Penn State College of Medicine, University of Kentucky


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneering Ideas Brief Proposals
Grants for innovative projects that are working to build a culture of health, ensuring that everyone has access to the care they need and all families have the opportunity to make healthier choices.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

New Resources

Changes in Provision of Selected Services by Rural and Urban Hospitals between 2009 and 2017
Examines the increase in number of rural hospitals that have closed or converted to a model eliminating inpatient care, as well as rural hospitals that have reduced or terminated historically essential services including obstetrics, surgery, long-term care, home health, and oncology. Features statistics on the number of hospitals offering various types of healthcare services in 2009 and in 2017, with breakdowns by urban and rural location.
Sponsoring organization: North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
Date: 04/2021


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.
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
Date: 04/2021


COVID and the Impact of Community Health Centers on Rural America
Webinar recording of a discussion with Members of Congress from Texas and Vermont about the responses of rural Community Health Centers to the COVID-19 pandemic. Covers the role of Community Health Centers in rural healthcare and adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide testing, telehealth, and vaccination.
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Community Health Centers
Date: 03/2021


COVID-19 Vaccination Training and Education Resources
Information and resources for COVID-19 vaccination providers. Includes training programs and modules, reference materials, webinars for vaccinators. Also includes resources to help educate vaccine recipients.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 03/2021


Escalating Alcohol-Involved Death Rates: Trends and Variation across the Nation and in the States from 2006 to 2019
Examines alcohol-involved deaths by state and at the national level, discussing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vital statistics data. Explores death rate changes, trends, and variation, comparing state rates to U.S. rates and comparing rates across demographic and age groups, by sex, and by urban/rural location. Offers a map with links to infographics for each state.
Additional links: Issue Brief
Sponsoring organization: State Health Access Data Assistance Center
Date: 04/2021


How ACL's Disability and Aging Network is Advancing Vaccination Efforts
Provides an overview of the Administration for Community Living (ACL) grant programs for people with disabilities and older adults. Describes examples of vaccine-related activities for each program that can support COVID-19 vaccine access.
Sponsoring organization: Administration for Community Living
Date: 04/2021


The Impact of COVID-19 on Title VI Native American Aging Programs and Services
Infographic summarizing results of a survey of Title VI Native American aging program directors on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their programs and communities. Provides information on the needs of Native American elders during the pandemic, expanded or new services offered by Title VI programs, and workforce concerns.
Sponsoring organizations: Miami University Scripps Gerontology Center, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Date: 2021


Influenza Vaccination in the Past 12 Months Among Children Aged 6 Months–17 Years: United States, 2019
Presents data on influenza vaccination for children aged 6 months to 17 years using 2019 National Health Interview Survey data. Compares vaccination rates by age for Black, White, and Hispanic-origin children, also comparing levels of urbanization and regional vaccination rates.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
Date: 04/2021


Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS): Eligibility and Participation in the 2021 Performance Year - Traditional MIPS
Provides an overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligibility criteria. Addresses calculation of the low-volume threshold exclusion at the individual and group levels, opt-in and voluntary reporting options, and the impact of special status designations such as rural and small practices.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 01/2021


Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS): Participating in the Improvement Activities Performance Category in the 2021 Performance Year - Traditional MIPS
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
Date: 04/2021


Oversight Hearing "Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Health Systems One Year Later"
Recording of an oversight hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs evaluates the response of native healthcare systems to the COVID-19 one year into the pandemic. Features testimonies by representatives of the Indian Health Service, the National Indian Health Board, the National Council of Urban Indian Health, the Papa Ola Lōkahi organization, and the Alaska Native Medical Center.
Additional links: Michael Toedt Testimony, Robert Onders Testimony, Sheri-Ann Daniels Testimony, Walter Murillo Testimony, William Smith Testimony
Sponsoring organization: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Date: 04/2021


Promising Flex Program Initiatives to Support Critical Access Hospitals during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Reports on promising State Flex Program (SFP) strategies to support Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and address priority needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights initiatives implemented by SFPs in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. Discusses strategies regarding support for frontline staff, staff communication, communication to rural communities, clinical and service improvement, and CAH and Rural Health Clinic financial performance. Discusses ongoing considerations and concerns.
Sponsoring organization: Flex Monitoring Team
Date: 04/2021


Racial/Ethnic Heterogeneity and Rural-Urban Disparity of COVID-19 Case Fatality Ratio in the USA: a Negative Binomial and GIS-Based Analysis
Examines racial heterogeneity in COVID-19 case fatality ratio, using data from January-December 2020. Features statistics with breakdowns by urban, completely rural, and mostly rural locations.
Author(s): Ayodeji E. Iyanda, Kwadwo A. Boakye, Yongmei Lu, Joseph R. Oppong
Location: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 26, 1-14
Date: 02/2021


A Roadmap to Develop Sharing Initiatives in Public Health
A guidebook to help local and county governments learn how they might share public health services regionally for more effective and efficient operations. The guide is based on a national public health learning community that includes rural public health organizations.
Additional links: Expedited Version
Sponsoring organization: Center for Sharing Public Health Services
Date: 04/2021


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.
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
Date: 04/2021


State Innovation Model (SIM) Summative Evaluation Report: Activities and Goal Evaluation Award Year 2-4 (AY2-4)
Summarizes the process and implementation activities of the State Innovation Model (SIM) test grant program in Iowa during award years 2 through 4, which spanned November 2016 through April 2019. SIM test awards are administered by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center and allow states to implement and test strategies for health system transformation that meet the specific needs of residents of each state. Describes the process evaluation of SIM implementation activities and results of the 2016 and 2018 statewide evaluation surveys. Presents data on outcome measures regarding access and cost of care, diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use.
Sponsoring organization: University of Iowa Public Policy Center
Date: 08/2020


Strategies for Helping Older Adults and People with Disabilities Access COVID-19 Vaccines
Offers examples and promising practices for states, municipalities, community-based organizations, and others working to ensure that older adults and people with disabilities can receive COVID-19 vaccines. Discusses outreach and education, facilitating vaccine appointments, vaccine site accessibility and accommodations, and mobile vaccination programs.
Sponsoring organization: Administration for Community Living
Date: 04/2021


Telemedicine Increases Access to Buprenorphine Initiation During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Discusses the expanded access to buprenorphine prescription through telemedicine during COVID-19, comparing the experiences of two harm reduction primary care programs in a rural and urban region of New York. Discusses reduced barriers to treatment, particularly delays due to in-person evaluation requirements before to the pandemic, and innovations to opioid use disorder treatment made possible through telehealth.
Author(s): Linda Wang, Jeffrey Weiss, Elizabeth Bogel Ryan, et al.
Location: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 124, 108272
Date: 05/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Submit a Workshop: 2021 Annual National Association of Community Health Centers Financial, Operations Management/IT Conference
Deadline: May 14, 2021
National Association of Community Health Centers
Event Dates: Oct 19 - 20, 2021
Las Vegas, NV
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

Apr
21
Making It Plain: Addressing COVID-19 in Rural Communities
Time: 7:00 - 8:45 p.m. Eastern
American Hospital Association, Black Coalition Against COVID-19 (BCAC)
Apr
21
White House Tribal COVID-19 Update
Time: 4:30 p.m. Eastern
White House COVID Response Team
Apr
21
White House Virtual Forum on Breaking Down Barriers for People Who Have Challenges Accessing COVID-19 Vaccination
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House COVID-19 Response Team
dhddodrequests@cdc.gov
Apr
22
Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program Enhanced Tribal Benefit Webinar for Tribal Partners
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Central
Federal Communications Commission, Universal Service Administrative Company
TribalLiaison@usac.org
Apr
22
NCTRC Webinar - Federation of State Medical Boards: Provider Bridge
Northeast Telehealth Resource Center
Apr
22
Rural Health Open Door Forum
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Call-in: 1.888.455.1397
Passcode: 8604468
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
RuralHealthODF@cms.hhs.gov
Apr
23
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Emergency Meeting - Virtual
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Theme: Discuss Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine
Apr
26
CDC COVID-19 Partner Update: Keeping up With Critical Diabetes Care and Prevention During COVID-19
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Apr
27
Addressing Your COVID-19 Vaccine Concerns
Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Apr
28
Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Office Hours
Time: 12:00 p.m. Arizona
Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Telemedicine Program, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
Apr
28
Billing and Reimbursement for Mental Health Services in Rural Health Clinics
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central
Healthcare Business Specialists, North American Healthcare Management Services, Rural Behavioral Health Initiative for Children, Youth, and Families
423.243.6185
marklynnrhc@gmail.com
Apr
28
Long-Term Services and Supports: The Native Aging in Place Project: Building Sustainable LTSS Capacity in Your Tribal Community
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Apr
28
Protecting Children's Environmental Health During COVID-19: Supporting Child Care Programs
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Apr
30
COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Meeting
Time: 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. Eastern
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
240.453.6160
COVID19HETF@hhs.gov
Apr
30
Introduction to the Rural Health Clinic Program
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
Healthcare Business Specialists
423.243.6185
marklynnrhc@gmail.com
Apr
30
IRHA Lunch & Learn: The Rural Advantage - Medicare Shared Savings For RHCs and FQHCs
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Indiana Rural Health Association
aorwig@indianarha.org
Apr
30
Physician Practices Workshop: Completing The Claim
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center
Apr
30
Questions About Telehealth Basics Or Telemental Health?
Time: 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
May
4-7
2021 44th Annual NRHA Rural Health Conference - VIRTUAL
National Rural Health Association
816.756.3140 ext. 12
siress@NRHArural.org
RHIhub staff will be exhibiting
May
4-7
2021 6th Rural Hospital Innovation Summit - VIRTUAL
National Rural Health Association
816.756.3140 ext.12
siress@NRHArural.org
May
5
Medicaid For Telehealth
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center
May
5
Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Cost Report and Provider Relief Funds Update
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
Healthcare Business Specialists
423.243.6185
marklynnrhc@gmail.com
May
13
Preparing for the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Certification and Recertification Survey
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
Healthcare Business Specialists
423.243.6185
marklynnrhc@gmail.com
May
13
RHC, FQHC Workshop On Completing The Claim
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Pacific
Heartland Telehealth Resource Center
May
13
Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series 2 of 4: Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder - Connecting Faith to Prevention
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Email MBX.ONDCP.RuralAffairs@ondcp.eop.gov to register for the event.
Office of National Drug Control Policy
MBX.ONDCP.RuralAffairs@ondcp.eop.gov
May
19
Appalachian Communities Opioid Response Summit
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Appalachian Communities Opioid Response
May
19
Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Office Hours
Time: 12:00 p.m. Arizona
Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Telemedicine Program, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
May
20
Health Network: A Care Coordination Program for Mobile Patients
Time: 10:00 a.m. Pacific
Migrant Clinicians Network
May
20
NYSARH/NERHA Webinar: Community Health Worker – Navigator Program
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
New England Rural Health Association, New York State Association for Rural Health
May
21
2021 Annual Tennessee Hospital Association Small and Rural Hospital Conference - VIRTUAL
Tennessee Hospital Association
May
21
Assessment of Opioid Misuse Risk Among Farmers in the Clinical Setting
AgriSafe Network
nroy@agrisafe.org
May
21
Paying Family Caregivers through Medicaid Consumer-Directed Programs – State Opportunities and Innovations
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
National Academy for State Health Policy
May
24
Developing a Telemedicine Program - VIRTUAL
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Mountain
Arizona Telemedicine Program, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
15206266103
mesher@telemedicine.arizona.edu
May
25-27
2021 Annual WPHA - WALHDAB Public Health Conference - VIRTUAL
Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards, Wisconsin Public Health Association
920.750.7724
wpha@badgerbay.co
May
26
2021 Native Perspectives Virtual Speaker Series: No More Lost Sisters! Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Central
University of Oklahoma, American Indian Institute
nbarbee@ou.edu
May
28
Telehealth 101: Intro and Q&A
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central
South Central Telehealth Resource Center
Jun
1
2021 Healthy Grants Workshop
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Health Resources and Services Administration
HRSAGrantsWorkshop@hrsa.gov
Jun
1-25
2021 52nd Annual Emergency Care and Trauma Symposium - VIRTUAL
Time: June 1, 7, 15, and 21 4:30 - 8:00 p.m. and June 4, 10, 18, and 25 8:00 - 11:30 a.m. Central
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison Health
sdimarco@uwhealth.org
Jun
1-29
ATA2021 Annual Conference and Expo - VIRTUAL
Virtual sessions available every Tuesday/Thursday.
ATA
events@americantelemed.org
Jun
2
Arizona Broadband Workshop Session #4: Federal Resources and Local Support for Broadband
Arizona Commerce Authority
Jun
2-4
2021 35th Annual Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health - VIRTUAL
University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health
701.777.5380
kylie.nissen@und.edu
Jun
3
2021 Annual Wisconsin Rural Health Conference - VIRTUAL
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Central
Wisconsin Hospital Association

Tell Us How RHIhub Has Impacted You

The Rural Health Information Hub is seeking your comments on how our services have helped you in your efforts to improve healthcare and population health in rural communities. Have the RHIhub services helped you to stay informed, get a grant, find the proper federal agency contact or other expert, or otherwise changed your life?

Please send an email telling how RHIhub has impacted you to kristine@ruralhealthinfo.org. Your stories may be used in testimony, budget documents and presentations concerning the Rural Health Information Hub.