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RHIhub This Week - September 8, 2021

Updated RHIhub Topic Guide

US Map of CAHs Critical Access Hospitals
We've updated our topic guide on Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to include two new FAQs on 340B eligibility and Rural Emergency Hospitals. There is also updated info on reimbursement, eligibility, funding, legislation, and more. Check it out!

Help Wanted

Join our team Do you have a passion for rural health? RHIhub is looking to hire an Outreach Specialist, applications due September 10th, and an Information Specialist or an Associate Information Specialist, applications due September 15th.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

Rural Population Declines Slightly over Last Decade, Census Shows
Sep 7, 2021 -- Reports on 2020 U.S. Census findings that overall, rural counties lost 1.1% of population from 2010-2020. Notes that 2/3 of rural counties lost population while 1/3 gained population and that losses were concentrated in the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Southern Black Belt regions. Offers a county-level map depicting population gains and losses and charts outlining population change by county type.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Rural Hospitals Can't Find the Nurses They Need to Fight COVID
Sep 1, 2021 -- Highlights nurse workforce shortages in rural hospitals and the challenges of recruiting nurses in the face of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Discusses state legislative actions to respond to staffing shortages, hiring incentives, and salary increases. Notes that 60% of areas that experience shortages of health professionals are rural.
Source: Stateline, Pew Charitable Trusts

Rural Infection Rate Exceeds Metro Rate by a Third
Sep 1, 2021 -- Reports on COVID-19 infection and mortality rates for rural areas in the week of August 22-28, finding that new infections were 1/3 higher in rural counties than in urban counties. Notes that 14.4% of all infections occur in rural areas but that 16.2% of COVID-related deaths occur in rural populations. Provides infection and mortality charts and maps with county data for all states except Nebraska.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Funding & Opportunities

Supporting American Indian/Alaska Native Maternal Health Through Tribal-Led Maternal Mortality Review Committees
Grants to assess capacity of American Indian/Alaska Native entities for establishing, implementing, and maintaining tribal-led Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs).
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Sep 17, 2021
Sponsor: National Indian Health Board

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDL and REDG)
Loans and grants to assist in the economic development of rural areas, including funds for healthcare facilities and equipment, telecommunications networks, and job creation projects.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Sep 30, 2021
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development

Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants
Grants to nonprofit organizations that provide services to improve the daily lives of people with paralysis and their caregivers with projects and initiatives that foster inclusion, community engagement, and health and wellness.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Application Deadline: Oct 14, 2021
Sponsor: Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Service Area Competition Funding for Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of June 1, 2022)
Funding to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Areas with a June 1, 2022 project period start date are eligible to apply.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Nov 1, 2021
Sponsors: Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

AmeriCorps VISTA Sponsoring Agency Request for Concept Papers
A national service program that provides resources and staffing for organizations and agencies working to alleviate poverty and address poverty-related problems in local communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Nov 3, 2021
Sponsor: AmeriCorps

NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program
Loan repayment assistance for researchers that are not employed by the NIH. Loan repayment awards are based on an applicant's potential to build and sustain a research career, not to support specific research.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Nov 18, 2021
Sponsors: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Intervening with Cancer Caregivers to Improve Patient Health Outcomes and Optimize Health Care Utilization (R01 and R21)
Funding for intervention research designed to support caregivers of adult cancer patients, with the goals of optimized patient healthcare utilization, improved caregiver well-being, and improved patient physical health and psychosocial outcomes. Special consideration is given to studies targeting medically underserved and underrepresented populations, including patients-caregivers in rural areas.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Sep 7, 2022
Sponsors: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans and Grants
Low interest loans and need-based grants to develop affordable housing for year-round, migrant, seasonal, retired, and/or disabled domestic farm laborers.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Nov 1, 2022
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development, USDA Rural Housing Service

New Resources

Challenges to Public Health Reporting Experienced by Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals, 2019
Data brief examining public health reporting among acute care hospitals, including rural hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Outlines challenges with the exchange of electronic health information, such as lack of capacity to exchange electronically, interface issues, and differing vocabulary standards. Compares challenges faced by hospitals by size, CAH status, rural/urban, and independent/system affiliated and offers state-level maps of percent of hospitals reporting specific challenges.
Sponsoring organization: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Date: 09/2021

Evaluation of the Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model: First Evaluation Report
Evaluates the first two performance years of the Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model (VTAPM), which aims to assess whether scaling an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) across all payers in the state can reduce program expenditures while preserving or improving care quality. Discusses the implementation of the model, provider engagement, efforts to address population health goals; characteristics of participating hospitals, practitioners, and beneficiaries; and the model's impacts on Medicare spending, utilization, and quality of care. Includes information on hospital and provider participation in rural counties and unique challenges for rural Critical Access Hospitals.
Additional links: Findings at a Glance, Technical Appendices
Sponsoring organizations: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, NORC at the University of Chicago
Date: 08/2021

Extent of Inclusion of "Rural" in Comprehensive Cancer Control Plans in the United States
Presents a study of 66 comprehensive cancer control plans (CCCPs) created by states, territories, and tribal organizations to assess inclusion of rural-specific strategies. Explains CCCP requirements and offers state-level data on how plans reflect rural population, cancer burden, and disparities.
Author(s): Cathryn Murphy, Sydney Evans, Natoshia Askelson, Jan M. Eberth, Whitney E. Zahnd
Location: Preventing Chronic Disease, 18, 210091
Date: 09/2021

Geographic Access to Health Care for Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: A National Study
Policy brief exploring rural and urban healthcare, geographic access to providers, and types of providers seen by Medicare beneficiaries based on Medicare administrative data from 2014. Charts offer rural and urban comparisons of characteristics of beneficiaries, number of visits by region, number of visits by race/ethnicity, visits by provider type, and travel distance and time.
Sponsoring organization: WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Date: 09/2021

Household Food Security in the United States in 2020
Reports on household food security, food expenditures, and use of federal food and nutrition assistance programs in 2020. Includes food insecurity statistics for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals' ability to work and their household's food security.
Additional links: Report Summary, Statistical Supplement
Sponsoring organization: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Date: 09/2021

Medicare Covers a Lower Percentage of Outpatient Costs in Hospitals Located in Rural Areas
Policy brief describing differences in Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) payments between urban and rural hospitals. Features statistics on OPPS payments as a percent of total net patient revenue, as a percent of Medicare outpatient cost by hospital payment classification, and as a percent of Medicare outpatient cost by number of acute beds, with breakdowns by urban and rural location.
Sponsoring organization: North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
Date: 09/2021

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2020
Reports on vaccination coverage among U.S. adolescents ages 13 through 17. Includes data on vaccination coverage by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan residence and poverty status. Includes nonmetro data related to the following vaccines: Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis), MenACWY (quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate), HPV (human papillomavirus), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and varicella.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 70(35), 1183-1190
Date: 09/2021

The Pennsylvania Rural Health Model (PARHM): First Annual Report
Evaluates the first year of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model (PARHM), an initiative designed to test if global budgets can help rural hospitals improve their financial viability, provide flexibility to meet locally defined community health needs, and reduce overall health care spending. Provides an overview of the model and describes the implementation experience of the first cohort of participating hospitals. Presents preliminary, descriptive data on the financial performance and utilization outcomes of Cohort 1 participants.
Additional links: Appendix, Findings at a Glance
Sponsoring organizations: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, NORC at the University of Chicago
Date: 08/2021

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal
Recording of a September 2, 2021, webinar on the COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund (PRF) program. Provides an overview of the PRF program. Discusses reporting requirements and time periods, methodology for calculating lost revenues, and considerations for Rural Health Clinics. Includes answers to frequently asked questions. Part of the Rural Health Clinic Technical Assistance Series.
Additional links: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organizations: Health Resources and Services Administration, National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Date: 09/2021

Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) Among In-Hospital Deliveries: Rate by Patient Location
Chart depicting severe maternal morbidity rates related to in-hospital deliveries. Breaks down data for large metropolitan, nonmetropolitan, and small/medium metropolitan areas with national and state-level data for 2010-2018.
Sponsoring organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Synchronicity of COVID-19 Disparities: Statewide Epidemiologic Trends in SARS-CoV-2 Morbidity, Hospitalization, and Mortality among Racial Minorities and in Rural America
Presents a study of patterns in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality among all adults tested for COVID-19 infection in Indiana between March 1 and December 31, 2020. Analyzes data by gender, age, race/ethnicity, and rural/urban location, discussing disparities for rural and minority populations during the Fall 2020 surge.
Author(s): Brian E. Dixon, Shaun J. Grannis, Lauren R. Lembcke, et al.
Location: PLoS One, 16(7), e0255063
Date: 07/2021

Traffic Safety Facts 2019
Presents rural and urban fatal crash data and reports average emergency medical service response times at the state level. Includes rural fatal crash data by roadway function, crash type, speed limit, and vehicle occupants killed.
Sponsoring organization: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Date: 08/2021

Use of Electronic Health Records to Manage Tobacco Screening and Treatment in Rural Primary Care
Study examining the benefits of using electronic health records (EHR) in addressing tobacco dependence by primary care providers, comparing rural and urban data from the 2012-2015 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Discusses the utility of EHR and barriers to EHR adoption in rural practices, and offers data tables covering patient characteristics and statistics related to primary care visits and smoking cessation.
Author(s): Jean A. Talbot, Erika C. Ziller, Carly M. Milkowski
Location: The Journal of Rural Health
Date: 09/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Content: 2022 Accelerating Health Equity Conference
Deadline: Sep 26, 2021
AHA Association for Community Health Improvement (ACHI), Institute for Diversity and Health Equity
Event Dates: May 10 - 12, 2022
Cleveland, OH
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

2021-2022 Influenza Vaccination Recommendations and Guidance on Coadministration with COVID-19 Vaccines
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
HHS Tribal Telehealth Information Listening Session
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 Eastern
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
White House Weekly Rural Stakeholders Call
Time: 3:00 p.m. Eastern
The White House
Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) Pathways Feedback Session - Tribal Health Departments
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Public Health Accreditation Board
Prevention, Privilege and Protection: How Patient Safety Organizations Improve the Safety and Quality of Patient Care
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
Center for Optimizing Rural Health
2021 Annual 3RNET Conference
Bozeman, MT
Dorothea from RHIhub will be exhibiting
Addressing the Role Stigma Plays in Death by Suicide; HHS Region 8
Time: 12:00 p.m. Mountain
Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon Series: Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults and Their Caregivers
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Pacific
Oregon Office of Rural Health
Supporting Recovery in Rural Communities: Engaging Faith Supports
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, Mountain Plains ATTC
An Introduction to Classroom WISE and Mental Health Literacy; HHS Region 8
Time: 3:00 p.m. Mountain
Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
2021 Best Practice Webinar Series - Part 1
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Employing Treatment and Environmental Interventions to Support Rural Populations; HHS Region 8
Time: 11:00 a.m. Mountain
Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
2021 NCHN Leadership Experience
Time: 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
National Cooperative of Health Networks Association
2021 Annual Oklahoma Rural Health Conference
Oklahoma Office of Rural Health, Rural Health Association of Oklahoma
Edmond, OK
2021 46th Annual NARMH Conference
National Association for Rural Mental Health
Supporting Rural Aging Populations; HHS Region 8
Time: 11:00 a.m. Mountain
Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
2021 Annual NOSORH Meeting
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
Saratoga Springs, NY

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 Your stories may be used in testimony, budget documents and presentations concerning the Rural Health Information Hub.