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RHIhub This Week - September 29, 2021

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 Information from around the web

Recent News

A Rural Hospital Responds to Covid-19: 'I Have Never Seen Anything Like It'
Sep 29, 2021 -- Highlights the challenges in providing care for COVID-19 patients at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Kentucky, a rural hospital that is operating at 135% capacity, leading to creating alternative Intensive Care Unit (ICU) spaces and constructing a field hospital. Notes the significant increase in COVID-19 patients in September 2021 compared to the peak of the pandemic in 2020 and challenges related to workforce shortages.
Source: The Daily Yonder

How Crisis Standards of Care Puts Pressure on Idaho's Rural Hospitals
Sep 27, 2021 -- Reports on the challenges facing rural hospitals in Idaho related to providing care to COVID-19 patients without an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or access to mechanical ventilation. Highlights the situation at North Canyon Medical Center in Gooding, Idaho, which must be prepared to shift to crisis standards of care, also noting community tensions and hospital staff fatigue.
Source: Boise State Public Radio

Report: Rural Areas Wait Longer for Ambulances
Sep 25, 2021 -- News broadcast covering rural ambulance challenges, including long distances, limited funding, and coordinated service issues, which lead to long wait and transportation times, and in some places inability to respond to 911 calls. Highlights payment, reimbursement, and policy issues specific to state-level EMS services.
Source: CBS Saturday Morning

Rural Hospitals Worry They Will Lose Staff Because Of Biden's New Vaccine Mandate
Sep 25, 2021 -- Discusses concerns among rural hospital leadership that COVID-19 vaccine mandates may worsen existing staffing shortages, noting backlash in some areas and the need for federal assistance to address mandate-related shortages if they occur. Describes how some hospitals in rural areas are approaching planning and enforcement of the vaccine mandate.
Source: NPR

Rural Counties with More Broadband Tended to Do Better in 2020 Census, Study Shows
Sep 23, 2021 -- Analyzes U.S. Census data from 2010-2020, finding that the rural counties that grew in population had greater access to broadband internet service. Discusses characteristics of counties that grew in population despite the slight overall population loss in rural America, including access to natural amenities, recreation, and broadband access.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Methamphetamine Deaths Soar, Hitting Black And Native Americans Especially Hard
Sep 22, 2021 -- Reports on a 180% rise in deaths related to methamphetamine use between 2015-2019, with the highest rates of methamphetamine use disorder impacting Native American and Alaska Native communities. Discusses relationship between methamphetamine use and opioid misuse, noting the need for programs to help people with methamphetamine use disorder similar to those for opioid use disorder.
Source: NPR

Federal Register

HRSA: Criteria for Determining Maternity Care Health Professional Target Areas
Sep 27, 2021 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking comment on the proposed criteria that will be used to identify and score maternity care health professional target areas (MCTAs) in existing primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The proposed MCTA scoring criteria will be used to distribute certain currently eligible National Health Service Corps (NHSC) clinicians who provide maternity care services. Comments are due by November 26, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

HRSA: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request Information Collection Request Title: SHIP COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program Data Collection-New, Emergency
Sep 23, 2021 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking approval of, and comments on, an emergency information collection request regarding the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program. The data collected will allow HRSA to ensure SHIP COVID-19 recipients are meeting the terms and conditions of their funding, while providing HRSA with information on the effectiveness of funds distributed through this program. Comments are due by October 4, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Innovation Award: COVID-19 and Health Equity (U01) Clinical Trials Optional
Funding for innovative projects that will strengthen and advance COVID-19 health equity research. One area of interest includes proposals that support the evaluation of outcomes by demographic data including, but not limited to, ethnicity, race, age, disability, and geography.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Letter of Intent (Optional): Nov 2, 2021
Application Deadline: Nov 29, 2021
Sponsors: Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Graduate Psychology Education Program
Grants to support doctoral-level psychology education and training programs to prepare psychologists to address the behavioral health needs, including opioid use and substance use, in high-need underserved and rural populations.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Dec 9, 2021
Sponsors: Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Community Health Center Capital Fund LoanPLUS Program
A Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program that provides loan capital and technical assistance designed to meet the needs of smaller health centers and/or those with limited financial resources. Health centers that have not been able to access financing through conventional lenders are encouraged to apply.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsors: Capital Link, Community Health Center Capital Fund


MAT Waiver Eligibility Training
A free online and computer-based training series for physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants that satisfies some of the requirements to obtain a waiver for prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsors: Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS), The American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine


Water and Waste Disposal Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Tribal Lands and Colonias
Grants for water and waste disposal facilities and services on federally-recognized tribal lands, colonias, and rural areas that face significant health risks due to a lack of access to adequate, affordable water or waste disposal.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development

New Resources

Association of Hospital Telestroke Adoption With Changes in Initial Hospital Presentation and Transfers Among Patients With Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attacks
Results of a study to assess whether implementation of telestroke services is associated with changes in where and how patients present with stroke symptoms, their decision to be transferred to another hospital, and to which hospitals they are transferred. Uses data from 593 hospitals that adopted telestroke from 2009-2016. Features statistics on hospital characteristics by telestroke status, with breakdowns by urban or rural location.
Author(s): Kori S. Zachrison, Jessica V. Richard, Andrew Wilcock, et al.
Location: JAMA Network Open, 4(9)
Date: 09/2021


Broadband: FCC Is Taking Steps to Accurately Map Locations that Lack Access
Describes efforts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop a location fabric, a geographically specific, granular dataset, representing existing and necessary broadband deployment sites. Presents findings from an examination of potential geographic data sources, surveys of 44 states and territories, and interviews with state and federal agency stakeholders. Discusses limitations related to the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of location data.
Additional links: Full Report
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
Date: 09/2021


COVID-19 Funding Sources Impacting Rural Providers
Reference guide to help rural healthcare providers navigate federal COVID-19 response and recovery funding. Includes tables identifying eligibility by provider type and how funds can be spent. Provides an overview of each funding opportunity and reporting requirements.
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Resource Center
Date: 09/2021


COVIDVaxView: COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage and Vaccine Confidence
An interactive tool for exploring data on COVID-19 vaccination coverage, uptake, and intention by a variety of different factors, including geography, date of data collection, demographics, and more. Includes data by urban, suburban, and rural location in the Characteristics section under MSA status.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 09/2021


Disparities in Health Care in Medicare Advantage Associated with Dual Eligibility or Eligibility for a Low-income Subsidy
Shares Medicare Advantage (MA) plan performance data for specific healthcare quality measures reported in 2019, which represents care received in 2018. Analyzes and compares the quality of clinical care for dual-eligible (DE) beneficiaries, those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible for a Part D low-income subsidy (LIS) with the quality of care for beneficiaries who do not qualify as DE nor LIS by racial/ethnic groups and rural status.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 09/2021


Driver Electronic Device Use in 2020
National data on driver use of electronic devices from 2011-2020. Features statistics on percentage of drivers holding cellphones to their ears, speaking with visible headsets, and visibly manipulating handheld devices while driving, with breakdowns including age, gender, race, and urban or rural location. Includes tables listing states banning texting and use of handheld cellphones while driving, as of July 2020.
Sponsoring organization: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Date: 09/2021


Housing Affordability, Adequacy, and Access to the Internet in Homes of Medicaid Enrollees
Examines the housing adequacy, affordability, and internet access among Medicaid enrollees in 2019. Describes the impact of housing conditions on health, with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic. Discusses policy options for Medicaid programs to address housing challenges. Presents data by Medicaid enrollee demographic characteristics, including race/ethnicity, age, sex, and metro/non-metro status.
Sponsoring organization: Kaiser Family Foundation
Date: 09/2021


Hyperlocal Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination Strategies to Reach Communities with Low Vaccine Uptake
Describes promising state and local strategies to promote equitable and accessible COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs among communities with low vaccination rates. Presents examples of how states and communities use existing infrastructure and modify strategies to meet community needs. Includes rural examples and highlights rural-focused strategies for vaccinations.
Sponsoring organization: Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
Date: 09/2021


Identifying Allowable Expenses for COVID-19 Programs
Recording of a September 23, 2021, webinar on the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) COVID-19 Testing Program and RHC COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation Program. Discusses allowable and unallowable expenses for these programs, as well as reimbursable and unreimbursable expenses.
Additional links: Presentation Slides, Transcript
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Date: 09/2021


NADTC Best Practices Compendium
Highlights innovative programs, best practices, and lessons learned by 16 programs funded by the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) between 2017-2019. Identifies common themes across the programs that serve as key considerations for communities that want to expand accessible transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities. Includes a section focused on rural transportation programs.
Sponsoring organization: National Aging and Disability Transportation Center
Date: 09/2021


National Center for Health Workforce Analysis (NCHWA) Workforce Projections
Data tool offering information on projected supply and demand of healthcare workers through 2030, representing supply and demand trends from 2016-2030, change in demand, cumulative change over time, and projected percent of adequacy. Breaks down data for allied health, behavioral health, long-term care, oral health, primary care, and women's health, with rural data available for primary care and women's health.
Additional links: Workforce Projections Dashboard Webinar
Sponsoring organizations: Health Resources and Services Administration, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis

Obstacles Persist for Rural Patients to Access Hospice
Discusses challenges to delivering hospice care in rural areas. Highlights changes to allow providers at Rural Health Centers and Federal Qualified Health Centers to serve as attending physicians for hospice patients. Explores the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of hospice services, including the use of telehealth services and workforce concerns.
Sponsoring organization: Hospice News
Date: 09/2021


Rural Vaccine Confidence Initiative
Provides resources for rural health stakeholders to increase COVID-19 vaccination confidence. Offers customizable communication tools targeted to hospital staff and patients, business and community partners, and the community.
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
Date: 2021


Tracking a Pandemic: How Rural Health Clinics Utilized a Historic Investment to Fight COVID-19
Shares the results from a survey of 289 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) across 40 states surveyed in April 2021. Describes the experiences of RHC staff and how the Rural Health Clinic COVID-19 Testing (RHCCT) program funding was used to meet the healthcare needs of rural communities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sponsoring organization: National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Date: 2021


Trajectory of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Over Time and Association of Initial Vaccine Hesitancy With Subsequent Vaccination
Assesses the association between baseline vaccine hesitancy and vaccine receipt at study follow-up, using data from 3,439 participants surveyed between August-December 2020 and again between March-April 2021. Also explores the validity of vaccine self-report. Features demographic statistics with breakdowns by metropolitan or nonmetropolitan location.
Author(s): Aaron J. Siegler, Nicole Luisi, Eric W. Hall, et al.
Location: JAMA Network Open, 4(9)
Date: 09/2021


Trends in Death Rates in Urban and Rural Areas: United States, 1999-2019
Examines national trends for age-adjusted death rates in urban and rural areas by sex. Includes data for the 10 leading causes of death in 2019 by urban and rural status.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
Date: 09/2021


The United States Is Becoming More Racially Diverse – And so Is Rural America
Analyzes initial data from the 2020 Census on race and ethnicity in rural America. Compares changes in race and ethnicity in rural areas between 2000 through 2020. Offers maps of the top two most prevalent race or ethnicity groups by county in 2020. Includes six other maps showing county-level population data in 2010 and 2020 for the following groups: white non-Hispanics, Hispanics, Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, and multi-race.
Sponsoring organization: Housing Assistance Council
Date: 09/2021


Veteran Suicide Prevention: Innovative Research and Expanded Public Health Efforts
Presents a full committee hearing discussing expanded public health efforts to address veteran suicide by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Features testimonies by representatives of the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project, the National Indian Health Board, and the Rand Corporation.
Additional links: Bill Smith Testimony, Jennifer Silva Testimony, Kaitlynne Hetrick Testimony, Kameron Matthews Testimony, Rajeev Ramchand Testimony, Tammy Barlet Testimony
Sponsoring organization: House Veterans' Affairs Committee
Date: 09/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Proposals: 2022 24th Annual Indiana Rural Health Conference
Deadline: Nov 15, 2021
Indiana Rural Health Association
Event Dates: Jun 14 - 15, 2022
French Lick, IN
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

Sep
30
Evaluating and Supporting Patients Presenting With Fatigue Following COVID-19
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Passcode: 907646
Dial-in 1.669.254.5252
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sep
30
Medicaid in the US Territories: How Inequitable Funding Exacerbates Health Disparities
Time: 3:00 p.m. Eastern
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Sep
30
RHC TA Webinar/Call: Applying for Phase 4 of the Provider Relief Fund & the ARP Rural Distribution
Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Oct
4
CDC COVID-19 Partner Update: Vaccine Update in the Fight Against COVID-19
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
eocevent337@cdc.gov
Oct
7
2021–2022 Recommendations for Influenza Prevention and Treatment in Children: An Update for Pediatric Practitioners
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Passcode: 214351
Dial-in 1.669.254.5252
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Oct
7-8
Meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)
Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
Oct
13
AI/AN Mental Health: The Role of Spirituality
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
National American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
megan-dotson@uiowa.edu
Oct
13
Indigenous Knowledge & Health During COVID-19
Time: 6:00 p.m. Central
American Indian Community Housing Organization and Center of American Indian and Minority Health, Association of American Indian Physicians
Oct
14
Hope Dealers: West Tennessee's Faith-Based Initiative Team Builds Recovery-Friendly Communities Through Collaboration
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central
Rural Health Association of Tennessee
Jackson, TN
dorshonda@tnruralhealth.org
Oct
14
Indigenous Resiliency: Indigenous Ways of Knowing for Thriving Prevention Programs
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Central
National American Indian and Alaska Native Prevention Technology Transfer Center
cindy-sagoe@uiowa.edu
Oct
18-20
2021 NARHC Fall Institute
National Association of Rural Health Clinics
Covington, KY
866.306.1961
trynberg@narhc.org
Oct
18-20
Tribal Consultation: Access to Supplies from Federal Partners
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Oct
20
COVID-19 – Navigating a Global Pandemic in Tennessee
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Central
Rural Health Association of Tennessee
Oct
20-22
2021 Annual Colorado Rural Health Conference
Colorado Rural Health Center
Denver, CO
303.996.9698
ksarian@coruralhealth.org
Oct
27-29
2021 38th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference
Oregon Office of Rural Health
503.494.5244
potterla@ohsu.edu
Nov
1-3
2021 GME Initiative
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Mountain
GME Initiative
Nov
2-18
2021 Rural Health Voice Conference
Weekly sessions held November 2 - November 18, 2021
Virginia Rural Health Association
540.231.7993
staff@vrha.org
Nov
8
2021 Tribal Nations Summit
The White House
Nov
8
Arizona Telemedicine Program - Telemedicine Applications
Arizona Telemedicine Program, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
15206266103
mesher@telemedicine.arizona.edu
Nov
8-9
2021 KRHA 23rd Annual Kentucky Rural Health Association Conference
Kentucky Rural Health Association
Nov
9
Family Physicians in Rural America: Training, Distribution, and Scope of Practice
Time: 12:00 p.m. Central
Rural Health Research Gateway
Nov
9-10
2021 Virtual Rural Human Trafficking Summit
Eastcentral and Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center, Health Resources and Services Administration, Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, HRSA Region lll Office of the Regional Director, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health
814.863.8214
tjc136@psu.edu
Nov
10
2021 Arkansas Annual Rural Health Conference - Part 3
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Central
Rural Health Association of Arkansas
Nov
12
2021 Annual Rural Health Association of Utah Conference
Rural Health Association of Utah
St. George, UT

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.