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RHIhub This Week - November 17, 2021

Tomorrow is National Rural Health Day!

National Rural Health Day logo Mark your calendars, Thursday is National Rural Health Day! Take some time to celebrate the great things that rural communities have accomplished. Check back on our social media to see rural programs we've highlighted all month long in honor of this day.

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 Information from around the web

Recent News

A Telehealth Effort to Treat PTSD and Bipolar Disorder in Rural Areas Showed 'Huge Gains.' Now Comes the Hard Part
Nov 17, 2021 -- Describes the Study to Promote Innovation in Rural Integrated Telepsychiatry (SPIRIT), a trial to offer mental telehealth services through a collaborative care model, with local care managers and clinics delivering treatment. Addresses the history of collaborative care and policy challenges related to integrating urban-based providers into rural clinics.
Source: Stat

Rural Health Groups Bring Clinics to Residents
Nov 17, 2021 -- Describes a series of screening and vaccination clinics organized by the University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH) and partner organizations and held in 32 rural counties in eastern Kentucky and parts of West Virginia. Discusses participation in the clinics, efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination, and information sharing with rural residents.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Add Rural Medicine Exposure in Training to Boost Country Doctors
Nov 16, 2021 -- Describes the need for expanded rural medicine training and American Medical Association-funded programs that increase exposure to rural medical career pathways. Describes AMA policy changes to increase rural medicine training, develop remote education opportunities, and address rural physician workforce shortages.
Source: American Medical Association

How the States with the Largest Share of Rural Residents Became Among the Most Vaccinated
Nov 16, 2021 -- Describes COVID-19 vaccine outreach efforts in Vermont and Maine, noting that the states have the highest percentage of population living in rural areas and that they rank among the top 6 states in terms of vaccination. Addresses strategies among local health offices and health systems to monitor regions of the states and reach vulnerable populations.
Source: The Daily Yonder

How Rural Communities Are Losing Their Pharmacies
Nov 15, 2021 -- Reports on challenges facing independent rural pharmacies related to insurance reimbursement and competition with chain and mail-order pharmacies. Notes that between 2003 and 2018, 1,231 our of 7,624 independent rural pharmacies closed, and describes the impacts that closures have on rural access to medications, vaccinations, and testing that pharmacies offer.
Source: Kaiser Health News

Is There a Shortage of Rural Social Workers?
Nov 15, 2021 -- Blog post examining the role of social workers in rural areas and the challenges they face related to poverty, lack of transportation, mental health risks and care shortages, all of which increase the scope of practice for rural social workers.
Source: National Rural Health Association

Eliminating Health Inequities and Disparities in Rural Communities to Improve Health Outcomes
Nov 12, 2021 -- Perspective piece describing rural health disparities and health equity challenges facing rural communities, addressing collaborative efforts between rural hospitals, organizations, elected officials, and community leadership to offer health education and wellness promotion. Highlights such efforts in western Tennessee. Part 1 of a 2-part series.
Source: American Hospital Association

How Low Can They Go? Rural Hospitals Weigh Keeping Obstetric Units When Births Decline
Nov 12, 2021 -- Describes efforts to maintain rural obstetrics units in areas where there are few births, examining the issue of defining the low-volume threshold for maintaining clinician skills and patient safety. Highlights research into the topic, billing and payment issues, and the importance of obstetrics units to rural communities.
Source: Kaiser Health News

'You Need a Whole Team': How a Virtual Mentoring Program has Helped Bring Care Closer to Rural Patients
Nov 11, 2021 -- Discusses the development and impacts of the Project ECHO program on increasing access to specialty care through training for rural practitioners and medical assistants. Explores research into Project ECHO's benefits for patients and the program's challenges moving forward.
Source: Stat

Federal Register

DEA: Regulation of Telepharmacy Practice
Nov 17, 2021 -- Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to obtain further information regarding the practice of telepharmacy, which is not specifically defined by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or DEA regulations. DEA is considering implementing regulations regarding telepharmacy and seeks to be fully informed about the practice, industry, and state regulations. Comments are due by January 18, 2022.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Equipping Local Health Departments to Address Vaccine Hesitancy
A technical assistance and capacity building opportunity that will provide local health departments with resources to address vaccine hesitancy for routine, influenza, and COVID-19 vaccines. The opportunity is open to rural and tribal health departments.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Nov 19, 2021
Sponsor: National Association of County and City Health Officials


Healthy Food Financing Initiative Targeted Small Grants Program
Financial assistance to support projects that improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, create and preserve quality jobs, and revitalize low income communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Dec 7, 2021
Sponsors: Reinvestment Fund, U.S. Department of Agriculture


Strategies to Provide Culturally Tailored Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Seriously Ill American Indian and Alaska Native Individuals (R01 and R21 Clinical Trial Optional)
Grants for research projects designed to improve and increase the use of evidence-based interventions in end-of-life and palliative care for American Indian/Alaska Native individuals with advanced illness and their families and communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Jan 8, 2022
Sponsors: National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Empowering Communities to Address Behavioral Health and Chronic Pain through Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs
Funding to help communities develop or expand capacity for, deliver, and sustain evidence-based chronic disease self-management education and support programs for older adults and adults with disabilities, particularly those in underserved geographic areas and/or populations.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Letter of Intent (Optional): Dec 17, 2021
Application Deadline: Jan 25, 2022
Sponsors: Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Empowering Communities to Deliver and Sustain Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs
Funding to help communities reduce falls and/or falls risk among older adults and adults with disabilities through the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs. An emphasis is on projects that will target specific populations, such as rural communities, underserved areas, veterans, caregivers, and/or tribal elders.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Letter of Intent (Optional): Dec 17, 2021
Application Deadline: Jan 25, 2022
Sponsors: Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge: Innovative Methods to Improve Postpartum Care for Black or African American and American Indian/Alaska Native Women
A prize competition to identify effective programs that can address equity of postpartum care for Black or African American and American Indian/Alaska Native beneficiaries enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. An emphasis is on follow-up care for conditions associated with morbidity and mortality in the later postpartum period, including diabetes, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, hypertension, and substance use disorders.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2022
Sponsors: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health


Tribal Self-Governance Program Negotiation Cooperative Agreement
Cooperative agreements that provide negotiation resources to tribes interested in participating in the Tribal Self-Governance Program (TSGP), which gives Tribes the authority to manage and tailor healthcare programs in a manner that best fits the needs of their communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Feb 10, 2022
Sponsors: Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Tribal Self-Governance Program Planning Cooperative Agreement
Cooperative agreements that provide planning resources to Tribes interested in participating in the Tribal Self-Governance Program (TSGP), which gives Tribes the authority to manage and tailor healthcare programs in a manner that best fits the needs of their communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Feb 10, 2022
Sponsors: Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


NIH HEAL Initiative: Preventing Opioid Misuse and Co-Occurring Conditions by Intervening on Social Determinants (R01 Clinical Trials Optional)
Funding for research that will help to build an evidence base for multi-level interventions that affect social conditions and opioid misuse. Projects should seek to reduce health inequities in a population or population subgroup affected by the opioid crisis.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Letter of Intent (Optional): Feb 2, 2022
Application Deadline: Mar 2, 2022
Sponsors: National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Economic Impact Initiative Grants
Funding to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural communities that have extreme unemployment and severe economic depression.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development

New Resources

2020 Impact Report: Measuring the Economic and Human Impact of Nonprofit Organizations in Rural America
Highlights key federal programs that support affordable housing and community infrastructure, including water and wastewater disposal. Features 15 successful rural housing programs, describing their work and impact, including health-related improvements and services.
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Housing Coalition
Date: 11/2021


Championing Health Equity: Experiences from State COVID-19 Health Equity Task Forces
Identifies accomplishments and lessons learned from 10 state COVID-19 health equity task forces. Discusses strategies these task forces implemented to improve health equity efforts in their states.
Sponsoring organizations: Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, National Academy for State Health Policy, National Governors Association
Date: 11/2021


Family Physicians in Rural America: Training, Distribution, and Scope of Practice
Webinar presented November 9, 2021, exploring training of family physicians in rural areas, family physician workforce distribution, and rural/urban differences in scope of practice. Features statistics including availability of obstetrical clinicians as of 2019, with breakdowns by metropolitan, micropolitan, and noncore locations.
Additional links: Presentation Slides, Transcript
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Research Gateway
Date: 11/2021


FQHC and RHC Best Practices for Telehealth in Response to COVID-19
Offers best practices for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for telehealth expansion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing from 131 expert interviews from facilities in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Highlights key points related to continuing telehealth use, training and instruction, and technology investments.
Sponsoring organization: California Telehealth Resource Center
Date: 11/2021


Household Experiences in Rural America During the Delta Variant Outbreak
Examines the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural U.S. households. Covers financial, education, childcare, health and healthcare, and employment and work-related impacts related to the pandemic.
Sponsoring organizations: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Public Radio, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Date: 11/2021


Improving Methadone Access for Rural Communities in the USA: Lessons Learned from Covid-19 Adaptations and International Models of Care
Explores the effect of changes to methadone treatment protocols for opioid use disorder in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on access to treatment in rural areas. Discusses telehealth, dispensing schedules, and distribution models before and during the pandemic.
Author(s): Jamey J Lister, Holly H Lister
Location: Rural and Remote Health, 21(4)
Date: 11/2021


Investing in Rural Prosperity
Anthology examining policy, governance, and community and economic development in rural and tribal communities. Highlights strategies for local capacity building, efforts to strengthen rural community resilience, and the need for health and wellness investments in rural America.
Sponsoring organization: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Date: 2021


MACPAC Response to Senate Finance Committee Request for Information on Behavioral Health
Summarizes the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission's (MACPAC) ongoing analysis of behavioral health in Medicaid and CHIP and offers policy recommendations. Discusses the behavioral health workforce; behavioral healthcare service delivery and access; mental health parity; telehealth; and improving access for children and youth. Includes rural references and considerations throughout.
Sponsoring organization: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
Date: 11/2021


MBQIP Quality Measures National Annual Report - 2020
Summarizes quality measure reporting rates and performance among Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in 2020. Presents data on the four Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) domains: patient safety/inpatient, outpatient, patient engagement, and care transitions.
Sponsoring organization: Flex Monitoring Team
Date: 11/2021


Nearly Half of U.S. States Lost Population in Rural Areas in 2010-20, According to U.S. Census Data
U.S. map showing percent change in state population and nonmetro population from 2020-2020 based on Census data.
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
Date: 11/2021


Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Final Report and Recommendations
Report examining the impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color, tribal communities, rural and remote populations, and underserved communities through a health equity lens, offering proposed actions and outcomes to guide future federal health equity efforts. Highlights community organizations and community-based programs, including rural examples.
Additional links: Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Proposed Implementation Plan and Accountability Framework
Sponsoring organizations: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
Date: 10/2021


Rapid COVID-19 State of Vaccine Confidence Insights Report: Announcement of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages 5–11 Years Old
Examines consumers' perceptions and sentiments related to COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5–11 years. Identifies concerns related to COVID-19 vaccine confidence, content gaps and information voids, circulating mis- and disinformation, and action steps to take.
Additional links: COVID-19 State of Vaccine Confidence Insights Report Series


Rural Health Network Development Planning Grants: Geographic Distribution and Change over Time
Examines the location and network geographic size of applicants funded by the Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant. Features statistics including total grantees by number of unique states per year from 2003-2020, states with the most grantees compared to rural population, states with the highest share of rural population compared to grants received, and maps showing state and county distribution of grantees.
Sponsoring organization: University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Date: 11/2021


Sourcebook: Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program, 2018-2021
Provides contact and project summary information for 59 projects funded during the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program's 2018-2021 funding cycle, including a specialized track of 12 Health Improvement Special Project grantees focused on addressing cardiovascular disease. Includes a summary of overall program impacts and a cohort snapshot, as well as detailed individual project profiles.
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Date: 07/2021


Supporting Telehealth and Technology-Assisted Services for People Who Use Drugs: A Resource Guide
Offers policy, training, and planning resources for Substance Use Disorder treatment providers, harm reduction organizations, and others looking to implement telehealth and technology-assisted services to improve the health and wellness of people who use drugs. Discusses participant barriers to accessing technology, including rural-specific challenges, and describes rural initiatives among other case studies.
Sponsoring organization: National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Date: 11/2021


Thunder Valley Forges a Pathway to Healing, Hope, and Liberation
Describes the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation's efforts to implement Lakota-centric wellness, healing, and community development practices, for which they were awarded the 2020-2021 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize.
Sponsoring organization: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Date: 2021


Treating a Public Health Crisis for Rural Moms – A Comparative Analysis of Four Rural States Addressing Maternal Opioid Misuse with Medicaid Innovation Models
Discusses how four states - Colorado, Indiana, Maine, and Missouri - have used the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) model to address maternal opioid use disorders among rural Medicaid beneficiaries. Compares different approaches taken by each state, including benefit eligibility, health insurance payers and health systems partnerships, and telehealth utilization.
Author(s): Jason Semprini
Location: Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy, 16(2)
Date: 2021


Using CPT Charges as an Economic Proxy for Telehealth and Non-telehealth Emergency Department Utilization
Explores the characteristics of a dataset comprising rural hospitals' reported Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and associated charges for a sample of telehealth and non-telehealth emergency department (ED) visits. Features statistics including number of ED cases and controls selected by diagnosis, and demographics on select ED samples with breakdowns by 4 CPT codes.
Sponsoring organization: Rural Telehealth Research Center
Date: 11/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Sessions: 2022 47th Annual USAging Conference & Tradeshow
Deadline: Dec 15, 2021
USAging
Event Dates: Jul 10 - 13, 2022
Austin, TX
Conference Website

Call for Abstracts: 2022 21st Annual Institute for Rural Health Research Conference
Deadline: Jan 7, 2022
Institute for Rural Health Research at the University of Alabama
Event Dates: Apr 14 - 15, 2022
Tuscaloosa, AL
Conference Website

Call for Poster Abstracts: 2022 MATRC Telehealth Summit
Deadline: Feb 14, 2022
Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
Event Dates: Apr 24 - 26, 2022
Concord, NC
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

Nov
17
From J1 to Day One: A Conversation about the Benefits and Process of Hiring International Medical Professionals
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
Nov
17
How Did State Governor Directives Change Healthcare Workforce Flexibility in Response to COVID-19?
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center
Nov
18
2021 Annual National Rural Health Day
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
ashleym@nosorh.org
Nov
18
2021 Kentucky National Rural Health Day
Time: 9:00 a.m. Eastern
University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health
Nov
18
Addressing Health Disparities in Rural Communities: FORHP Grantee Highlights
Time: 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Nov
18
All Tribes Discussion on the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Medicare and Medicaid Interim Final Rule
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Nov
18
Fall CHW Workforce Virtual Symposium: CHWs Paving the Way to Reduce COVID-19 and Mental Health Disparities
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Arizona
Arizona Community Health Worker Association
Nov
18
Federal Efforts to Achieve Health Equity in Rural Communities
Time: 11:30 a.m. Eastern
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
Nov
18
Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection System Webinar: Multiple National Provider Identifier (NPI) Organizations
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Nov
18
Rural America at a Glance, 2021 Edition
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
U.S. Department of Agriculture
elizabeth.dobis@usda.gov
Nov
18
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
Nov
18
Telling the Rural Star Stories
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
ashleym@nosorh.org
Nov
18
USDA Rural Workforce Innovation Network (RWIN) Workshop: Federal Priorities to Ensure Equitable Access to Workforce Funding Opportunities
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Central
USDA Rural Development
Nov
18
Viral Hepatitis Federal Implementation Plan Webinar
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Nov
19
3rd Annual Rural Oral Health Virtual Conference 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Zufall Health Center
Nov
22
Evolving Crisis Standards of Care and Lessons from COVID-19: Looking Forward
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Central
Health and Medicine Division (HMD), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Nov
23
NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program Q&A Session 3
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Meeting ID: 160 231 1208
Phone: 833.568.8864
National Health Service Corps
Nov
30
Strategies for Preventing Farm/Ranch Suicides and for Assisting Those Left Behind
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
National AgrAbility Project, North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center
800.825.4264
agrability@agrability.org
Nov
30
This Is What Capacity Looks Like: Building Development Muscle in Rural and Native Nation Communities
Time: 3:30 - 5:15 p.m. Eastern
Aspen Institute
csg.program@aspeninst.org
Dec
1
Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Webinar #1
Time: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Bureau of Health Workforce
Dec
1
Social and Structural Determinants of Mental Health, Substance Use and Treatment
Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern
University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction
CORA@uvm.edu
Dec
8
Agriculture and Alcohol Use
Time: 12:00 p.m. Central
AgriSafe Network
Dec
8
Clinical Leaders Forum: A Focused Discussion on the Nursing Workforce
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration
Dec
9
Addressing Rural Health Workforce Challenges Through Innovative Strategies
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Central
Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network
217.223.0452
kfauble@icahn.org
Dec
9
Provider Strategies to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern
Health Resources and Services Administration
Dec
21
Assistive Technology Telehealth
Time: 12:00 p.m. Arizona
Arizona Telemedicine Program, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center

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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.