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RHIhub This Week - November 24, 2021

New in the Rural Monitor

DRCHSD Grants in Motion - community members who shared personal stories about behavioral and mental health issues Technical Assistance Helps Community #SilencetheShameTN
When Henry County Medical Center (HCMC) and the community of Paris, Tennessee, wanted to combat behavioral and mental health challenges in their community, they used the technical assistance and resources provided by the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development (DRCHSD) program to address their needs.

RHIhub Survey - Last Chance!

take our survey RHIhub would like to hear from you! Please fill out our annual survey and let us know how we can better serve you. The survey will close at 5 p.m. Central on Friday, November 26, 2021.

Twitter Chat Archive

older adult looking at computer #RuralHealthChat: Digital Equity and the Health of Rural Americans
The archive for our Twitter Chat on Digital Equity and the Health of Rural Americans is now live! Take a look to learn from the experts and read each tweet in order with replies.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

Biden-Harris Administration Begins Distributing American Rescue Plan Rural Funding to Support Providers Impacted by Pandemic
Nov 23, 2021 -- Announces the initial distribution of $7.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural payments to rural Medicaid, Medicare, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers and suppliers. Describes the impacts of the funding on workforce issues, equipment, technology, and other needs.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Voice-Only Telehealth Might Go Away with Pandemic Rules Set to Expire
Nov 23, 2021 -- Describes concerns about audio-only telehealth access following the end of COVID-19-related policy flexibilities. Discusses equity issues related to requiring video devices for telehealth visits, particularly for rural and remote patients who may lack internet access. Also notes concerns with patient quality related to audio-only telehealth.
Source: NPR

'Nothing Short of a Miracle:' How Rural Hospitals are Working Together to Keep from Closing
Nov 18, 2021 -- Describes efforts to prevent rural Mississippi hospital closures and re-open rural hospitals through partnerships with other hospitals. Addresses financial challenges related to reimbursement issues and staffing costs and highlights the importance of emergency care access for rural communities.
Source: Mississippi Today

Celebrating National Rural Health Day
Nov 18, 2021 -- National Rural Health Day, a day to recognize the efforts of rural community members, healthcare providers, and other rural stakeholders, was celebrated on November 18, 2021. Includes a collection of stories from around the country recognizing and celebrating National Rural Health Day.

Oklahoma Initiative Seeks to Help Rural Communities Thrive through Wide-Ranging Types of Support
Nov 18, 2021 -- Describes Oklahoma State University's Rural Renewal Initiative, a research partnership based in 2 rural counties that examines the benefits of telehealth EMS care, youth leadership development, soil health, and other rural-specific research projects. Describes the program's efforts to engage with and include rural communities in the research process.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Transforming Rural Health Through Economic Development
Nov 17, 2021 -- Interview with Janet Topolsky of the Community Strategies Group at the Aspen Institute discussing rural economic development, health and equity, and community engagement. Notes the importance of recognizing the diversity of rural economies and communities and approaching rural communities as sources of innovation.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Federal Register

CMS: Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee
Nov 23, 2021 -- Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) establishing the Advisory Committee on Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing (the GAPB Advisory Committee), as required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. This committee will review options to improve the disclosure of charges and fees for ground ambulance services, better inform consumers of insurance options for such services, and protect consumers from balance billing. The Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury also seek nominations of qualified individuals for membership on the GAPB Advisory Committee. Nominations are due by December 13, 2021.
Source: Federal Register

HRSA: Solicitation of Nominations for Membership To Serve on the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice
Nov 23, 2021 -- The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment as members of the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP). NACNEP provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Congress on policy, program development, and other matters concerning the activities under Title VIII of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, including the range of issues relating to the nurse workforce, nursing education, and nursing practice improvement, as a means of enhancing the health of the public through the development of the nurse workforce. Nominations will be accepted on a continuous basis.
Source: Federal Register

CDC: Interventions To Prevent Work-Related Stress and Support Health Worker Mental Health; Request for Information; Extension of Public Comment Period
Nov 19, 2021 -- Notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extending the comment period on an information collection regarding current evidence-based, workplace and occupational safety and health interventions to prevent work-associated stress, support stress reduction, and foster positive mental health and well-being among the nation's health workers. Comments are now due by January 25, 2022.
Source: Federal Register

HHS: Extension of the Deadline for Nomination of Delegates; Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity Tribal Advisory Committee; Solicitation of Nominations for Delegates
Nov 19, 2021 -- Notice from the Department of Health and Human Services extending the deadline for the submission of nominations for the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity Tribal Advisory Committee (CIIHE TAC). CIIHE TAC will support research, education, service, and policy development advancing Indigenous solutions that ultimately address health disparities in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) populations. Nominations are now due by January 7, 2022.
Source: Federal Register

EOP: Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People
Nov 18, 2021 -- Executive Order directing the Attorney General, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Secretary of the Interior, and other leaders of executive department agencies, to take a series of actions in consultation with tribal governments and communities to address issues around violence against Native Americans, including missing or murdered Indigenous people. Among other things, this executive order directs the Secretary of HHS to develop a comprehensive plan to support prevention efforts that reduce risk factors for victimization of Native Americans and increase protective factors, including by enhancing the delivery of services for Native American victims and survivors, their families, and advocates.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Strengthening Disability Inclusion Efforts within Local Health Departments Demonstration Projects
Funding to enhance local capacity to meet the needs of people with disabilities within local and tribal health department programs, policies, and services.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Dec 20, 2021
Sponsor: National Association of County and City Health Officials

YouthBuild Grants
Grants to organizations providing pre-apprenticeship services that support education, occupational skills training, and employment services for at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24, while performing meaningful work and service to their communities. The YouthBuild program model contains wrap-around services such as mentoring, trauma-informed care, personal counseling, and employment.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jan 21, 2022
Sponsors: Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

Ohiyesa Premedical Program
A year-long educational program designed to engage and support Native American Tribal and/or community college students interested in pursuing a healthcare career, with a program focus on the physician pathway. The program includes quarterly virtual group meetings, individual meetings with faculty sponsors and mentors, and a 3 week on-site summer program in Boston at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jan 31, 2022
Sponsor: Front Line Indigenous Partnership

Predoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene
Awards funding to plan, develop, and operate predoctoral training programs in dentistry and dental hygiene for dental and dental hygiene students that address enhancing pediatric training to support improved access to oral health care for vulnerable, underserved, or rural communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Feb 7, 2022
Sponsors: Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration

Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program
Grants to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide supportive services for very low-income veterans and their families residing in or transitioning to permanent housing. Supportive services grants will be equitably distributed across geographic regions, including rural communities and tribal lands.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Feb 7, 2022
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dental Clinician Educator Career Development Program
Grants to strengthen the primary care workforce by supporting the academic career development of faculty who teach primary care dentistry or focus their teaching on the integration of oral health in family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics. Training for rural practices and addressing social determinants of health are two of the program's focus areas.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Feb 14, 2022
Sponsors: Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Customized COVID-19 Contact Tracing Curriculum
The development of no-cost COVID-19 contact tracing curricula customized for local public health departments.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsor: Public Health Foundation

Supporting Farmers' Mental Health: Understanding Farm Culture and Farm Family Dynamics
A self-paced, online training course designed to help behavioral health providers better understand and address the mental health needs and challenges of farmers and their family members.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis
Sponsors: University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, Behavioral Health Training Partnership, Wisconsin Farm Center, Wisconsin Department of Health Services

New Resources

Addressing Rural Co-Morbidities of Mental Health and Social Conditions
Three-part webinar series discusses the way mental and social co-morbidities can compound already existing barriers to mental healthcare in rural areas. Part One: Employing Treatment and Environmental Interventions to Support Rural Populations explores how rural areas shape mental health needs and interventions. Part Two: Supporting Rural Aging Populations addresses the social and mental health needs of rural elders. Part Three: Using Faith Supports to Increase Mental Health in Rural Communities details the role communities and leaders of faith can play in supporting mental health interventions.
Additional links: Part 1 Slides, Part 1 Video Recording, Part 2 Slides, Part 2 Video Recording, Part 3 Slides, Part 3 Video Recording
Sponsoring organization: Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center
Date: 10/2021

Assessment of State and Federal Health Policies for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
Examines state-level policy data from government and nonprofit agencies related to treatment access and treatment retention for patients with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Describes policy changes affecting telehealth coverage, delivery, and payment; issues of licensing and security; and the initiation an dispensing of treatment medications.
Author(s): Seema Chosky Pessar, Anne Boustead, Yimin Ge, Rosanna Smart, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
Location: JAMA Health Forum, 2(11), e213833
Date: 11/2021

Association of Rural and Critical Access Hospital Status With Patient Outcomes After Emergency Department Visits Among Medicare Beneficiaries
Compares 30-day outcomes for 473,152 Medicare patients after emergency department (ED) visits in rural or urban settings and in Critical Access Hospitals. Features statistics on mortality, ED revisits, hospitalization and transfer patterns by commonly encountered ED conditions, and characteristics of patients and of hospitals studied, with breakdowns by urban or rural location.
Author(s): Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen, Neil Kamdar, Paul Lin, et al.
Location: JAMA Network Open, 4(11)
Date: 11/2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic's Impact on Rural Hospital Staffing
Summarizes the results of a survey of rural hospital leaders between September 21, 2021 - October 15, 2021, regarding COVID-19 vaccination among rural hospital personnel. Discusses the prevalence of vaccine mandates at rural hospitals and the impact of staffing shortages on access to care.
Sponsoring organization: The Chartis Group
Date: 11/2021

Critical Access Hospitals' Initial Response to COVID-19 by System Affiliation
Summarizes results of a survey of Critical Access Hospital (CAH) executives in eight states regarding the initial response to COVID-19 through August 2020. Presents data by system-affiliated and independent CAH status. Discusses COVID-19 case volume, personal protective equipment (PPE) supply, and the perceived impact of system affiliation status on facilities' overall response to COVID-19.
Sponsoring organization: Flex Monitoring Team
Date: 11/2021

Enhancing Cancer Care of Rural Dwellers Through Telehealth and Engagement (ENCORE): A Protocol to Evaluate Effectiveness of a Multi-Level Telehealth-Based Intervention to Improve Rural Cancer Care Delivery
Describes a proposed study of telehealth-based cancer interventions at both the provider and patient levels in order to identify barriers and facilitators for the intervention. Outlines the study's protocols, methods, and contributions to technology-enabled and team-based delivery models to support cancer care for rural and underserved populations.
Author(s): Tuya Pal, Pamela C. Hull, Tatsuki Koyama, et al.
Location: BMC Cancer, 21, 1262
Date: 11/2021

Examining Rural Hospital Bypass for Outpatient Services
Explores the drivers of rural hospital bypass for outpatient services and the relationship between hospital outpatient services and inpatient utilization. Examines demographic and market characteristics associated with bypass for outpatient services before and after inpatient admissions. Also analyzes how utilization for common outpatient services differs between Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and rural prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 11/2021

FORHP Rural Health Investments by State
Shares information on Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) investments in Fiscal Year 2021. Provides an overview of total FORHP rural health investments to respond to COVID-19, address opioid use disorder, support rural hospitals, and address other issues. Individual state fact sheets list grant and cooperative agreement recipients, award amounts, award recipient locations, and congressional districts.
Sponsoring organization: Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Grantee Spotlight: Building Capacity for Tribal Health Providers to Deliver OUD Treatment in Rural Alaska
Profile features the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and discusses its work supporting providers and organizations who provide treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) in tribal communities in Alaska. Highlights some of the barriers to OUD treatment in rural Alaska and the methods used to overcome them.
Sponsoring organizations: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts (FORE)
Date: 11/2021

Homicides of American Indians/Alaska Natives — National Violent Death Reporting System, United States, 2003–2018
Examines homicides of American Indians/Alaska Natives. Provides data by victim and suspect sex, age group, race/ethnicity, method of injury, location where the homicide occurred, metropolitan status, events that contributed to the homicide, and other selected characteristics. Includes data on intimate partner violence-related homicides.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) Surveillance Summaries, 70(8), 1-19
Date: 11/2021

Improving Health in Rural Communities: FY 2021 Year in Review
Provides an overview of Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) programs and activities that have affected rural health and healthcare in fiscal year 2021. Focuses on 10 priority areas: COVID-19, Federally-facilitated and State Marketplaces; Medicare payment and policy; practitioner workforce; Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment, payment, and policy; long-term services and supports; maternal health; mental health and substance use disorders; models and demonstrations, and quality and equity.
Sponsoring organization: CMS Rural Health Council
Date: 11/2021

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Funding for USDA Rural Broadband Programs
Provides an overview of funding included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58) for two rural broadband-related programs: the ReConnect Program and the Rural Broadband Program. Compares administrative provisions and requirements for the ReConnect Program with requirements for previous rounds of funding.
Sponsoring organization: Congressional Research Service
Date: 11/2021

Linking Families and Teens: Reducing Teen Pregnancy by Increasing Family Connectedness and Youth Self-Efficacy
Report details and evaluates a program designed to prevent unplanned teen pregnancies in rural communities. Highlights the programs structure and the measures used to evaluate it.
Sponsoring organizations: Office of Population Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Date: 10/2021

Medicare: Information on the Transition to Alternative Payment Models by Providers in Rural, Health Professional Shortage, or Underserved Areas
Describes the participation of providers in rural and health professional shortage areas in Advanced APMs from 2017 through 2019. Discusses challenges providers in rural, shortage, and underserved areas face in transitioning to APMs, as well as actions CMS takes to help these providers transition to APMs. Includes data by practice and provider type.
Additional links: Full Report
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
Date: 11/2021

National Rural Health Day 2021 Community Stars
Collection of stories about individuals and organizations across the U.S. that have made positive differences in the health of the rural communities they serve through innovation, leadership, commitment, collaboration, education, and communication.
Sponsoring organization: National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
Date: 11/2021

Network Adequacy for Behavioral Health: Existing Standards and Considerations for Designing Standards
Summarizes findings from a technical expert panel and an environmental scan to examine federal and state network adequacy standards for behavioral health across Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care, and commercial insurance. Presents considerations and principles for designing, monitoring, and enforcing additional behavioral health network adequacy standards.
Sponsoring organization: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Date: 11/2021

NIH Rural Health Seminar: Structural-Level Determinants of Rural Health Disparities
Recording of a seminar that examines structural-level determinants of rural health disparities, including sociocultural and economic determinants, physical environmental determinants, and research, evaluation, measurement, and policy methods and implications.
Additional links: Seminar Agenda, Speaker Biographies
Sponsoring organizations: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
Date: 11/2021

Policies for Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality and Enhancing Equity in Maternal Health: A Review of the Evidence
Examines maternal health in relation to social determinants of health (SDOH), addressing disparities for Black, rural, veteran, and incarcerated mothers. Highlights environmental and healthcare issues, as well as strategies to improve maternal health outcomes through workforce initiatives, data collection, and policy changes.
Sponsoring organization: Commonwealth Fund
Date: 11/2021

QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Death Rates from Heart Disease Among Adults Aged 45–64 Years, by Urbanization Level and Sex — National Vital Statistics System, United States, 2019
Bar chart showing death rates from heart disease for adults age 45-64 in urban areas, rural areas, and total for both sexes, for women, and for men.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 70(46), 1621
Date: 11/2021

Reaching Rural and Remote Workers with COVID-19 Vaccinations
A guide to help state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments provide COVID-19 vaccinations to rural and remote essential workers. Identifies vaccination and communication strategies to reach this audience.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 08/2021

Research Policy Update - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Partnering with Tribal Nations on Research
Features frequently asked questions for groups interested in partnering with tribal nations on research projects. Discusses tribal Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals, working with the Indian Health Service (IHS), and publishing research results, among other topics.
Sponsoring organization: National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center
Date: 11/2021

Rural America at a Glance: 2021 Edition
Provides an overview of social and economic factors affecting rural America, with a focus on the the resiliency and recovery of rural communities following the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes data on population and employment changes, infection rates, and broadband internet access and adoption, as well as persistent poverty.
Sponsoring organization: USDA Economic Research Service
Date: 11/2021

Rural Emergency Hospital: Policy Brief and Recommendations to the Secretary
Describes the development of the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation in response to rural hospital closures and issues accessing emergency care. Lists statutory requirements for hospitals wishing to become an REH, and offers policy recommendations related to participation conditions, quality reporting, reimbursement, and emergency medical transfer agreement.
Sponsoring organization: National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services
Date: 10/2021

Rural Telehealth and Healthcare System Readiness Measurement Framework: Final Report
Presents a performance measurement framework to guide quality and performance improvement for healthcare services delivered via telehealth in rural areas in response to disasters. Covers five domains — access to care and technology; costs, business models, and logistics; experience; effectiveness; and equity — rural-specific measurement issues, and potential solutions. Includes recommendations for rural telehealth measurement for time-sensitive emergencies, public health emergencies, and disasters.
Sponsoring organization: National Quality Forum
Date: 11/2021

Traffic Safety Facts, 2019 Data: Rural/Urban Comparison of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities
Fact sheet containing information on fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes, based on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Features statistics on fatalities by 100 million vehicle miles traveled, light condition, driver fatalities and age group, percentages of speeding-related fatalities by time of day and day of week, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, unrestrained occupant fatalities, and fatalities by state, with breakdowns by rural and urban locations. Includes a state-level map showing ratio of rural to urban fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2019.
Sponsoring organization: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Date: 11/2021

Traffic Safety Facts, 2019 Data: Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes
Contains information on fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Features statistics on fatality and injury rates per population, licensed drivers, registered vehicles, and vehicle miles traveled, from 2010–2019; percentages of traffic fatalities by person type in 2010 and 2019; and a state-level map showing fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, by state, in 2019. Includes a section comparing traffic fatality rates in urban and rural areas.
Sponsoring organization: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Date: 11/2021

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Proposals: HIMSS22 Global Conference & Exhibition
Deadline: Nov 29, 2021
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Event Dates: Mar 14 - 18, 2022
Orlando, FL
Conference Website

Call for Proposals: 2022 AHA Leadership Summit
Deadline: Dec 3, 2021
American Hospital Association
Event Dates: Jul 17 - 19, 2022
San Diego, CA
Conference Website

Call for Abstracts: 2022 Annual NACCHO Conference
Deadline: Jan 7, 2022
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Event Dates: Jul 19, 2022
Atlanta, GA
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

Make the Most of Your Swing Bed Program by a Quality Certification. A look at Lexington Regional Health's Experience
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Central
The Compliance Team
Policymaking to Support the Health of Native American People
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Alliance for Health Policy
Engaging Native People and Their Families in Healing through Relationships
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Pacific
Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, Pacific Southwest ATTC
Community Partnerships to Promote the Equitable Distribution of the Covid-19 Vaccine Part I: Outreach and Educational Efforts
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pacific
Health Outreach Partners
Culturally-Informed Approaches to Rural Healthcare: An Introduction
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. Central
Kansas Office of Primary Care & Rural Health
State Legislative Actions to Support the Behavioral Health Workforce in Rural Communities
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Rural Communities Opioid Response Program - Technical Assistance
Improving Rural Road Safety with the Safe Systems Approach Part 6 of 6: Post-Crash Care
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern
National Center for Rural Road Safety
Molecular Approaches for Clinical and Public Health Applications to Detect Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 Viruses
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Passcode: 274605
Dial in: 669.254.5252
Webinar ID: 160 926 2149
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Reenvisioning Rural America: Supporting Asset-Based Rural Investment and Capacity Building
Time: 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Urban Institute
Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality
Time: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Health Resources and Services Administration

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