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Rural Health Information Hub

RHIhub This Week - May 11, 2022

Updated RHIhub Toolkits

Oral health icon Rural Oral Health Toolkit
This recently updated toolkit provides models, resources, and best practices to support development and implementation of oral health programs in rural communities.

suicide prevention icon Rural Suicide Prevention Toolkit
Check out our updated toolkit! This toolkit contains resources and information focused on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining rural suicide prevention programs.

 New in Our Online Library
 Information from around the web

Recent News

Filling Rural NC's Maternal Health Care Desert
May 11, 2022 -- Describes efforts to address obstetric and gynecological care shortages in western North Carolina. Highlights the work of the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) to support the maternal health workforce through residencies, fellowships, and training programs, as well as a new online masters program through Western Governors University targeting mental healthcare, which is an additional gap in postpartum care.
Source: North Carolina Health News

Deadline Extended: NHSC New Site Application
May 10, 2022 -- Announcement of an extension to the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) New Site Application cycle, which is now open through June 7, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. Provides information on the application requirements and webinar recordings that provide more information for applicants.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration

The 'Five Pandemics' Driving 1 Million U.S. Covid Deaths
May 10, 2022 -- Marks the milestone of 1 million deaths to COVID-19 in the U.S. by analyzing mortality data by 5 metrics: early and late periods of the pandemic, by age, for vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, rural and urban, and for poorer and wealthier populations. Rural and urban data includes mortality, hospitalization, and vaccination rates over time.
Source: Stat

Lakota Gardening Initiative Becomes Oasis in Multi-County Food Desert in South Dakota
May 9, 2022 -- Describes challenges to accessing healthy foods for residents of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, highlighting the work of the Lakota Food Sovereignty Coalition, a gardening initiative supporting community food production on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and Cheyenne River reservations. Notes barriers to food access in rural and tribal communities related to transportation, food quality, and cost of produce.
Source: Farm Forum

Tribes Credited With Elevating Vaccinations in Rural Arizona
May 7, 2022 -- Highlights the efforts of Native American organizations, tribal nations, and the Indian Health Service (IHS) to vaccinate rural populations in Arizona, which is the only state with higher rural COVID-19 vaccination rates than metro rates. Describes disparities in COVID-19 infection and mortality for Native American communities and notes a high turnout in rural counties along the U.S-Mexico Border, including a county that had a vaccination rate of 146% through providing vaccines to laborers from Mexico and visitors to the area.
Source: AP News

Improving Access to Virtual Care for Homebound Rural Veterans
May 6, 2022 -- Highlights the work of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Home Based Primary Care team (HBPC) to deliver in-home visits through virtual technology. Describes the process of connecting with patients through the VA's virtual platform and overcoming barriers for patients who had difficulty using the technology.
Source: VAntage Point

Understanding Key Telehealth Disparities & Patient-Facing Barriers
May 6, 2022 -- Describes barriers to providing equal access to telehealth, covering racial, age, and rural disparities in telehealth use, issues related to technology access and literacy, and broadband access. Notes ongoing telehealth challenges and concerns related to primary language, housing instability, substance use disorder medications, and patient privacy.
Source: mHealth Intelligence

Federal Register

AHRQ: National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality: Request for Nominations for Members
May 6, 2022 -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is requesting nominations for the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality to serve 3-year terms beginning in the spring of 2023. At least one member of the committee must be familiar with rural health issues. The committee advises the AHRQ director and the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding AHRQ's mission. Nominations are due within 60 days of this notice.
Source: Federal Register

Funding & Opportunities

Comprehensive Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Program
Grants to support state, local, and tribal drug take-back efforts, including purchasing storage and disposal equipment and other innovative approaches.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 20, 2022
Sponsors: Institute for Intergovernmental Research, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice

COPS Office School Violence Prevention Program
Grants to improve security at schools and on school grounds through planning and the implementation of evidence-based school safety programs and technology. Approximately $1 million of the available funding is set aside for microgrants for school districts, including rural, tribal, and low-resourced schools.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jun 14, 2022
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Justice

Service Area Competition Funding for the Health Center Program (Areas Served with a Project Period Start Date of January 1, 2023)
Grants to health centers to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to an underserved area or population. Areas with a January 1, 2023 project period start date are eligible to apply.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jul 5, 2022
Sponsors: Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration

Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plans
Funding to collaborate with multi-sectoral partners to develop an implementation-ready Social Determinants of Health Accelerator Plan to reduce disparities in health outcomes related to chronic disease in a tribal jurisdiction, community, or catchment area. Health disparity populations include rural and tribal communities, among others.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Letter of Intent (Optional): Jun 8, 2022
Application Deadline: Jul 8, 2022
Sponsors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Regional Partnership Grants to Increase the Well-Being of, and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for, Children and Families Affected By Opioids and Other Substance Abuse
Funding for collaborative regional partnerships that provide activities and services designed to increase the well-being of, improve permanency outcomes for, and enhance the safety of children who are in, or at risk of, an out-of-home placement as a result of a parent's or caregiver's opioid or other substance abuse.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jul 8, 2022
Sponsors: Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Reducing Maternal Deaths Due to Substance Use Disorder
Grants for projects designed to strengthen perinatal and postnatal support structures for patients with substance use disorder (SUD), with the goal of reducing overdose and death due to SUD.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide and U.S. territories
Application Deadline: Jul 11, 2022
Sponsors: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service
Monetary awards that honor health delivery organizations that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community service.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Jul 30, 2022
Sponsor: American Hospital Association

New Resources

April 2022 MedPAC Meeting Transcript
Transcript from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) April 2022 meeting. Covers high prices of drugs covered under Medicare Part B, initial findings from MedPAC's analysis of Part D data on drug rebates and discounts, segmentation in the stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan market, leveraging Medicare policies to address social determinants of health, an approach to streamline and harmonize Medicare's portfolio of alternative payment models, and aligning fee-for-service payment rates across ambulatory settings. Includes rural references throughout.
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
Date: 04/2022

ARPA's Enhanced Premium Subsidies Provide Particularly Large Benefits to Residents of Rural Areas
Compares the differences between average Marketplace benchmark monthly premiums in urban and rural areas in each state in 2022. Discusses the impact of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded premium subsidies in rural areas.
Sponsoring organization: Urban Institute
Date: 05/2022

Exploration of Remote Didactics at Rural Family Medicine Training Programs
Results of an electronic survey of rural family medicine residency site directors across the United States. Includes analyses through statistics with an emphasis on descriptions of current didactic practices, facilitators, and challenges to implementation. Features statistics with breakdowns by urban or rural location.
Author(s): Ying Zhang, Tessa E. Moore, Amanda Weidner, et al.
Location: Family Medicine, 54(5), 362-363
Date: 05/2022

Geographic Differences in Sex-Specific Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mortality Rate Trends Among Adults Aged ≥25 Years — United States, 1999–2019
Examines trends in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mortality for men and for women age 25 and older, with data by urban-rural location for large central metropolitan, large fringe metro, medium metro, small metro, micropolitan, and noncore areas.
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 71(18), 613-618
Date: 05/2022

"Hard to Say Goodbye Over iPad": Experiences of Palliative Care Providers and Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Communities of Indiana, United States
Explores health care professionals' perspectives about the challenges and barriers to providing palliative care in rural Indiana during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presents findings from interviews with 15 providers on restricted visitation, communication barriers, provider distress, and hospice services and referrals.
Author(s): Nasreen Lalani, Yun Cai, Yitong Wang
Location: Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 24(3), E94-E100
Date: 03/2022

January 2022 MedPAC Meeting Transcript
Transcript from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) January 2022 meeting. Covers payment adequacy and updates for hospital inpatient and outpatient services, physician and other health professional services, outpatient dialysis services and improving the ESRD payment system, skilled nursing facility services, home health agency services, long-term care hospital services, inpatient rehabilitation facility services, hospice services, and ambulatory surgical center services. Includes rural references throughout.
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
Date: 01/2022

March 2022 MedPAC Meeting Transcript
Transcript from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's (MedPAC) March 2022 meeting. Covers findings from MedPAC's annual beneficiary and clinician focus groups, Medicare payment policies to support safety-net providers, opportunities to strengthen the geriatric workforce, integrating episode-based payment with population-based payment, and improving Medicare Advantage risk adjustment. Includes rural references throughout.
Sponsoring organization: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
Date: 03/2022

Post-Acute and Long-term Care Providers and Services Users in the United States, 2017–2018
Describes the supply, organizational characteristics, staffing, and services offered by post-acute and long-term care providers. Provides descriptions of service users, including residents of nursing homes and residential care communities, patients receiving home health or hospice care, and people who attend adult day services centers. Features statistics including distribution of post-acute and long-term care providers in 2017-2018, with breakdowns by metropolitan, micropolitan, or other areas.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
Date: 05/2022

Rural Health Quality: How CMS Initiatives Improve How We Measure and Address Gaps in Care
Recording of an April 2022 webinar regarding healthcare quality measurement in rural areas. Discusses measurement challenges in rural areas and how CMS is working to mitigate these issues. Presents resources and programs for rural providers to improve healthcare quality. Transcript is available by clicking the dots above the Subscribe button, then selecting Open Transcript.
Additional links: Presentation Slides
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 04/2022

Section 127 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act: Graduate Medical Education (GME) Payment for Rural Track Programs (RTPs)
Describes changes in direct graduate medical education (GME) and indirect GME payments to teaching hospitals that train residents in Rural Training Programs beginning on October 1, 2022.
Sponsoring organization: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date: 04/2022

State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report, Spring 2022
Bi-annual summary report on telehealth policies as of May 2022. Covers Medicaid reimbursement, private payer laws, and professional requirements.
Additional links: Executive Summary, Infographic, State Summary Chart
Sponsoring organization: Center for Connected Health Policy: The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center
Date: 05/2022

Strategies for Rural Health Leaders' Success in a Post-COVID-19 World
Playbook for rural hospital leaders to approach COVID-19 response, vaccination, and related public health efforts. Discusses strategies for countering misinformation through partnerships with community institutions, conducting assessments of community vaccination needs, and communications and engagement. Features case studies of hospitals serving rural communities, and offers links to other tools and resources.
Additional links: Webinar: Rural Health Leaders on Strategies for Pandemic and Beyond
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
Date: 05/2022

Stronger Together: Federal Funding and Planning Strategies Designed to Promote Sustainable Economic Development in Rural America
Resource guide offering information for rural communities on planning and technical assistance, infrastructure and broadband expansion, entrepreneurship and business assistance, and workforce development and livability. Covers the purpose, eligibility, application process, and contact information for programs from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and USDA Rural Development in each of these areas.
Sponsoring organizations: Economic Development Administration, USDA Rural Development
Date: 04/2022

Telemedicine Use in Children Aged 0–17 Years: United States, July–December 2020
Report examining telemedicine use by children ages 0-17 based on data from the National Health Interview Survey collected between July-December 2020 and covering the prior 12 months. Discusses findings related to telemedicine use in general and because of the COVID-19 pandemic; percentages of children who used telehealth because of the pandemic by rural, medium and small metropolitan, and large metropolitan residence; and telehealth use among children with selected chronic conditions.
Sponsoring organization: National Center for Health Statistics
Date: 05/2022

The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans
Reports on civil legal needs experienced by low-income Americans who do not seek professional legal help and the paths they take when facing civil legal problems. Includes information on legal needs related to healthcare access and other issues that impact health, such as housing and COVID-19. Provides details for specific groups, including rural residents, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, parents of children under 18, and domestic violence survivors.
Additional links: Executive Summary, Full Report, Special Focus Rural
Sponsoring organization: Legal Services Corporation
Date: 04/2022

Vital Signs: Changes in Firearm Homicide and Suicide Rates — United States, 2019–2020
Reports on changes to firearm homicide and suicide rates by age, race/ethnicity, region, and urbanization level. Examines 2019-2020 national vital statistics and population data, as well as urbanization and poverty measures at the county level.
Author(s): Scott R. Kegler, Thomas R. Simon, Marissa L. Zwald, et al.
Location: MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 71
Date: 05/2022

Open Calls for Contributions

Call for Proposals: 2022 25th Annual South Carolina Rural Health Conference
Deadline: May 31, 2022
South Carolina Office of Rural Health
Event Dates: Oct 18 - 20, 2022
Greenville, SC
Conference Website

Call for Proposals: 2022 Annual New England Rural Health Conference
Deadline: Jun 30, 2022
New England Rural Health Association
Event Dates: Nov 1 - 2, 2022
Killington, VT
Conference Website

Upcoming Events

CMS Rural Health Strategy "Refresh" All Tribes Call Listening Session
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern
CMS Rural Health Council
Sustainable Livelihoods and Behavioral Health: Strategies and Partnerships to Address Farm Stress and Suicide
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Veterans, Agriculture, and Stress
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
National AgrAbility Project
2022 Spring Forum: Annual Nebraska Rural Health Association and Rural Health Clinic Conference
Nebraska Hospital Association, Nebraska Rural Health Association
Kearney, NE
2022 Kentucky Rural Telehealth Summit
University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health
Lexington, KY
CMS ITU Training: Bemidji Area Virtual Trainings
Sessions available June 21 - July 1
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CMS ITU Training: Nashville Area Virtual Trainings
Sessions available June 21 - July 1
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

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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.