Rural Caregiving Challenges, Interventions and Resources

Two policy briefs released this week come from the University of Minnesota RUPRI Health Panel, part of the HRSA-supported Rural Health Research Gateway. The first brief, Perspectives on Rural Caregiving Challenges and Interventions, presents findings from key informant interviews describing challenges and opportunities related to supporting informal caregivers in rural areas. The second brief, Resources for Caregiving in Rural Communities, describes resources that are being used across the country to support caregivers in rural communities.

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Pennsylvania Rural Hospital Leader Receives National Quality Spirit Award

University Park, Pa. – Larry Baronner, rural healthsystems manager and deputy director at the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH), received the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) Spirit Award on July 18, 2018 at a national meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, convened by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP).

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Pennsylvania Critical Access Hospital Program Receives National Recognition for Quality Improvement

University Park, Pa. – The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). has recognized 10 states for outstanding quality performance of their Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in achieving the highest reporting rates and levels of improvement across the nation over the past year. The recognition was given on July 18, 2018 at a national meeting in Bethesda, Maryland, convened by FORHP. The CAH program is administered by State Offices of Rural Health; the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) leads the program in the state. Pennsylvania has 15 CAHs which serve the most rural communities in the state.

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The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of a new Rural Communities Opioid Response (Planning) (RCORP) initiative in FY 18

Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 for one-year to develop plans to implement opioid use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery interventions designed to reduce opioid overdoses among rural populations.
The initiative will focus on the 220 counties identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being at risk (PDF – 158 KB), as well as other high risk rural communities.

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CMS announces new model to address impact of the opioid crisis for children

Model to focus on children in Medicaid and CHIP who have physical and behavioral health needs, including substance use

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new Innovation Center payment and service delivery model as part of a multi-pronged strategy to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. The Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model aims to reduce expenditures and improve the quality of care for children under 21 years of age covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through prevention, early identification, and treatment of behavioral and physical health needs. The model will empower states and local providers to better address these needs through care integration across all types of healthcare providers.

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Homelessness in the Commonwealth

A new report from our Research Assistant Intern, Brian Summersgill, highlights trends in homelessness throughout the Commonwealth in 2017 with HUD’s Point-in-Time (PIT) counts. The data show that while Pennsylvania’s homeless population has decreased in the past five years, its rank relative to other states and Washington D.C. climbed from 10th to 7th highest. The latest point-in-time counts suggest a homeless population of just over 14,000 persons in Pennsylvania.

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Insuring Rural America: Health Insurance Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Keith J. Mueller, Charlie Alfero, Andrew Coburn, Jennifer Lundblad, A. Clinton MacKinney, Timothy McBride and Guest Author – Abigail Barker

Current U.S. policy utilizes various market-based models within Medicare, Medicaid, and Health Insurance Marketplaces to ensure access to health insurance coverage, but access is increasingly uneven and unaffordable, especially in some rural areas.

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Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America 2003-2018

Authors: Abiodun Salako, MPH; Fred Ullrich, BA; Keith J. Mueller, PhD

Over the last 16 years, 1,231 independently owned rural pharmacies (16.1%) in the United States have closed. The most drastic decline occurred in the immediate period following the implementation of Medicare Part D – between 2007 and 2009. This decline has continued through 2018, although at a slower rate. Six hundred and thirty rural communities that had at least one retail (independent, chain, or franchise) pharmacy in March 2003 had no retail pharmacy in March 2018.

Click to download a copy: Update: Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America 2003-2018