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PennDOT Begins Process to Update Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, Seeks Public Feedback

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 13, 2018 – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, (PennDOT) today announced that it has begun the process of updating the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and is inviting the public to weigh in through an online survey.

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Racial Disparities in Age-Specific Mortality Among Blacks or African Americans – Pennsylvania, 1999–2015

Since the 1980s, substantial progress has been made in improving residents’ death rates in Pennsylvania, as well as in the United States. However, ongoing racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic and other disparities in health still exist and need to be addressed. This health disparity report highlights some of the differences in the health behaviors and outcomes between two racial groups (black and white populations) in Pennsylvania. Understanding disparities in the selected leading causes of death across the life span and gaps in health behaviors can promote awareness of health inequities among the public and enhance targeting of appropriate interventions.

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Follow PA Schools Work Campaign on Social Media

PPC is a proud member of the PA Schools Work Campaign, a coalition of organizations from across Pennsylvania working together to advocate for our states public schools, their students and the communities they serve. The efforts of the campaign helped to secure an increase of $100 million for basic education in the recently-passed FY 2018-19 state budget, in addition to a $15 million increase for special education funding and a $30 million increase in career and technical education funding.

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Release of 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book Shows Slight Progress for Pennsylvania

In late June the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book, ranking Pennsylvania 17th in the country for overall child well-being. The Data Book uses 16 indicators to rank each state across four domains: education, health, economic well-being and family and community.

Across these domains, Pennsylvania now ranks:

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Medpac 2018 Data Book Highlights Medicare Spending for Services Provided in Rural and Urban Areas

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) Data Book provides information on national health care and Medicare spending as well as Medicare beneficiary demographics, dual-eligible beneficiaries, quality of care in the Medicare program, and hospital closures.  Among the key findings: about 91 percent of rural hospitals were paid through the Critical Access Hospital, Rural Referral Center, or Sole Community Hospital provisions or the Medicare Dependent Hospital program in 2016. Collectively, these four types of hospitals accounted for 90 percent of all rural Medicare discharges.

HRSA Recognizes Success of Rural Quality Improvement Projects

This week, FORHP’s parent agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognized 13 organizations for their work in improving chronic disease health outcomes and advancing the quality and delivery of rural health care.  Through FORHP’s Small Health Care Quality Improvement Program, these organizations have invested resources into quality improvement projects across rural America that have improved patient health outcomes through activities such as care coordination, telehealth and patient education.

Primary Care: The Foundation for a High Performance Rural Health Care System

Primary care provided in rural areas is different from primary care provided in urban locations. Different approaches are needed to build and sustain a high performance rural health care system. The high performance rural primary care system uses a coordinated, person-centered, and team-based approach that integrates behavioral, social, and community services, including inpatient services when indicated, and is supported by value-based payments and care coordination. To build and sustain a high performance rural primary care system, an adequate supply of primary care health professionals that serve distinctive, multifaceted roles is needed. To achieve this high performance system, unique policy choices and opportunities must be considered that support the transition to a high performance rural primary care system and workforce. This paper reviews the essential elements of a robust rural primary care system, including development and maintenance of a high performance rural primary care system and workforce, as well as policy considerations and opportunities that address the sustainability of rural primary care.

Primary Care: The Foundation for a High Performance Rural Health Care System

Independently Owned Pharmacy Closures in Rural America, 2003-2018

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. 

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