Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Welcome, Ringtown!

On September 4, 2018, St. Luke’s Miners welcomed a new RHC to their family! St. Luke’s Miners Health Center-Ringtown has joined the MORE Care family! Their staff attended Healthy Teeth, Healthy Children and MORE Care presentations in preparation for the clinic’s opening. As the health center in Ringtown begins welcoming new patients, oral health will be integrated into patient visits. Welcome, Ringtown!

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CMS Announces Expanded Medicare Disparities Tool

CMS OMH has expanded the Mapping Medicare Disparities (MMD) Tool to include a Hospital View! Based on feedback from users, the MMD tool now allows users to compare health outcomes and quality measures between hospitals. The new Hospital View enables users to compare quality at the hospital level in their communities by specific measures, such as avoidable hospitalizations and 30-day readmission rates.

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Reports from the Exploring Strategies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities project

The NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis is pleased to share the final report and a series of practice briefs from the Exploring Strategies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities project. These documents are the result of a one-year formative research project exploring rural strengths, cross-sector partners, cultural and historical assets, and opportunities for action to improve health and equity in rural communities. We welcome and would appreciate wide dissemination of these materials through your networks and established dissemination channels. Please let us know if we can support you in doing so.

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The National Quality Forum (NQF) is Excited to Release a New Rural Health Report

The National Quality Forum (NQF) is excited to release the following rural health report: A Core Set of Rural-Relevant Measures and Improving Access to Care. This report highlights the work of the NQF-convened Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) workgroup regarding the best available quality measures and recommendations for improving access for the rural population.

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What Are Rural Health Leaders Asking about Value-Based Care and Payment?

Recently, Rural Health Value published an issue brief summarizing the health care value issues most frequently cited and given the highest priority by rural health care leaders. At the end of the brief, there is a helpful guide listing free tools and resources that can help rural providers address some of these issues. For more rural-focused tools and resources on value-based care, visit

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Rural Hospital Mergers from 2005 through 2016

This study found that mergers have been a common phenomenon among rural hospitals. More than half of all rural hospital mergers occurred in 11 states (Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, and Illinois). These findings support the need for further research investigating why so many rural hospitals are merging, the financial impact of merging, and the impact on access to care within affected rural communities.

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Non-Medical Opioid Use among Rural and Urban Pregnant Women

Non-medical opioid use during pregnancy has potential health consequences for pregnant women and their infants, yet little information is available about its prevalence and associated factors in rural communities. This brief presents data on rural-urban differences in non-medical opioid use among pregnant women to inform policy, programmatic, and clinical efforts to address this crisis.

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CDC: Surveillance of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released their annual report on substance use disorder, including rates of fatal overdose and non-fatal overdose hospitalizations and emergency department visits. The report features statistics with breakdowns by large and small metropolitan areas, less urbanized, and completely rural areas.

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MCHB Challenge: Addressing Opioid Use in Pregnant Women

Women who are pregnant or new mothers struggling with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), especially those in rural and under-resourced communities, face a variety of barriers in obtaining safe and effective care and treatment. HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) will be launching a new Challenge on September 19 and will award up to $375,000 for low-cost, scalable, innovative solutions to address barriers that limit access to quality treatment, care and support services for those with OUD, specifically pregnant women and new moms in geographically isolated areas. Get details and sign up to get news about upcoming MCHB Challenges on

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