- KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: February 2021
- USDA Invites Comments on Final Rule to Expand Broadband Access in Rural America Under the ReConnect Program
- USDA Invests $42 Million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine Infrastructure to Improve Education and Health Outcomes
- Rural Death Rate from COVID-19 Falls by a Third
- Data-Driven Initiative Drives Down Disparities in Rural Health Care
- To Vaccinate Veterans, Health Care Workers Must Cross Mountains, Plains and Tundra
- Report: 10 Western States See Some Drug Overdoses Deaths Increase by Nearly 100%
- COVID-19 Is Pushing Struggling Rural Hospitals to the Brink
- COVID-19 Converges with the Opioid Epidemic: Challenges for Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Opioid Use Disorder
- Rural Hospital Remains Entrenched in COVID 'War' Even Amid Vaccine Rollout
- USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19
- Biden Administration Announces Actions to Expand COVID-19 Testing
- Expanding Testing on Reservations
- Rural COVID-19 Cases Drop While Rural Death Rate Holds Steady
- 2021 Special Enrollment Period for Marketplace Coverage Starts on HealthCare.gov Monday, February 15
Rural Philanthropy Toolkit. A new toolkit at the Rural Health Information Hub, developed in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, is designed to help rural organizations create and maintain partnerships with philanthropies. The toolkit provides steps and resources for connecting with philanthropic organizations and examples of emerging strategies in rural communities.
CDC: Opioid Prescribing Higher in Rural Areas. In the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed electronic health record data from 2014-2017 and found that patients in the most rural counties had an 87% higher chance of receiving an opioid prescription compared to patients in large metropolitan counties. The report posits higher odds may be attributed to several factors, including higher prevalence of conditions associated with pain and limited access to alternative therapies
The Flex Monitoring Team’s latest briefing paper is an updated review of CAHs’ community benefit activities. This paper is a companion paper to FMT’s Briefing Paper #39 which provided a snapshot of how CAHs use the community health needs assessment (CHNA) process to address community needs.
This paper examines community benefit data from the IRS Form 990 for 50 tax-exempt CAHs to understand how these hospitals are fulfilling their community benefit obligations and assess community benefit spending patterns. Examples of how state Flex programs can support CAHs in meeting their community benefit obligations and address gaps in CHNA compliance are discussed.
Click through to review our findings.
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.
All materials and a brief description of the project can be found on the Exploring Strategies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities project webpage. The following links will take you to each report directly:
- Final Report: “Exploring Strategies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities”
- Practice Brief #1: “Leveraging Culture and History to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities”
- Practice Brief #2: “Supporting Change Agents across Sectors to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities”
- Practice Brief #3: “Recommendations for Philanthropies and Government Agencies to Improve Health and Equity in Rural Communities”
New Reports and Recommendations for Rural Health Policy. Two new briefs from the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services are now viewable online. During its September 2018 meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Committee took an in-depth look at two pertinent topics: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and oral health care services. The Committee examined the factors and impacts of these conditions in rural areas and sent its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The RUPRI Rural Health Panel, through the support of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) in the Department of Health and Human Services, has released a new Policy Brief, Assessing the Unintended Consequences of Health Policy on Rural Populations and Places.
The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the unintended consequences of health policy so that past is not prologue to future. The Panel explores a series of health policies that have affected, or had the potential to affect, rural people, places, and/or providers in ways counteractive to policy intent. Two realities drive the need for this analysis: 1) Rural health care systems are living with the legacy of policies having unintended consequences because the full impact of such policies on rural stakeholders was neither predicted nor understood; and (2) Policymakers have recognized the need to apply a rural lens to new and ongoing programs and policies to inform the pathways by which equitable rural health status and health care can be achieved, as articulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rural Health Council in its first explicit Rural Health Strategy. The Panel concludes with a framework for health policy evaluation that considers potential and unintended rural impacts.
A new report from our intern, Craig Yetter, uses microdata from the U.S. Community Survey to identify trends in domestic out-migration from Pennsylvania by age. Major trends identified include that nearly half of out-migrants were age 18 to 34 and that out-migrants age 65 and over moved to Florida in much greater percentages than other cohorts.
Click here to read more.
Effective January 1, 2019, CMS announced new strategies to further help Medicare Part D sponsors prevent and combat opioid overuse including additional safety alerts at the time of dispensing as a proactive step to engage both patients and prescribers about overdose risk and prevention. The new policies include (1) improved safety edits when opioid prescriptions are dispensed at the pharmacy and (2) drug management programs for patients determined to be at-risk for misuse or abuse of opioids or other frequently abused drugs.
CMS has posted tip sheets and other resources to help increase awareness of the new policies among stakeholders. Three sets of outreach materials designed for physician, pharmacist, and beneficiary audiences are available on the CMS website for download. Materials can be found at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovContra/RxUtilization.html
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Epidemiology has issued the 2017 Annual HIV Surveillance Summary Report. DOH is also working towards launching a virtual command center to address the increase of Hepatitis A. They will be working with various departments within DOH to take a three-pronged approach of looking at homelessness, drug users, and men who have sex with men (MSM), a model that is being successfully used in regions of Philadelphia.