- EOP: Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access
- HHS Awards Over $101 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis
- Research Brief: Rural Areas Have Higher Individual Health Insurance Premiums and Fewer Plan Choices
- 'Like a Horror Movie': A Small Border Hospital Battles the Coronavirus
- Using Pharmacists to Provide Care in Rural Areas
- Trump Administration Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas
- President Trump Signs Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access
- Rural Counties Playing Catch-up with 2020 Census Response
- FCC Extends 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window
- HHS Extends Application Deadline for Medicaid Providers and Plans to Reopen Portal to Certain Medicare Providers
- Rural and Community Hospitals – Disappearing Before Our Eyes
- Helping America's "Forgotten Places" Amid a Pandemic
- Study Examines Telehealth, Rural Disparities in Pandemic
- Research Brief: Rural Nurse Practitioners Work with More Autonomy than Urban Nurse Practitioners
- Native Americans Feel Devastated by the Virus Yet Overlooked in the Data
WASHINGTON, February 6, 2019 – Acting Administrator for USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Bette Brand announced today USDA would extend application deadlines for the Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program).
To give potential applicants adequate time to access technical assistance from USDA staff and its partners, the first application deadline will be pushed back to May 31, 2019 or later. Previously, application deadlines began in April. New specific deadlines for ReConnect Program grants, loans, and grant-loan combination applications will be posted in the Federal Register in late February.
“We’ve seen such strong interest in ReConnect from rural telecommunications providers and utility cooperatives, that we want to be sure there’s enough time for them to put solid applications together for these innovative funding opportunities,” said Bette Brand. “The USDA team stands ready to assist with engineering and business plans, to be sure these new Federal funds are as impactful as possible.”
As one part of that technical assistance, USDA is hosting a webinar with general information about the ReConnect program and guidance from experts for potential applicants. This webinar is open to the public and interested parties, and will be offered at 2:00 pm Eastern Time on both Thursday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 13, 2019.
In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. On December 13, Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced the rules of the program, called “ReConnect”, including how the loans and grants will be awarded to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.
Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA’s new ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. Through the ReConnect Program, USDA is making available approximately $200 million for grants, as well as $200 million for loan and grant combinations, and $200 million for low-interest loans. Funds will be awarded to projects that have a financially-sustainable business models that will bring high-speed broadband to rural homes, businesses, farms, ranches, and community facilities such as first responders, healthcare sites, and schools.
More information about the ReConnect program may be found at http://reconnect.usda.gov.
Rural Health Network Thrives on Innovation in Whole-Person Care – Health Care Collaborative (HCC) of Rural Missouri, a rural health network comprised of more than 55 member organizations, wraps social service support around the patients who receive care at four HCC health care clinics. (February 2019)
Top resources on the Rural Health Value website:
- Value-Based Care Assessment – Assess capacity and capabilities to deliver value-based care. Receive an eight category readiness report.
- Physician Engagement – Score current engagement and build effective relationships to create a shared vision for a successful future.
- Board and Community Engagement – Hold value-based care discussions as part of strategic planning and performance measurement.
- Social Determinants of Health – Learn and encourage rural leaders/care teams to address issues to improve their community’s health.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently released an updatedU.S. Health Workforce Chartbook that provides estimates for 35 health occupations, including physicians, nurses, dentists, counselors, and laboratory technicians. The Chartbook includes information on demographics, workforce settings, and geographic distribution. HRSA also updated the U.S. Health Workforce State Profiles as a companion to the Chartbook, with corresponding data on the number of graduates in each profession, total number of providers, and number per capita.