Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

2020 Census: Who’s At Risk of Being Miscounted?

The Urban Institute has published a report identifying the populations at risk for being miscounted in the 2020 U.S. Census.  According to the Institute, the decennial census, which aims to count every US resident each decade, is critical to our democracy. It affects congressional seats and funding decisions at every level of government.

But the 2020 Census faces unprecedented challenges and threats to its accuracy. Demographic changes over the past decade will make the population harder to count. And underfunding, undertested process changes, and the last-minute introduction of a citizenship question could result in serious miscounts, potentially diminishing communities’ rightful political voice and share of funding.

To understand how these factors could affect the 2020 Census counts, the Urban Institute created projections under three scenarios—reflecting the miscount risk as low, medium, or high.  Access the report at

Community HealthChoices (CHC) in Pennsylvania is Coming in January 2020

The counties included in the third and final phase of the program’s implementation are:

  • Lehigh/Capital Zone: Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, York.
  • Northeast Zone: Bradford, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuykill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Wyoming.
  • Northwest Zone: Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, Warren.

What you need to know:

  • CHC information for providers or participants can be found at The website will be updated as events are scheduled, so please check back often.
  • Click here to take our online trainings and read CHC fact sheets.
  • Access a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about CHC by clicking here.
  • Contact a CHC managed care organization (CHC-MCO) to become part of their provider network:

Here’s a schedule of what’s coming in 2019

July 2019-October 2019

  • An introductory flyer will be sent to participants identified within the CHC population. View the flyer by clicking here.
  • Notices and enrollment packets will be mailed to participants.
  • Information on the LIFE program will be sent to potentially eligible participants.
  • Informational sessions will be held for participants to learn about CHC and how to select a CHC-MCO.
  • For a full look at the CHC implementation timeline, click here.
  • To learn the difference between CHC and HealthChoices, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Long-Term Living’s Provider Hotline at 1-800-932-0939

A listserv has been established for ongoing updates on the CHC program. It is titled OLTL-COMMUNITY-HEALTHCHOICES, please visit the ListServ Archives page at to update or register your email address.

Please share this email with other members of your organization as appropriate. Also, it is imperative that you notify the Office of Long-Term Living for changes that would affect your provider file, such as addresses and telephone numbers. Mail to/pay to addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers may be updated electronically through ePEAP, which can be accessed through the PROMISe™ provider portal. For any other provider file changes please notify the Bureau of Quality and Provider Management Enrollment and Certification Section at 1-800-932-0939 Option #1.

To ensure you receive email communications distributed from the Office of Long-Term Living, please visit the ListServ Archives page at to update or register your email address.

Management Methodologies and Value-Based Strategies: An Overview for Rural Health Care Leaders

Management Methodologies and Value-Based Strategies: An Overview for Rural Health Care Leaders. The Rural Health Value team recently released a new resource outlining eight commonly used change management methodologies that are rural-relevant. It is intended as a guide to help rural health care leaders identify which approaches might be most useful to them and their organizations.

Resource for Clinicians: Health Workforce Connector

The newly-updated site allows users to create a profile to be viewed by employers at more than 16,000 sites and healthcare facilities located in rural and underserved communities.  Subscribe for updates on virtual job fairs, as well as loan repayment and scholarship opportunities from the Bureau of Health Workforce at the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Assistance

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Training and Assistance.  The website created at Brandeis University and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice provides comprehensive services and resources to help support the use and effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs in combating the misuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Visit the resource center. The department’s Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP) also offers training and TA around increasing PDMP efficiencies and facilitating coordination between PDMPs and state and national stakeholders.

CMS ET3 Model RFA Preview and Webinar Archive Now Available

CMS ET3 Model RFA Preview and Webinar Archive Now Available. On June 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted an overview webinar on the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model Request for Applications (RFA), which was released for preview on May 22. The ET3 Model is a voluntary five-year payment model that provides greater flexibility for ambulance care teams to implement alternate models of emergency medical services (e.g., telehealth treatment and transport to alternative destinations) that appropriately address the needs of Medicare beneficiaries following a 911 call. The recorded webinar is now available online and includes key components of the RFA (i.e., eligibility requirements, application timelines, and necessary information required for a complete application). The application portal for the RFA will open later this summer and the anticipated start date for the ET3 Model is January 2020.

Comments Requested: Methodology for FCC Broadband Fund

Comments Requested: Methodology for FCC Broadband Fund – July 15.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks feedback from the public on its proposed rule establishing a cap for the Universal Service Fund (USF) or methods for evaluating the financial impact of USF’s 4 programs: Connect America Fund, the Lifeline program, the schools and libraries program, and the Rural Health Care program. These programs support access to high-speed broadband. 

Bill Introduced to Increase Broadband Access in Rural Areas

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, (D-Minn.), Gary Peters, (D-Mich.), and John Thune (R-S.D.) recently introduced the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, which is intended to improve the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband availability maps by improving the broadband data collection process. “Broadband maps are a critical tool in our effort to close the digital divide in rural areas like those throughout my home state of South Dakota, but they are only as good as the data that’s used to produce them,” Thune says. Additionally, the U.S. Senate on June 5 passed by unanimous consent a bipartisan bill offered by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), to conduct an assessment and analysis of the effects of broadband deployment and adoption on America’s economy.

Pennsylvania Update to 2011 Pew Report Card

In 2011, The Pew Center on the States, a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts, released a report that graded states’ ability to serve insured and soon-to-be insured children and compared results to 2010 grades. In 2018, Pennsylvania completed their own report card to monitor for any changes and improvements. Pennsylvania has made updates and met additional benchmarks.  Click here to view the report card.