Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Federal Exchange Signups Reach 1.7M

On November 20, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 737,352 people signed up for federal exchange plans during the third week of the Affordable Care Act’s current open enrollment period, bringing total federal exchange plan signups to about 1.7 million since the open enrollment period launched Nov. 1. Total signups so far this open enrollment period are down 13% when compared with the same point in last year’s open enrollment period. (Source: Modern Healthcare, 11/20

CMS Flags Nursing Home Citations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its Nursing Home Compare website has added a new icon—a red circle with a white stop hand in the center—to ratings for 760 facilities, indicating that the facilities have been cited for an incident of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Consumer advocates have applauded the move, but some in the nursing home industry say the alerts are misleading. (Source: Wall Street Journal, 11/19)

Millennials’ Health Worse that Previous Generations

Millennials are experiencing chronic health issues at greater rates than previous generations, according to a report released this month by Moody’s and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The report noted that higher rates of chronic conditions could have a significant effect on millennials’ economic potential and health spending in the future. (Source: Bloomberg, 11/6)

Time to Celebrate the #PowerofRural!

Every year, the third Thursday of November is designated as National Rural Health Day (NRHD). What began as an annual, single day of recognition has grown to be a national conversation and movement!

Multiple events are happening in every state across the country throughout the week and on November 21. the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health has made it easy to participate by offering free communication tools, an idea guide, and an extensive listing of and registration for activities around the country – all available on!

Thanks again for all you do to help us transform this moment into a movement!

Apple Health Records Rollout for Nation’s Veterans

Apple and the Department of Veterans Affairs have completed the rollout of Apple Health Records to any iOS users among the more than 9 million veterans in the US and surrounding territories. Veterans will have secure access to a portable aggregated record of their allergies, immunizations, lab results, procedures and other health measures through the health records feature in Apple’s health app.The rollout includes 1,243 facilities across all 50 states as well as Cuba, Guam, Philippines, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Data will be encrypted and secured with passwords, TouchID or FaceID. Earlier this year, the VA rolled out its LaunchPad app, designed as a one-stop shop to help veterans manage care across the VA system; view and share electronic health records; share other health information with care providers; more easily book appointments; and refill prescriptions.  The VA also announced a partnership with Verizon, offering veterans who are Verizon customers unlimited access to the VA Video Connect telehealth app with no data charges.