Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Advance Practice Providers Still Encounter Barriers to Prescribing Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder

Nov 25, 2019 — Summarizes survey findings where rural and urban nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) were asked about their history and practice of treating patients with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. Includes the demographic breakdown of the clinicians surveyed and identifies barriers to prescribing the treatment, such as concerns of misuse and a lack of psychosocial support services in their area.

Read article here: https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/home/topics/pain-information-center/pain-management-information-center/advance-practice-providers-report-barriers-to-prescribing-buprenorphine/

Americans’ Drinking, Drug Use, Despair Wiping Out Life Expectancy Gains

Nov 26, 2019 — Summarizes a study that reported three straight years of declining life expectancy in the U.S., attributed to an uptick in deaths from opioid and alcohol abuse as well as obesity. Describes a disparity between rural and urban life expectancies due to healthcare access and income inequality.

Read the article here: https://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/americans-drinking-drug-use-despair-wiping-out-life-expectancy-gains

Gov. Wolf: Investing $15 Million to Expand Access to High-Quality Affordable Child Care, Reduce Waiting Lists

Harrisburg, PA – On December 4, 2019, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the award of $15 million to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care to more than 900 infants and toddlers around Pennsylvania. The investment comes from the 2019-2020 budget, which included the $15 million investment in federal funds to expand access to high-quality care and reduce the subsidized child care waiting list.

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Wolf Administration Pushes Back on Trump Administration Attacks on SNAP and Vulnerable Pennsylvanians

Harrisburg, PA – On December 3, 2019, Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller submitted public comment to the Trump Administration opposing its proposal to change how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits – formerly known as food stamps – are determined. The proposed rule would alter the method Pennsylvania uses to determine the Heating/Cooling Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) for SNAP recipients and could negatively affect approximately 775,000 households in Pennsylvania.

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A Lag in Federal Exchange Signups

CMS last week announced that 703,556 people signed up for federal exchange plans during the fourth week of the Affordable Care Act’s current open enrollment period, bringing total sign ups since the open enrollment period’s launch to 2,372,957. Total signups so far this open enrollment period are down by about 2% when compared with the same point in last year’s open enrollment period, when 2,424,913 people had signed up for federal exchange plans. (Source: Bloomberg Law, 12/2)

The Decline In U.S. Life Expectancy

U.S. residents for decades had seen improvements in average life expectancy, but the trend reversed in 2014, according to a study published last week in JAMA. Researchers found that, since 2014, more U.S. residents have been dying at middle age from drug overdoses, diseases, obesity, suicide, and dozens of other causes. (Source: Washington Post, 11/26)