- USDA Invites Comments on Final Rule to Expand Broadband Access in Rural America Under the ReConnect Program
- KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: February 2021
- 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
This reference resource is intended to support rural health care providers, along with their state and local partners, navigate the availability of federal funds to support the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response and recovery efforts. Seven (7) tables, or matrices, are provided for quick reference at the beginning of this resource. The tables can be used to check eligibility of participation in funding sources by provider types: rural prospective payment system (PPS) and critical access hospitals (CAH), rural health clinics (RHC), federally qualified health centers (FQHC), long-term care (LTC) or skilled nursing facilities (SNF), tribal facilities, and emergency medical services (EMS).
The tables also provide an at-a-glance view for each provider type sharing the different types of funds that may be accessed from various funding sources dependent on their participation eligibility. Each funding source is described in its own section of this resource with an executive summary followed by further detail on the use of funds and reporting requirements. Hyperlinks to the legislation and detailed information is provided for each funding source.
by Jenn Lukens
Human trafficking, as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “involves force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” Referred to as a form of “modern-day slavery,” human trafficking occurs in every state and is not limited by the size of a community. While there is debate about the exact dollar amount, the industry generates profits into the billions, making it one of the most profitable crimes in the world. It has been identified as a public health concern by researchers, federal agents, and healthcare professionals alike.
Click here to read part one of a two-part series on human trafficking in rural America.
The Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), in coordination with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), are pleased to the release of a new resource: The COVID-19 Funding Sources Impacting Rural Providers guide. This funding resource is intended to support rural health care providers, along with their state and local partners, navigate the availability of federal funds to support the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response and recovery efforts.
Seven tables, or matrices, are provided for quick reference at the beginning of this resource. The tables can be used to check eligibility of participation in funding sources by provider types: rural prospective payment system (PPS) and critical access hospitals (CAH), rural health clinics (RHC), federally qualified health centers (FQHC), long-term care (LTC) or skilled nursing facilities (SNF), tribal facilities, and emergency medical services (EMS). The tables also provide an at-a-glance view for each provider type sharing the different types of funds that may be accessed from various funding sources dependent on their participation eligibility. Each funding source is described in its own section of this resource with an executive summary followed by further detail on the use of funds, reporting requirements, hyperlinks to the legislation and detailed information.
The National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) is also pleased to announce a new COVID-19 Collection located on The Center’s website. This collection consists of trusted and reliable resources, such as the COVID-19 Funding Sources Impacting Rural Providers Guide listed above, along with standing links to additional organizations’ COVID-19 resources, FAQs, webinars, tools, and trainings. The Center aims to help direct the most up-to-date and relevant tools and resources to rural hospitals, clinics, and their communities. This Collection will be updated regularly to help assist with the abundance of circulating information relating to COVID-19.
CBS-affiliate WUSA 9 reported on the racial disparities in dental care. The report cites The Pew Charitable Trusts studies showing higher rates of tooth decay and tooth loss in communities of color. The report examines contributing factors such as the low insurance reimbursement rates for patients on Medicaid.
The Families USA Health Action Network released, “Now is the Time for Oral Health Coverage: A Call to Action for All Health Advocates.” The publication covers how achieving a healthier, stronger, more equitable nation requires prioritizing comprehensive health coverage that includes oral health care. They are asking the public to submit personal stories about the importance of oral health care or how a lack of access to oral health care has affecting them.
The ADA News reported a new study found that “parents feel comfortable having discussions about human papillomavirus (HPV) and its vaccine in the dental setting.” A survey of 208 parents of adolescents aged 9-17 found 66.4% of the parents felt dentists were qualified to counsel about HPV and 72.6% felt they were qualified to counsel about the vaccination. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), is releasing a new report showing the dramatic utilization trends of telehealth services for primary care delivery in Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare in the early days of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The report analyzes claims data from January through early June. The report underscores how telehealth flexibilities, introduced by the Trump Administration to address the care delivery disruptions caused by the pandemic, helped to spur and maintain Medicare beneficiaries’ access to their primary care providers.
At the start of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), with stay-at-home orders in place and warnings on the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increasing with age, the report found Medicare FFS in-person visits for primary care fell precipitously in mid-March. It then found that in April, nearly half (43.5%) of Medicare primary care visits were provided through telehealth compared with less than one percent (0.1%) in February before the PHE.
The full report with additional information can be found here: https://www.aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/medicare-beneficiary-use-telehealth
Access to maternity care in rural US counties has been on the decline in recent years. The purpose of this infographic is to show the loss of hospital-based obstetric services from 2004-2018, and how this differs by county type (micropolitan vs. noncore). Read more here.
Effective August 14, 2020, this final rule makes changes to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ regulations governing these records to facilitate information exchange for safe and effective SUD care, while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a SUD. Read more here.
Recently, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) issued an update to its frequently asked questions (FAQs) on COVID-19 Testing Funds for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). The update addresses questions on the use of funds, insurance payments, links to key information, and other technical details. Technical assistance (TA) for this program is provided by the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) under a cooperative agreement with FORHP, and archived TA webinars are available on the NARHC and Rural Health Information Hub websites.