Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

President Biden Nominates Brooks-LaSure to be CMS Administrator  

President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure previously served as a policy official with the Obama Administration and played an instrumental role in guiding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through passage and implementation. If her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Brooks-LaSure will take the helm of arguably the country’s most influential healthcare agency, and she will have the opportunity to make decisions that will greatly impact rural health.

Comments Requested:  Proposed Changes to the Census Bureau Definition of Urban – May 20

The Bureau of the Census seeks public input on their proposals to change the criteria for defining urban areas based on the results of the 2020 Decennial Census.  There are several significant changes for consideration, including defining urban areas based on housing unit density instead of population density and increasing the minimum population required to form the core of an urban area from 2,500, which was established over a century ago, to 10,000.  The definition of ‘rural’, areas that are not urban, is not proposed to change. Read more here.

Opioid-Related Visits to Rural Emergency Departments

This study from the Maine Rural Health Research Center compared rural and urban opioid-related visits (ORVs) to the emergency departments and the outcomes of these visits. One finding was that rural ORVs were more likely than those in urban areas to be by patients 65 and older and to involve concurrent use of benzodiazepines.

Share Your Thoughts and Opinions on Health – Respond by March 15

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking English-speaking people living in rural areas to participate in virtual discussions about health. The purpose of these discussions is to obtain consumer feedback on newly developed health materials. HRSA is open to speaking with individuals from diverse backgrounds.  Sessions will be held in March and May via Zoom and will last approximately 90 minutes. All who participate will receive monetary token of appreciation. If you or someone you know may be interested, please have them contact or call (972) 503-3100 x- 407. Feedback from rural populations will help HRSA create easy to understand health materials for everyone.

Mapping Climate Risks by County and Community

The American Communities Project is a nonpartisan nonprofit that uses a range of data, from consumer surveys to polling, to categorize 15 types of counties across the U.S.  This report assesses risk for extreme rainfall, drought, and heat stress in each county and describes the impact on public health.

AARP/RAND Corporation on Mobility for Older Adults

The RAND Corporation is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that researches and analyzes public policy.  In this collaboration with the AARP, researchers consider the challenges in rural areas as they examine how the use of automated vehicles and shared mobility options such as car-sharing and ride-hailing may benefit or harm older adults.

CDC: Care Outcomes Among African Americans Diagnosed with HIV

In the February 19th Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that rural Black persons received a higher percentage of late-stage diagnosis than those in urban and metropolitan areas during 2018.  Linkage to care within one month of diagnosis was similar across geographic areas, but viral suppression within six months of diagnosis was highest in metropolitan areas.