- In a Rural California Region, a Plan Takes Shape to Provide Shade from Dangerous Heat
- New Native American Health Alliance to Address Physician Shortages in Tribal Communities
- How NRHA, USDA Are Helping Rural Hospitals
- Hundreds of Thousands of US Infants Every Year Pay the Consequences of Prenatal Exposure to Drugs, a Growing Crisis Particularly in Rural America
- Rural Maternal Health Series Webinars
- Federally Qualified Health Centers Can Make the Switch to Value-Based Payment, But Need Assistance
- New Program Aims to Boost Tribal Access to Care, but Advocates Says More Can Be Done
- Tribal Schools to Get 24/7 Behavioral Health Crisis Line
- As More Rural Hospitals Stop Delivering Babies, Some Are Determined to Make It Work
- PCORI Advisory Panels: Panel Openings
- Tribes in Washington Are Battling a Devastating Opioid Crisis. Will a Multimillion-Dollar Bill Help?
- HHS Launches Postpartum Maternal Health Collaborative
- FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Releases Annual Agency Equity Action Plans to Further Advance Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
- Rural Emergency Medical Team Touts Using Whole Blood to Help Save Lives
- New Black-Owned Freight Farm in Rural Minnesota to Tackle Food Insecurity, Health Inequities
The Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Dr. Rachel Levine as the HHS Assistant Secretary of Health (ASH). She is the first openly transgender federal official ever confirmed by the Senate. In a Daily Yonder op-ed, Brock Slabach, NRHA Senior Vice President of Member Services, explained that, “[Dr. Levine] helped enact a new system for stabilizing revenue for rural hospitals. She’s the right person to serve as [the HHS ASH].” Additionally, the Senate voted 57-43 to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, who previously served as Surgeon General in the Obama Administration.
Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) announced the introduction of their bipartisan bill: The Rural Behavioral Health Access Act. This legislation would ensure that Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) retain important flexibility to provide behavioral health services through telehealth after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. NRHA had the opportunity to host the introduction event for this important piece of legislation yesterday. You can watch the recording of the event featuring Representatives Kildee and Wenstrup here, and you can find the bill one-pager here and the full legislative text here.
The Senate passed H.R. 1868, a bill to provide continued relief from Medicare sequestration and technical corrections to the rural health clinics (RHC) provisions included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021. The measure must go back to the House of Representatives before becoming law due to changes in the text regarding Medicare sequestration. NRHA anticipates the House will take the measure up when they return from recess on April 12, 2021. CMS has said they will not proceed with actions contradictory to the pending legislation in the meantime.
HHS released a report with existing data on rates for infection, hospitalization, death, and vaccination by race and ethnicity. The brief discusses the drivers of these disparities and offers policy recommendations for achieving health equity.
President Biden has doubled the administration’s vaccination goal for the first 100 days in office from 100 million to 200 million doses. This follows the administration meeting the initial goal of 100 million doses after just 58 days in office. About 2.5 million doses are being issued in the U.S. every day.
CMS released this memo on the implementation of updated RHC rates as included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). The ‘base rate’ for PB RHCs will be the 2020 interim rate if the MAC does not have a final settled cost report. This indicates that the final base rate will be from the final settled 2020 cost report. CMS goes on to say that they plan to discuss more about rates and processes in the 2022 physician fee schedule rule. NRHA will pass along updated information as it becomes available.
The Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ) created this resource specifically for rural clinicians. The toolkit includes case scenarios, templates, and checklists to improve the quality and safety of managing sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection.
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is a non-profit organization focusing on health care priorities for American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. This annual report lists issue areas ranging from COVID-19 response to telehealth capacity to water and sanitation infrastructure.
A new brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on a higher rate of overdose deaths due to heroin and cocaine in urban areas. In rural areas, however, overdose rates were higher for natural and semisynthetic opioids, synthetic opioids (excluding methadone), and psychostimulants with abuse potential.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two new resources to support the use of telehealth. The first educates patients on what to expect during a telehealth visit, and the second supports providers in how to conduct a successful telehealth visit and how to keep up to date on Medicare and Medicaid telehealth payments. Social media graphics are also available.