Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

New Resource from the RUPRI Rural Health Value Team 

The Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Rural Health Value team has updated their Catalog of Value-Based Initiatives for Rural Providers. The resource includes one-page summaries of various HHS value-based programs appropriate for rural participation. It covers programs implemented by HHS, primarily by CMS and its Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). Recent catalog additions include 1) Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Community Transformation and Accountable Care Organization Tracks 2) the Radiation Oncology Model, and 3) the Value in Opioid Disorder Treatment Model.

NRHA Outlines New Rural Emergency Hospital Model 

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has created a summary of the new REH model and NRHA’s considerations for CMS as the program is implemented. Section 125 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) model as a new Medicare provider type, effective as of January 1, 2023. NRHA believes the REH model will be an opportunity for vulnerable rural communities to maintain an essential access point for health services. It will be critical for NRHA membership to engage in the REH implementation process, including monitoring CMS’ development of the conditions of participation and calculations of payment methodologies. Find a blog on the document here. If you have questions or feedback, please reach out to Carrie Cochran-McClain at

Senate Finance Committee Votes on CMS and HHS Nominees 

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on President Biden’s nominees for CMS Administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, and HHS Deputy Secretary, Andrea Palm. On Thursday, the Committee voted on both nominees. The nomination of Andrea Palm advanced by a vote of 20-8.  Chiquita Brooks-LaSure’s nomination resulted in a party-line vote of 14-14, which will require Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to schedule a floor vote to ultimately release her nomination from the Committee. If that vote is successful, Brooks-LaSure will be considered by the full Senate, as will Andrea Palm.

President Biden to Unveil Full Budget Request in May 

The FY 2022 appropriations timeline has been delayed because the Biden Administration has not released their complete budget request. To date, Congressional appropriators have only received a high-level budget outline. This week, the White House confirmed that they plan to release the President’s full budget request next month. However, House Democrats may be planning to make progress on their appropriations bills by using a “deeming” resolution to set a FY 2022 topline discretionary spending limits. House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth has indicated that he does not expect to mark up the FY 2022 appropriations bills until June, but by setting topline spending limits, the House can begin to make progress on their appropriations bills. NRHA is advocating on behalf of a number of rural health line items to provide relief and support to rural America’s health care safety net. Notably, this week, NRHA helped circulate the House Rural Health Care Coalition’s Dear Colleague letter, which calls for robust funding for rural health line items.

Changes in Provision of Selected Services by Rural and Urban Hospitals Between 2009 and 2017

During the past decade, access to healthcare services provided by rural hospitals has changed in two major ways. First, there has been a substantial increase in the number of rural hospitals that have closed or converted (provide some healthcare services but not inpatient care). Secondly, and less understood, many rural hospitals have reduced or terminated services historically considered to be essential hospital services. This brief from the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center describes and compares these changes.

Volunteer to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has expanded its definition of persons authorized to give the vaccine.  These include, among others, current and retired traditional and non-traditional health care professionals, and students in health care programs. Find more information here.