Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Pennsylvania Immunization Program Newsletter Launches


The very first issue of the Pennsylvania Immunization Program newsletter has been released. The Division of Immunizations will use this platform to communicate important updates, best practices, and significant changes related to the various programs within the Division of Immunizations, such as Vaccines for Children (VFC), Adolescent and Adult Immunizations Programs, the COVID-19 Vaccine Program, and the Pennsylvania Immunization Information System (PA SIIS) Registry. Health centers that are in the above programs should have received an email with this newsletter as it will take the place of information being sent out directly by each vaccine program. This newsletter will replace other vaccine communication from the PA Department of Health all and will be distributed every other month via listserv. If you did not receive the email from DOH with the newsletter and are participating in one or more of the above vaccine programs, email a request to be added to the distribution list to or

In Need of COVID-19 Tests?

HRSA continues to have an abundant supply of COVID-19 testing supplies—both at-home self-tests and point-of-care tests—available for all HRSA-supported health centers through the HRSA COVID-19 Testing Supply Program. HRSA encourages providers to consider two important factors as you place orders: the cyclical nature of COVID-19 surges and your existing/potential community partners. Get information on how to enroll here.



$10 Million in New Funding is Approved to Support High-Speed Broadband Infrastructure in Unserved Areas of Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s administration announced the approval of $10 million for 19 projects through the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) for nongovernmental entities to deploy middle-mile and last-mile high-speed broadband infrastructure to unserved areas in Pennsylvania through the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program (UHSB). Click here to learn more about the approved projects. More information about the UHSB program and the Commonwealth Financing Authority can be found on the Department of Community and Economic Development website.

Critical Access Hospitals are Omitted from Telehealth Extension


Critical-access hospitals (CAH) will no longer be able to bill Medicare for telehealth services when there is not a public health emergency. For reasons not yet clear, the omnibus appropriations bill enacted last week excluded CAHs, which primarily serve rural areas, in the telehealth extension which extended Medicare coverage of telehealth for five months after the end of the public health emergency for several types of providers, including FQHCs.

HHS Begins to Test Single Log-in for Patients

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working with healthcare organizations to roll out a single login for patients to access their medical records across multiple systems, Politico reports. Twenty health care organizations are participating, including CVS Health, Kaiser Permanente, Providence, Cambia, and credential service providers including The launch later this month will set up a test environment for integrating the technology; CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) will act as observers. In concept, healthcare organizations using the technology would allow patients who have proved their identity to access their health information from different systems in a single step.

Have a Project that Needs Funding? Earmarks Process Begins in Pennsylvania House for FY2023 Spending Bills

U.S. House lawmakers have begun soliciting earmarks in next year’s spending bills under new guidelines Democratic leaders have circulated. After President Joe Biden’s signature last Tuesday on a $1.5 trillion fiscal 2022 omnibus package, House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), wrote to colleagues Friday outlining initial steps for members to obtain “community project funding” in fiscal 2023 spending bills. In the U.S. Senate, members have already begun soliciting earmark requests from constituents based on last year’s guidelines, though the rules in that chamber could still be tweaked. Interested in applying for “community project funding”? Visit the website for your Members of Congress, including both Senators, and look for information that they have posted about how to apply. Click here to find your U.S. Representative and your two U.S. Senators.

HRSA Announces Consolidates COVID-19 Office Hours

HRSA has combined the Office Hours for all their COVID-19 Response Programs (which directly allocate COVID-19 vaccines, testing supplies, therapeutics, and N95 masks to HRSA-supported health centers). While the sessions are geared toward participants, any HRSA-supported health center is welcome to attend to learn about these programs. Register here.