Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

The Importance of Public Transportation and Why We Protect It

Health Outreach Partners (HOP), an HRSA National Health Center Training and Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement awardee, presented a webinar focused on understanding the public transportation landscape and the importance of collaboration between transportation systems and health centers. Health centers assist consumers with transportation as an enabling service along with a translation, enrollment services, and other services used to augment patient care. HOP provides training, consultation, and timely resources for Community Health Centers, Primary Care Associations, and safety-net health organizations. Slides and recordings are available.

CMS Coverage to Care Relaunches Initiative


Coverage to Care (C2C) is an initiative, developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to help consumers and patients understand health coverage and connect to health services to improve overall health and preventative care. These tools can be customized to boost health literacy efforts among patient populations. The relaunch of the program includes updated digital media, customizable resources, in-depth research materials, and metrics to help stakeholders and partners engage in meaningful outreach.

Congress Begins FY23 Appropriations Process, President’s Budget Expected March 28 

Last Friday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent an FY23 Dear Colleague letter to House Members. The letter states that Members have from April 4 to the end of April to submit up to 15 requests for FY23 community project funding or earmarks. Anticipated in the coming days and weeks are other submission deadlines from the Appropriations Committee in the House and Senate, with all deadlines subject to change. President Biden will likely release his FY23 budget request to Congress on Monday, March 28, 2022, including HRSA’s FY23 Health Center Program funding request.

COVID-19 Supplemental Funding Status is Unclear 

The FY22 omnibus appropriations package signed into law last week did not include $15.6 billion in COVID-19 supplemental funding. The House wants to vote on a separate COVID-19 supplemental funding bill that would provide funding to reimburse medical providers for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines for the uninsured. According to the White House, if the bill does not pass, the Administration is “simply out of funding” for federal COVID-19 supplies and treatment resources. As a result, free COVID-19 treatments like monoclonal antibodies will become more expensive, and two antiviral drugs authorized to treat COVID-19 under emergency use will be unavailable commercially. Democrats and Republicans are still debating how to offset the supplemental funding, which Republicans indicate must happen for legislation to move forward. NACHC is elevating the importance of this funding to health centers and the patients you serve.

Pennsylvania Extends Naloxone Standing Order to Combat Opioid Overdose Deaths

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s administration announced the expansion of Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson’s naloxone standing order to include a form of eight milligrams (mg) naloxone nasal spray. Members of the public can print a copy of the standing order and present it at their local pharmacy to obtain life-saving naloxone. Last year, the FDA approved the higher dosage of naloxone nasal spray to reverse an opioid overdose. The FDA had previously approved two mg and four mg naloxone nasal spray products. The Department of Health recently revised Pennsylvania’s naloxone training video, available through Train PA, to include updated overdose death statistics and information on administering naloxone. To watch the training, you must create an account through Train PA. Learn more about the Wolf Administration’s efforts in combatting the overdose crisis

Pennsylvania Leadership Details $225 Million Appropriation to Support Health Care Workforce

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s administration shared details of the $225 million appropriations in Act 2 of 2022, which will support the health care workforce needs of hospitals and behavioral health providers, including $15 million to quadruple the funds available for the nurse loan forgiveness program at Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). This legislation received bipartisan support in the General Assembly, and Governor Wolf signed it into law in January. Funding will come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and will be distributed to eligible hospitals and behavioral health providers across the commonwealth.

Dental Sealant Benefits Outlined in American Dental Association White Paper

The ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention released a white paper listing the benefits of using dental sealants in children and adolescents and providing guidance on prevention, quality and efficacy measures on the use of sealants, according to ADA News. The white paper, which was created by the council’s Advisory Committee on Dental Sealants with Irene Hilton, D.D.S., as chair, found that sealants can effectively prevent and arrest pit-and-fissure/ occlusal carious lesions of primary and permanent molars and reduce the progression of noncavitated occlusal carious lesions.

Full Story: ADA News


Rural Hospital Closures Have Increasingly Occurred in Counties that Are More Urbanized, Diverse, and Economically Unequal

Since 1990, Rural Hospital Closures Have Increasingly Occurred in Counties that Are More Urbanized, Diverse, and Economically Unequal Researchers at the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center found that closures were more likely to occur in a county with more non-white residents.  Between 1990 and 2020, rural closure counties became more economically unequal, with higher unemployment, lower per capita income, and lower median household incomes compared with rural counties overall.

The Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Directory for 2021-2025 Released

Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program Directory, 2021-2025.  Now available on the Rural Health Information Hub, the directory provides contact information and a brief overview for each of the federal program’s 61 currently funded initiatives.  This includes 45 initiatives working to address a wide variety of rural healthcare needs through funding under the program’s general outreach track, and 16 initiatives funded under the program’s Healthy Rural Hometown Initiative (HRHI) track focusing on efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce rural health disparities related to the five leading causes of avoidable death for people living in rural areas: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke.

The National Quality Forum Core Set of Rural Health Measures

NQF Core Set of Rural Health Measures – April 12. The National Quality Forum (NQF) is convening a Rural Health Advisory Group funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to update an existing core set of rural health measures established in 2018. A public commenting period is now open on a draft environmental scan (PDF) that provides an overview of updates to measures in the existing core measure set and identifies potential measures for addition based on rural-relevant topics and emerging issues. NQF is seeking comments from a diverse range of stakeholders on commonly used and high-priority measures in rural settings, as well as feedback on the challenges of implementing these measures.