Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Here’s a Great Resource for Your Telehealth Needs

The HRSA-funded Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) offers assistance and consultation (FREE up to ten hours) on a variety of issues including, but not limited to, reimbursement, policies, technology, operations, approaches to broadband access, and more. Recognizing that telehealth has evolved so very rapidly over the last few years out of need and that many programs are looking to plan, improve, expand, and decide to what degree telehealth services will continue, or introduce telehealth to training/education experiences, the MATRC may be able to help. The MATRC also manages a Center of Excellence for Telebehavioralhealth. MATRC’s director is well-respected nationally and feedback on MATRC’s services has been excellent. Visit the MATRC website for more information, including how to request services, or contact Anita Browning, MATRC Outreach Specialist.

A New Report Reveals Best Practices to Retain MAs and DAs

Perspectives from the Field: Retaining Medical Assistants and Dental Assistants is a newly released publication prepared by Ann Loeffler, MSPH, PMP, for the STAR² Center following a series of focus groups exploring Medical Assistant and Dental Assistant attrition in health centers. The findings from these focus groups have been compiled to highlight factors contributing to this attrition and strategies shared by participants to mitigate these factors and retain MAs and DAs in the workforce. Click here to access this new publication!

Voices from the Field: Recruiting and Hiring for SDOH Screening New E-Learning Modules

This self-paced e-learning resource includes modules exploring the challenges and successes of recruiting, hiring and retaining staff to provide screenings for Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) within community health centers. The Corporation for Supportive Housing, MHP Salud, and National Healthcare for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) share the perspectives of professionals on how to address barriers and amplify the role of peer specialists. All three organizations are HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partners (NTTAPs).

Pennsylvania Career Center’s New Website is LIVE

The Pennsylvania Primary Care Career Center’s new website is up and running. View it at Designed by Gavin Advertising, the site puts more emphasis on encouraging candidates to search our job board, powered by 3RNET. The site is also maximized for search engines like Google and will be much more adaptable to all sorts of mobile devices. Please send any comments to Judd Mellinger-Blouch, Director, Pennsylvania Primary Care Career Center.

Nearly 5 Times More Babies Born with Syphilis in 2021 than in 2000

That startling statistic is according to preliminary CDC data released this week. The data also show that sexually transmitted infections hit a record high for the second straight year in 2021. Syphilis rates rose 26% in 2021, HIV cases rose 16%, Gonorrhea rose 2.8% and Chlamydia rose 3%. The CDC is pointing to a reduction in local STD screening and treatment, plus more needle sharing from drug use and a decrease in condom usage. The statistics have health experts warning that the U.S. must invest significantly more funding in prevention efforts, especially as the nation continues to battle COVID-19 and monkeypox.

NCQA, CHCF Release Framework to Measure Health Equity in Medicaid Managed Care 

On September 15, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) released a framework that can be used by states to measure health equity in Medicaid managed care programs. The framework, which was developed by NCQA with funding from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), consists of social interventions, access to care, structures of care, the experience of care, high-quality clinical care, and overall well-being. Read More.

CDC Finds More than 80% of Pregnancy-Related Deaths are Preventable

new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths that occurred between 2017 and 2019 were preventable. Researchers found six underlying causes accounted for the majority of fatalities: mental health conditions, hemorrhaging, heart problems, infections, blood clots, and cardiomyopathy. The leading causes varied by race and ethnicity. Twenty-two percent of pregnancy-related deaths took place during pregnancy, 25% occurred on the day of delivery or within a week after, and 53% of the deaths occurred between a week and a year after giving birth. A death is considered preventable if the committee determines that there was at least some chance of the death being averted by one or more reasonable changes to patient, community, provider, facility, and/or systems factors.

New Rule Makes Clear Impact on Noncitizens of Applying for or Receiving Benefits

The Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule applicable to noncitizens who receive or wish to apply for benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and states that support low-income families and adults. The new rule makes it clear that Noncitizens who receive health or other benefits to which they are entitled will not suffer harmful immigration consequences. Learn more.