Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

How Postpartum Care Differs Across Health Insurance, Geography, and Race

  Researchers used data reported by 138,073 patients to learn more about factors that may contribute to differences in the care they received two to six months after childbirth.  Specifically, they looked at two standard components recommended by national quality standards – depression screening and contraceptive counseling.  The highest receipt of these two components was among privately insured White urban individuals; they were both significantly lower for Medicaid-insured patients, rural residents, and people of racially minoritized groups.  But for individuals in these last three groups, receipt of other postpartum components – e.g., screening for smoking or abuse, birth space counseling, and discussions about eating and exercise – was significantly higher.  Published in the JAMA Health Forum, the study is the work of the HRSA/FORHP-supported University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center.

New Funding: Department of Labor Nursing Expansion Grants Begins

The U.S. Department of Labor will invest $80 million to expand and diversify the pipeline of qualified nursing professionals on two tracks: 1) increasing the number of nursing educators, and 2) training frontline professionals and paraprofessionals to attain postsecondary credentials needed for middle- to high-skilled nursing jobs.  The funding is meant to address a combination of forces – the pandemic, an aging workforce, and retirements – that have challenged the supply of a skilled nursing workforce, and places emphasis on training those who are underemployed and/or from underrepresented populations to improve workforce diversity.  A recent brief from the Rural Health Research Gateway showed that, due to a relatively high proportion of registered nurses with an associate degree in rural areas, programs that bridge RN experience to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are well-positioned to develop the rural nursing workforce. See Resources of the Week for a new tool with nursing data from HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce.

Deadline January 6.

CDC Releases the Suicide Prevention Resource for Action

Suicide is a serious public health issue that affects individuals, families, and communities across the nation. Fortunately, we know that suicide can be prevented. To help states and communities plan and prioritize suicide prevention activities, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is releasing the Suicide Prevention Resource for Action (Suicide Prevention Resource). The Suicide Prevention Resource was previously known as Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices. It is now updated, expanded, and renamed and includes strategies with the best available evidence to make an impact on saving lives. Strategies include those that prevent risk for suicide in the first place and those to lessen the immediate and long-term harms of suicidal behavior for individuals, families, and communities.

The Suicide Prevention Resource has three components:

  1. Strategies are the collection of actions to achieve the goal of preventing suicide.
  2. Approaches are the specific ways to advance each strategy.
  3. Policies, programs, and practices show evidence of impact on suicide, suicide attempts, or risk and protective factors.

States and communities can use the Suicide Prevention Resource to prioritize and tailor activities that are most likely to reduce suicide.

The new Suicide Prevention Resource provides a roadmap for action under CDC’s Comprehensive Suicide Prevention program. This program currently funds 15 states and 2 universities to implement and evaluate a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. These funded programs use strategies from CDC’s new Suicide Prevention Resource to focus on activities with the greatest potential to prevent suicide among populations that are disproportionately impacted by suicide. CDC recently published Program Profiles and success stories to show how these funded programs have implemented and evaluated a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.

Suicide is an urgent public health crisis in the United States. Despite a decrease in suicide rates in 2020 compared to 2019, nearly 46,000 lives were lost to suicide. Provisional 2021 data are showing that suicide is once again increasing, with more than 48,000 people dying by suicide. Further, every year, millions of people think about, make a plan, and attempt suicide.  Suicide has devastating consequences on individuals, families, schools, workplaces, and entire communities. Importantly, we know there is no single cause of suicide. Factors increasing suicide risk occur at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels. These include job/financial, health, criminal/legal, and relationship problems. Substance use, loss of a friend or loved one to suicide, a history of suicide attempts, and mental health concerns may also increase a person’s risk for suicide.

We can all #BeThere to prevent suicide by taking actions that can promote healing and help and give hope. Many people find it difficult to talk about suicide and especially difficult to know how to talk to someone that is having thoughts of suicide. But there are clear actions that we can take. We can all learn the five steps for how to talk to someone who might be suicidal.

In addition to what we can each do individually, CDC’s comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention helps address the range of risk factors. You can read more about CDC’s suicide prevention strategies, access and download the Suicide Prevention Resource, access and download the Suicide Prevention Resource summary, and read the CSP Program Profiles.

Learn more:

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, call or text 988, or chat at  Connect with a trained crisis counselor. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365.  Visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for more information at

From CMS: Updated Coverage to Care Resources Now Available in Additional Languages!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) released updated Coverage to Care (C2C) resources in additional languages to help the consumers you serve understand their health coverage and receive needed primary care and preventative services.

Just in time for Open Enrollment, these resources will help consumers select the best coverage option for their unique health needs and assist them in understanding how to best utilize their health plan.

Now available on the C2C website, updated translations are available for:

To complement the Roadmap to Better Care, four supplemental materials were developed to help explain the important components into more digestible pieces:

Roadmap to Behavioral Health – Serves as a companion guide for mental health and substance use service, to be used in conjunction with the Roadmap to Better Care. Ukrainian is now available, and additional languages will be available by the end of October.

Getting the Care You Need: Guide for People with Disabilities – Provides information to ensure that people with disabilities understand their rights so that they receive equal access to quality health care services. (Arabic | Chinese | Haitian Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Vietnamese)

Managing Diabetes: Coverage & Resources – Includes tips to help patients manage diabetes, as well as information on Marketplace and Medicare coverage. (Arabic | Chinese | Haitian Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Vietnamese)

My Health Coverage at-a-Glance – Shows how to keep track of health plan information and payment in a customizable format. (Arabic | Chinese | Haitian Creole | Korean | Russian | Ukrainian (new!) | Spanish | Vietnamese)

Health literacy is an essential part of health equity. To learn more about health equity related initiatives, visit CMS OMH at or the C2C initiative at

Federal Administration Launches Window-Shopping for Affordable and Accessible Health Care Marketplace

The Biden-Harris Administration has made expanding access to health insurance and lowering health care costs for America’s families a top priority, and, starting today, consumers can preview their health care coverage options and see the savings available to them in the most competitive Marketplace in history. Consumers can now visit to view detailed information about 2023 health insurance plans and prices offered in their area in advance of the 2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment period that begins November 1, 2022.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the national uninsured rate has reached an all-time low, and more Americans than ever before have health insurance through the Marketplace. As we begin the 10th Open Enrollment period, the Marketplace is stronger than ever – with continuing record affordability, robust competition, and unprecedented outreach efforts.

“Under President Biden’s leadership, the Marketplace is stronger than ever,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are delivering what Americans deserve: high-quality health care at affordable cost. We have been tireless in our efforts to increase competition, drive down costs, and connect people to coverage. We urge everyone to visit and find an affordable health plan that best meets their needs.”

“All families have the right to quality, affordable health care coverage. During this Open Enrollment period, consumers will have access to a variety of quality plan options at an affordable price.  We encourage consumers to visit and their state-based Marketplaces to preview plans and premiums now so that they’re ready to make selections when Open Enrollment begins on November 1,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.

This year, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, more people will continue to qualify for help purchasing quality health coverage. Thirteen million Americans will continue to save an average of $800 per year on their health insurance. Four out of five customers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less after subsidies. Consumers with coverage through are encouraged to return and shop to see if another plan better meets their needs at a lower cost.

This year, consumers will also benefit from a highly competitive Marketplace and continuing access to affordable coverage. According to a new report CMS published today of Marketplace plans available in states for plan year 2023, 92% of enrollees will have access to options from three or more insurance companies when they shop for plans. Also, new standardized plan options are available in 2023, which offer the same deductibles and cost-sharing for certain benefits, and the same out-of-pocket limits as other standardized plan options within the same health plan category. Most of these standardized plan options offer many services pre-deductible, including primary care, generic drugs, preferred brand drugs, urgent care, specialist visits, mental health and substance use outpatient office visits, as well as speech, occupational, and physical therapy.

Also new this year, families who may not have previously been eligible for tax credits may now be eligible for financial assistance – for the first time ever – thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration. Earlier this month, the Administration finalized a rule which will help about 1 million Americans who are offered employer insurance either gain coverage or see their coverage become more affordable through the Marketplace. To take advantage of the new policy, families who have found employer insurance unaffordable in the past should look at new opportunities for savings on

To help connect people to coverage, the Biden-Harris Administration also made the single largest investment ever in the Navigators program. The $98.9 million this year builds on the Administration’s quadrupling of Navigators last year, which helped contribute to the record-breaking 14.5 million people who signed up for 2022 health care coverage through the Marketplaces, including nearly 6 million people who newly gained coverage. This continuation of historic levels of funding will help Navigators continue their work informing consumers about the enhanced tax credits and coverage available on

Consumers in states operating their own Marketplace platform can also enroll in a 2023 Marketplace plan starting on November 1. Consumers in these states should visit or call their state’s Marketplace for information about available plans and prices, how to obtain in-person or virtual help, and news on local enrollment events. State-based Marketplace enrollment deadlines and other information are available in the State-based Marketplace Open Enrollment Fact Sheet.

The Marketplace Open Enrollment Period on runs from November 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023. Consumers who enroll by midnight on December 15, 2022 can get full year coverage that starts January 1, 2023.

To view the Plan Year 2023 Marketplace Open Enrollment Fact Sheet for more information, visit:

To view the Plan Year 2023 Qualified Health Plan Choice and Premiums in States Landscape Report, visit:

To see the Plan Year 2023 Health Insurance Marketplace Public Use Files, visit:

To see the Plan Year 2023 Quality Rating System Public Use Files, visit:

To see the Plan Year 2023 State-based Marketplace Open Enrollment Fact Sheet, visit:

Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Funding Available!

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) – Overdose Response will be making approximately 40 awards of up to $300,000 each to address immediate overdose needs in rural communities. This one-year program will support activities that address the rural communities’ most immediate needs related to the drug overdose crisis. HRSA intends for the RCORP to address improved access to, capacity for, and sustainability of rural substance use disorder (SUD) services.

The RCORP will focus on the following, but not limited to:

  • Purchasing and distributing naloxone, fentanyl test strips, or other relevant supplies within the target rural service area
  • Enhancing capacity to provide mobile crisis intervention services for individuals with SUD in the target rural service area
  • Offering certification, formalized training, programs, and/or professional mentorship opportunities to enhance providers’ ability to care for individuals with SUD

Delivery of all services supported by the RCORP-Overdose Response program must exclusively occur in HRSA-designated rural counties and rural census tracts, as defined by the Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer: Click here

HRSA will hold a technical assistance webinar for applicants on November 10, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. EST. See page iii of the NOFO for information on how to access the webinar: Click her for more informationApplication Deadline:  January 19, 2023

Review the Grant Opportunity at: HRSA-23-038

2023 PA Farm Show Asks Pennsylvanians, ‘Oh, Say, Can You Sing?’

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today invited singers statewide to enter “Oh, Say, Can You Sing?”, a star-spangled sing-off to win a chance to inspire 2023 Pennsylvania Farm Show visitors with their voices. Each morning of the Farm Show will feature a talented Pennsylvanian, or group of Pennsylvanians, singing the national anthem live. A winner will sing each morning, and a top vote-getter will sing at the 2023 Farm Show Opening Ceremony on Saturday, January 7.

“Our 2023 theme, Rooted in Progress, invites Pennsylvanians to experience where they are grounded and where they are going,” said Redding. “There is no better way to inspire Farm Show visitors to explore the roots of our past and the promise of our future than to start each day with the National Anthem.”

The contest is open to Pennsylvania residents of all ages – both individuals and groups. Contestants can enter by emailing a YouTube link to a video of themselves singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” without instrumental accompaniment, to or by uploading their video or YouTube link to the comments of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Facebook page posts about the contest.

Entries can be submitted between Tuesday, October 25 and noon on Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

Finalists will be posted for fan voting by Facebook reactions (likes, loves, wows, etc.) from Monday, November 7 through Friday, November 11, 2022, at noon. Eleven finalists will be announced on Facebook, then notified by email of the day they are scheduled to sing.

Winners will be provided a free parking pass for the day and must be present at the Farm Show Complex by 7:45 AM on the day they are selected to sing. A winner will sing live at 8:00 AM each day of the 2023 Pennsylvania Farm Show, from January 7-14. The overall winner will sing during opening ceremonies.

Full contest rules and instructions are available here or on the Farm Show Facebook page. Find out more about the Pennsylvania Farm Show at

ARC Awards $47M to Coal-Impacted Communities 

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded nearly $47 million to 52 projects in 181 counties through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. This is the largest single POWER awards package to date since the initiative launched in 2015.

ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin made the award announcement with ARC 2022 States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, and Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania during a press conference at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland, in advance of ARC’s 2022 Annual Conference.

“Our coal-impacted communities are a vital part of Appalachia’s 13 states and 423 counties—when our coal communities thrive, our entire region is uplifted,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin.

Including this award package, ARC has invested nearly $366.6 million in 447 projects impacting 360 coal-impacted counties since POWER was established in 2015.

Learn more!

NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) Application Deadline is in 30 Days!

Have you thought about applying for an NIH Extramural LRP award? Do you know someone who should? Help us share this valuable information with your colleagues!

Awardees can receive up to $100,000 of qualified educational debt repayment with a two-year award. The NIH LRPs are unique programs, with tremendous benefit to early career researchers.

The application period to apply for an FY 2023 LRP award closes on November 17, 2022.  Be sure to visit our website to take advantage of our resources, and to learn more about eligibility requirements, application dates, and benefits of receiving an NIH LRP award!

Click here for more information!

COVID-19 Updated Booster Vaccines Covered Without Cost-Sharing for Eligible Children Ages 5 to 11

Following the actions of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing that Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage is available for eligible covered children for the updated COVID-19 vaccines. As a reminder, regardless of what coverage you have, or whether you have coverage at all, COVID-19 vaccines are free to anyone who wants one, for both children and adults. This coverage is part of the ongoing commitment to protect children against severe COVID-19 illness.

The CDC recently expanded the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 5 through 11 years. This followed the FDA’s authorization of updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5 through 11 years and from Moderna for children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years.  People with Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, private insurance coverage, or no health coverage can get COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, at no cost, for as long as the federal government continues purchasing and distributing these COVID-19 vaccines.

Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations is the best defense against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus. CMS continues to explore ways to ensure maximum access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Information regarding the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Requirements and how the COVID-19 vaccines are provided through that program at no cost to recipients is available at and through the COVID-19 Vaccine Policies & Guidance page. For information on Medicare payment, billing and codes for the updated vaccine, visit the CMS COVID-19 Provider Toolkit.

Visit (English) or (Spanish) to search for vaccine locations. For resources to promote COVID-19 vaccination, visit the We Can Do This campaign.