Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Take a Look at the FORHP Grants in Motion

  Each quarter, The Rural Monitor features an in-depth look at the work of FORHP grantees. This edition of Grants in Motion focuses on the South Dakota Palliative Care Network, a grantee of the Rural Health Network Development Program (RHND).  The RHND program supports integrated healthcare networks that collaborate with other local providers and services to achieve efficiencies and strengthen the rural healthcare system as a whole.

AmeriCorps VISTA Accepting Concept Papers for Projects to Alleviate Poverty

Volunteers in Service to America – also known as VISTA – is a federal service program that provides resources and staffing to public and nonprofit organizations to address poverty and poverty-related problems.  AmeriCorps VISTA members are placed at sponsoring organizations and serve for one year at approximately 40 hours per week.  The concept paper is a preliminary screening tool that AmeriCorps uses to evaluate whether the organization would be an appropriate VISTA sponsor and if the proposed project meets core criteria.  Priorities include economic opportunity, education, access to health care, and environmental stewardship for rural areas, tribal communities, and areas of concentrated poverty. Accepting Papers Until January 18

Spread the Word About Health Insurance.

  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a collection of tools for helping individuals and families get health insurance during the Marketplace Open Enrollment period, November 1, 2022, through January 15, 2023.  Graphics, social media messages, and customizable posters and fact sheets, are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.  Marketplace plans are an important source of coverage for people in rural areas, who represent approximately 15 percent of Marketplace enrollees in states using

Surge in Pediatric Respiratory Infections

  HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau is asking providers to share an important message about an unprecedented surge of respiratory illness in children. While the typical RSV season begins in late fall, this year’s outbreak started in the spring and severe illness continues to increase. Most children are exposed to the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, in the first year of life and almost all have been infected within 2 years.  While RSV infections can be severe in the first 6 months, subsequent infections are usually milder, causing cold-like symptoms.  During the first 18 months of the pandemic, masking and distancing measures kept the virus from circulating. But this year and last, as in-person gatherings increased and children when back to school and daycare without masks, the virus has affected kids with little to no immunity.

New Funding Available to Promote Affordable Broadband 

  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will make $70 million available to governmental and non-governmental entities to increase participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), an ongoing program that provides qualifying low-income households with discounts on broadband service and connected devices.  The Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program ( posting) will make approximately 300 awards between $50,000 and $1 million each to eligible applicants including, but not limited to: state, local, and tribal governments; public housing agencies; social service providers; education organizations; nonprofit and community-based organizations. Funding Deadline January 9.

Review the Highlighting for Fiscal Year 2022 Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Investments

Over its 36-year history, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has provided billions of dollars in funding to increase healthcare access, strengthen health networks, and focus on care quality improvements for Critical Access Hospitals and small rural hospitals.  In the fiscal year 2022, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) – provided approximately $408 million in funding to increase healthcare access, strengthen health networks, and focus on care quality improvements for Critical Access Hospitals and small rural hospitals as detailed in this HRSA Rural Health Fact Sheet.

FORHP is also supporting HRSA’s goal to achieve health equity by supporting efforts to strengthen healthcare delivery systems, reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with substance use disorder, and provide COVID-19 pandemic relief in rural communities.  See this State-by-State summary for grants to rural communities and states.

New Research Explores Dental Care in Emergency Departments

The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health recently published research that explores dental care in hospital emergency departments. The research finds that most patients seeking care could be seen at a dental office for a much lower cost. Across the county, nearly 70% of emergency department visits for non-traumatic dental conditions among patients ages 21-64 are made by those enrolled in Medicaid or who are uninsured.

Click here to learn more.

CMS Announces Payment for Medically Necessary Dental Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare will begin making payment in 2023 for dental services necessary to identify and eliminate oral and dental infections prior to, and contemporaneously with, organ transplant, cardiac valve replacement, and valvuloplasty procedures. For services to be covered by Medicare, they must be performed by a Medicare participating provider. As part of the same final rule, the agency is establishing an annual process “to review public input on other circumstances when payment for dental services may be allowed.”

Click here for more information.