- Traveling Nurses Help Rural Hospital Staffing Issues, But at a Cost
- Rural Americans Share Personal Stories to Inspire Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines in Local Communities and Nationwide
- Study Finds Family Physicians Deliver Babies in Majority of Rural Hospitals
- State of Decay: Rural Areas in America Are at a Tooth Loss
- Rural Covid Infections Decline for Third Straight Week
- Rural U.S. Hospitals Stretched Thin After Nurse Shortage Exacerbated by the Pandemic
- New Vaccinations in Rural Counties Decline for Second Week
- CMS Clarifies Medicare Recognition of Interstate Licensure Compacts
- Making History, Despite History: The First Tribally Affiliated Med School Takes Flight in Oklahoma
- COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by Race/Ethnicity: Current Data and Changes Over Time
- The Surge of Telehealth During the Pandemic is Exacerbating Urban-Rural Disparities in Access to Mental Health Care
- Rural Infections Decline by 20%; Number of Covid Deaths Falls Slightly
- Rate of New Vaccinations Falls by 20%
- Covid Is Killing Rural Americans at Twice the Rate of Urbanites
- Telehealth has Rapidly Expanded. But Companies are Still Struggling to Reach Rural Populations
The Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) recently released “Promoting Oral Health During Pregnancy: Update on Activities.” This is the seventh in a series of updates to highlight national, state, and local activities focusing on oral health care for pregnant women. The update includes briefs, guides, handouts, reports, toolkits, and trainings for health professionals and consumers.
On Jan. 27 at 3:00 pm, the National Institute of Mental Health will host a free webinar on expanding career pathways and opportunities for youth and adults on the autism spectrum. This webinar will provide autistic youth and adults, caregivers and employers with information and resources to support access to workplace accommodations for individuals. Please click here for further information on how to access the webinar.
A new report by the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies describes state incentive programs that provide loans, scholarships, and other incentives for allied health professionals in exchange for service in rural and underserved areas. This study examined the operation of these programs across the U.S., allied health professionals targeted, and efforts to gauge programs’ success in recruitment and retention through a review of publicly available information on state programs and interviews with program leaders in 27 states. Read the report.
Nearly half of U.S. worksites have a workplace health promotion plan. A new guide from the Centers for Disease Control explores ways employers can help workers incorporate short physical activity breaks into the workday. The ideas are scalable, and most require little to no equipment. View and save the 22-page PDF guide.
The Washington Post reports that newly released federal drug data shows that more than 100 billion doses of oxycontin and hydrocodone were shipped across the nation in the nine-year period from 2006 through 2014. The data, which traces the path of every pill shipped in the U.S. from manufacturers and distributors, shows how the drugs flooded the nation and reaffirms that six companies distributed the vast majority of pills. Read more.
A new analysis examines the continued growth of America’s Community Health Centers. The authors analyze health center activity for 2018 and comparative years based on data from the Uniform Data System (UDS) and document the near tripling of health center capacity from 9.6 million patients served in 2000 to 28.4 million in 2018. While this growth is attributed to several factors, key among them is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion. Despite the significant growth in both health center capacity and scope, the authors caution that health centers are vulnerable to major federal policy decisions that directly affect the healthcare safety net, including uncertainty regarding the future of the Community Health Center Fund, the administration’s public charge rule, changes to the Title X family planning program, and Medicaid work requirement programs. Download the report here.
On Jan. 8, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new Information Bulletin, Best Practices for Avoiding 340B Duplicate Discounts in Medicaid. While the bulletin makes clear that the exclusion file is solely for fee-for-service Medicaid (not managed care), an issue on which the Department of Human Services had disagreed with PACHC, there are also provisions of the bulletin that might prove problematic. PACHC and NACHC are reviewing the bulletin and its implications.
The Department of Health and Human Services has published its annual update of federal poverty guidelines. The new guidelines are effective Jan. 14, 2020, unless an office administering a program using the guidelines specifies a different effective date for that program. You can find the new guidelines here.
In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington D.C. during the week of January 19, Jennifer Smith, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs, shared how federal funding has helped Pennsylvania have an impact on the opioid crisis. She credited the contribution of $230 million in federal funding combined with state and local resources and the expansion of Medicaid with supporting an 18% drop in the state’s overdose deaths in 2018. She also shared that a rise in stimulant use challenged the state in 2019 and the state was bound, in many cases, by drug-specific federal grants that couldn’t be shifted to address issues related to drugs like meth and cocaine. She urged shifting of funding to block grants to give states increased flexibility to address additional substances. Ms. Smith joined state officials from West Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in sharing how their governments have used federal funds earmarked to fight the opioid epidemic.
During the C-Suite Forum in the week of January 19, PACHC learned many community health centers are using Uber Health for patient transportation. The HIPAA-secure program allows patients to book rides at no charge to and from your health center as well as to clinician referral locations. The program limits your patient’s use of the ride share program to ensure you won’t be charged for rides beyond healthcare appointments. Your organization is billed monthly based on ride usage and you’ll receive a report with patient names and ride details. The system also offers integration directly into your organization’s EHR. Visit Uber Health’s website to learn more. Contact PACHC at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know if your organization is using the program or if you want to connect with one of the centers utilizing the ride share service.