Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Already in Fiscal Crisis, Rural Hospitals Face COVID-19

LDI Virtual Seminar Eyes Coronavirus’ Spread Through America’s Hinterlands

The eighth virtual “Experts at Home” seminar convened by the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in rural America. New evidence suggests that rural populations are at heightened risk for contracting the virus due to factors such as age, race/ethnicity, and prevalence of multiple chronic health conditions. The seminar brought together experts from academia and top government positions to discuss the unique challenges the pandemic poses for the health and economies of the country’s rural areas.

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Exploring Opportunities to Leverage Pharmacists in Rural Areas to Promote Administration of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine


Rural pharmacists have been identified as potential partners, along with health care providers, schools, and public health agencies, in administering and promoting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. We sought to understand the role of pharmacists in this work. We interviewed 11 pharmacists working at independently owned pharmacies in Iowa to explore their perspectives on HPV vaccine administration and promotion. Most pharmacists agreed that HPV vaccination was within their professional scope. They identified factors that facilitate vaccine administration (eg, accessibility of pharmacies). They also reported personal barriers (eg, lack of information, concerns about safety) and organizational barriers (eg, time and staff capacity). Future work should focus on alleviating barriers and building on strengths to improve vaccination rates and ultimately prevent HPV-related cancers.

Read the full report here

Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP

March 13, 2020

This report presents the Commission’s analysis of three policy issues of interest
to Congress:
• Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments that support
the nation’s safety-net hospitals;
• state reporting on the quality of care provided to individuals with either
Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as
required under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes
Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act of
2018 (P.L. 115-271) and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-
123); and
• the timeliness and quality of evaluations of Medicaid demonstrations.

Access the full report here.

Vital Signs: Colorectal Cancer Screening Test Use — United States, 2018

From The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


What is already known about this topic?

Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC), the second leading cause of cancer death among cancers affecting men and women, reduces incidence and mortality. The percentage of persons who report being up to date with CRC screening has increased, but not equally among all populations. Continue reading the full report

Management Checklist for Teleworking Surge During the COVID-19 Response

While teleworking has become a routine way of doing business in many industry sectors and
government, teleworking during wide-scale public emergencies such as what we are experiencing with
the emergence of the COVID-19 virus introduces significant management, technology and bandwidth
challenges to ensuring uninterrupted and efficient workflow and provision of services to the public.
Added strain on the public telecommunications infrastructure over the “last mile” to the home, in
particular, requires critical healthcare entities to assess risk, prioritize tasks and apportion bandwidth
resources to ensure continuity of mission-essential functions that may migrate off premises to the home
office environment. Continue reading.

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Request

March 18, 2020


For the “Opioid Management in Older Adults” project, AHRQ is seeking to identify innovative approaches to managing opioid medications for chronic pain that are particularly relevant for older adults. Use of long-term opioid therapy in older adults can be especially problematic because of increased risks such as delirium, falls, and dementia.

Learn how to submit here.

Epidemic Preparedness For Community Organizations

From the Exension Disaster Education Network.

Community organizations, such as faith-based organizations and nonprofits, are instrumental before, during and after epidemics. This program walks organizations through a process to learn about potential epidemics, serve their members and serve their communities before, during and after an epidemic. Continue reading.