- In the Columbia River Gorge, a Local Program Adapts to Serve the Community Through COVID-19
- Nine out of 10 Rural Counties Are in the COVID-19 Red Zone
- COVID in North Dakota: One Day Inside a Rural US Hospital's Fight
- HHS Administrator Seema Verma's Rural Open Door Forum Speech
- Report: 20% of COVID-19 Patients Develop Mental Health Issues
- Celebrating State Innovations on National Rural Health Day 2020
- The 4 Lessons I Learned While Striving to Preserve and Increase Access to Care in Rural Communities
- States Are Getting Ready to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines. What Do Their Plans Tell Us So Far?
- Five Ways VA Supports Rural Veterans During COVID-19
- New Rural COVID Infections Top 195,000 in One Week
- Improving Access to Maternal Care in Rural Communities
- Colleges Probably Stoked Pandemic in the Upper Midwest, Epidemiologists Say
- Supporting Rural Health and Human Services: Celebrating National Rural Health Day November 19, 2020
- Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series: Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder
- Rural Hospitals Brace for Increased Coronavirus Cases
A new publication targeting our provider community, “Stay Protected – Get a Flu Shot” will be available for order on December 1. And best of all, there is no charge! In order to request your copies, simply set up an account on the CMS Product Ordering page here: https://productordering.cms.hhs.gov/pow/?id=pow_login; and once approved, you can order the publication by either searching by the title (above), or entering pub. no. 12115. General delivery time is approximately one week.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the official launch of the AskUSDA Contact Center program. The AskUSDA Contact Center will serve as the “one front door” for phone, chat, and web inquires, transforming how the public interacts with USDA and providing an enhanced experience for the public.
Prior to the creation and implementation of AskUSDA, members of the public had to navigate dozens of phone numbers and had no chat function or online platform for self-service, creating frustrations and inefficiencies. AskUSDA was created to make USDA more responsive to the public by providing a single destination for phone, chat, and web inquiries. Whether it’s talking to a USDA representative via phone, chatting with a live agent on our website, or communicating with USDA via e-mail, the public will have streamlined access.
The launch of AskUSDA delivers a centralized contact center that offers customer service and consistent information for the public. With over 29 agencies and offices, USDA’s mission impacts every single person in the U.S. and hundreds of millions around the globe. AskUSDA assures that farmers, researchers, travelers, parents, and more have efficient access to the information and resources they need.
AskUSDA is set up to handle common questions across programs that service a variety of audiences. For example, customers who may have basic questions about USDA’s nutrition services can be assisted across phone, e-mail, and web chat by trained AskUSDA representatives, and customers who may have complicated questions about loan programs can be quickly connected to agency experts. AskUSDA also hosts over five thousand articles for a self-service option to help with more common questions such as food safety inquiries or pet-travel guidance.
Over the course of its pilot program, AskUSDA successfully assisted with over 93,000 citizen inquiries, and the AskUSDA website resulted in over 1.4 million knowledge article page views. USDA looks forward to continuing to implement this enhanced best in class contact center across the Department.
The public can contact AskUSDA by phone at (833) ONE-USDA with representatives available 9:00am-5:30pm EST weekdays. The website (https://ask.usda.gov/) is available 24/7 and includes live chat agents available 10:00am-6:00pm EST on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to email@example.com.
Advancing Cancer Prevention Practice Facilitation Work in Rural Primary Care During COVID-19, Dannell Boatman, Susan Eason, Mary E. Conn, Summer Miller, & Stephenie Kennedy-Rea
COVID-19 and Opioid Use in Appalachian Kentucky: Challenges and Silver Linings, Rachel Vickers-Smith, Hannah L.F. Cooper, & April M. Young
Improving Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in High-Need Areas: The Role of HRSA Health Centers, Michael Topmiller, Jennifer Rankin, Jessica L. McCann, Jene Grandmont, David Grolling, Mark Carrozza, Hank Hoang, Josh Bolton, & Alek Sripipatana
In Their Own Words: How Opioids Have Impacted the Lives of “Everyday” People Living in Appalachia , Patricia Nola Eugene Roberson, Gina Cortez, Laura H. Trull, & Katherine Allison Lenger
Qualitative Analysis of Maternal Barriers and Perceptions to Participation in a Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program in Rural Appalachian North Carolina , Sydeena E. Isaacs, Lenka H. Shriver, & Lauren Haldeman
Leveraging Electronic Health Records Data for Enhanced Colorectal Cancer Screening Efforts, Adam D. Baus, Lauren E. Wright, Stephenie Kennedy-Rea, Mary E. Conn, Susan Eason, Dannell Boatman, Cecil Pollard, Andrea Calkins, & Divya Gadde
Review & Special Articles
The Landscape of Connected Cancer Symptom Management in Rural America: A Narrative Review of Opportunities for Launching Connected Health Interventions , Ming-Yuan Chih, Anna McCowan, Sadie Whittaker, Melinda Krakow, David K. Ahern, Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, Bradford W. Hesse, Timothy W. Mullett, & Robin C. Vanderpool
Media Reviews & Reports
Notes from the Field
Rural Appalachia Battling the Intersection of Two Crises: COVID-19 and Substance Use Disorders, Margaret Miller, Rebekah Rollston, Kate E. Beatty, & Michael Melt
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create training modules for basic infection control and prevention. The site also includes modules for management that address larger, institution-wide issues such as implementing telehealth, emergency preparedness, and vaccine delivery.
Starting December 1, Medicare.gov will compile the eight online tools to compare providers, such as Hospital Compare, Nursing Home Compare, and Physician Compare, into one place called Care Compare. It provides the same information but with a new, streamlined design. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services urges providers to update hyperlinks on public-facing websites to the eight original care tools, so patients are directed to the new Care Compare.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated their summary of the COVID-19-related waivers and flexibilities that affect Rural Health Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Critical Access Hospitals, rural skilled nursing facilities, and rural hospitals to include those from the most recent Interim Final Rule with Comment (IFC)-4.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging clinicians to submit an application now if there are concerns about the effect of COVID-19 on their performance data for the Quality Payment Program. Learn more details about how the extreme and uncontrollable exception will change data reporting requirements. Clinicians should cite COVID-19 as the reason for the application.
The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Rural Medicine Program seeks emergency volunteers for Indian Health Service sites within the Great Plains Area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Indian and Alaska Native persons appear to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and insufficient public health resources may contribute to the disparity. Qualifying volunteers are physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and respiratory therapists who are currently licensed in any of the 50 US states. MGH anticipates that travel expenses will be eligible for reimbursement. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website for the Multi-Discipline Licensure Resource Project was created to support pandemic response through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the FORHP-supported Licensure Portability Program. Created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, the site provides up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing in each state for psychologists, occupational therapists, physical assistants, and social workers.
A pilot federal grant program introduced in the 2019, Rural Maternal and Obstetric Management Strategies (RMOMS) will run until August 2023 to improve maternal care in rural communities. New information added to the website lists the three rural networks funded last year and provides more detailed information about the grantees and their activities.