Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

New Medicare Behavioral Health Providers: Incorporating MHCs and MFTs Into Your RHC

rural health Clinic

– Thursday, May 9 at 1:00 pm Eastern. The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) will host the free, FORHP-supported webinar with information on incorporating Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) and Mental Health Counselors (MHCs) into Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). Medicare coverage of Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors in RHCs began January 1, 2024. This webinar will feature representatives from the National Board for Certified Counselors and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, who will provide information to ensure RHCs are equipped to consider expanding behavioral health services. Additional time for Q&A will be provided. Advanced registration is required.

NARHC Hosting Free Webinar: Mobile Units and Your RHC – Is This a Good Fit? – Wednesday, February 21 at 3:00 pm Eastern

The National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) will host the free, FORHP-supported webinar with details about operational considerations for expanding RHC services and patient access opportunities through mobile unit, either as an extension of their current clinic or through a stand-alone unit. This webinar will feature representatives from Baptist Health in Kentucky who will share their successes and lessons learned in opening a mobile RHC, include information from RHC accreditor, Kate Hill, and provide additional time for Q&A.

Register here.

CMS Hosting Webinar on AHEAD Model Hospital Global Budgets – February 14 at 3:00 pm Eastern

In this hour-long webinar, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will provide an overview of the hospital global budget methodology for the new States Advancing All-Payer Health Equity and Development (AHEAD) Model and answer audience questions. AHEAD is a state total-cost-of-care model, and global budgets are a key feature to control the growth of health care costs and improve care. A hospital global budget pays a pre-determined, fixed annual budget for hospital inpatient and outpatient facility services, rather than paying a fee for each service provided.  This webinar will describe the method CMS will use to calculate the Medicare hospital payment amount for the AHEAD model as well as operational considerations for hospitals.  States interested in participating in the model should submit their applications by Monday, March 18, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. ET (for Cohorts 1 and 2) & Monday, August 12, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. ET (Cohort 3). To get notified about model events and resources, sign up for email updates about the AHEAD Model on the CMS website.

Register here.

Save the date! 2024 CYSHCN Symposium – Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in Harrisburg

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SAVE THE DATE!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Best Western Premier, 800 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111

Please share this announcement with your colleagues who serve children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).

The Department of Health is partnering with Bridge Consulting to host the Symposium. LookforemailsfromBridgeConsulting: registrations@bridgeconsultingcorp.com.

More information will follow, with registration anticipated to open on Friday, March 31, 2024. There is no cost to register, but space will be limited and registration is required.

cyshcnsymposium.org
If you have any questions, email RA-DHSPECIALTYCARE@pa.gov.

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3RNET System for Provider Recruitment is Celebrating 10 Years this August!

  The organization originally formed as the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network helps rural practices expand their reach for posting job vacancies. This online event features Provider Retention & Information System Management (PRISM) that collects and shares real-time data to enhance clinician recruitment and retention. PRISM is a collaboration of State Primary Care Offices, Offices of Rural Health, Area Health Education Centers, and other organizations that have partnered to collect data to identify and document outcomes to enhance the retention of clinicians.  Through its design, this collaborative approach builds shared interest, cooperation, and group wisdom in best practices to promote retention among the states. Registration is required for this online event. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at 3:00 pm ET.

The National Community Health Worker Awareness Week Has Been Announced

The National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW) launched a campaign to increase awareness of the Community Health Worker’s identity, their role, impact on underserved and vulnerable communities, and leadership. NACHW will mark National CHW Awareness Week Aug 28 – Sept 1, 2023. The campaign was developed to highlight and promote policies that respect, protect, and authentically partner with the CHW profession. The Awareness Toolkit has templates that include a road map to guide participants through the process, implement strategies to help celebrate this national event, and customizable key talking points, as well as a checklist to aid meaningful conversation about CHW work and sustainability. Sign up for the CHW Awareness Week Mailing List. 

SUN Smiles Program Receives Rural Health Program of the Year Award

Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania (FHCCP) and the organization’s Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Tapestry of Health SUN Smiles program received the Rural Health Program of the Year award, presented by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH). The award was presented by Lisa Davis, director and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, on Nov. 17 at a ceremony at the WIC Tapestry of Health clinic in Shamokin Dam, PA.

The Rural Health Program of the Year Award recognizes an exemplary health program that addresses an identified need in a rural community utilizing unique, creative, and innovative approaches to do so.

The award was presented during 2022 Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania, Nov. 14-18. The week encompasses Nov. 17, which is National Rural Health Day, established in 2011 by the National Organization of the State Offices of Rural Health. Both events celebrate “The Power of Rural” by honoring rural American residents, health care providers, and communities.

The nomination, submitted by Karen McCraw, vice president of advocacy and development at Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania (FHCCP) in Camp Hill, PA, lauded SUN Smiles for developing a comprehensive program that formed partnerships between FHCCP, Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Snyder-Union Community Action Agency, and the Susquehanna River Valley Dental Health Clinic. The program was created to improve oral health outcomes for economically marginalized clients of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC clients in Snyder, Union, and Northumberland counties.

The goals of SUN Smiles are to reduce the proportion of adults and children with untreated tooth decay; increase the proportion of children, adolescents, and adults who use the oral health care system; increase the proportion of people with dental insurance; and reduce the proportion of persons who are unable to obtain or delay obtaining necessary dental care. The program also aims to reduce the proportion of children ages one to five who report dental problems, reduce oral health disparities among low-income rural clients, and give every adult and child in WIC the chance to have a healthy smile. All pregnant and postpartum women and children who are clients of WIC are routinely screened for dental needs and referred to Community Health Workers (CHW), as needed, for assistance with Medicaid enrollment, appointment scheduling, transportation, payment for services, and more.

In the first 11 months of the program, SUN Smiles screened 2,028 WIC clients and referred 700 clients to CHWs and 400 clients to dental care; 154 program clients received dental services at FHCCP’s partner dental provider site. In addition to care navigation, oral health education and fluoride varnish days at WIC offices are key elements of the program.

PORH was formed in 1991 as a joint partnership between the federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Penn State. The office is one of 50 state offices of rural health in the nation and is charged with being a source of coordination, technical assistance, networking, and partnership development.

PORH provides expertise in the areas of rural health, population health, quality improvement, oral health, and agricultural health and safety. PORH is administratively located in the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University Park.

Each year, PORH presents awards to recognize rural health programs and individuals who have made substantial contributions to rural health in Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, visit porh.psu.edu.

East Lycoming Ambulance Association Receives Rural Health Program of the Year Award

The East Lycoming Ambulance Association (ELAA), Hughesville, PA, received the Rural Health Program of the Year award, presented by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH). The award was presented by Lisa Davis, director of PORH and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, on Nov. 17 at the ELAA headquarters in Hughesville.

The Rural Health Program of the Year Award recognizes an exemplary health program that addresses an identified need in a rural community by utilizing unique, creative, and innovative approaches to do so.

The award was presented during 2022 Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania, Nov. 14-18. The week encompasses Nov. 17, which is National Rural Health Day, established in 2011 by the National Organization of the State Offices of Rural Health. Both events celebrate “The Power of Rural” by honoring rural American residents, health care providers, and communities.

The nomination, submitted by Joshua Dorman, ambulance captain at the Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department, Hughesville, PA, recognized the 20-year cooperative effort between four volunteer fire departments, Hughesville Volunteer Fire Company, Muncy Area Volunteer Fire Company, Picture Rocks Volunteer Fire Company, and Muncy Township Volunteer Fire Company. The association is completely self-funded by these fire companies which underwrite Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) wages and provide the necessary equipment and facility to provide emergency services in rural Pennsylvania.

The fire companies staff a Basic Life Support ambulance seven days a week which is responsible for covering 911 emergency medical calls and vehicle accidents for 10 municipalities in rural Pennsylvania. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this collaboration has been critical for the area due to the significant increase in emergency calls. Without these companies providing these essential services, many of those calls would go unanswered.

PORH was formed in 1991 as a joint partnership between the federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Penn State. The office is one of 50 s

tate offices of rural health in the nation and is charged with being a source of coordination, technical assistance, networking, and partnership development.

PORH provides expertise in the areas of rural health, population health, quality improvement, oral health, and agricultural health and safety. PORH is administratively located in the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University Park.

Each year, PORH presents awards to recognize rural health programs and individuals who have made substantial contributions to rural health in Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, visit porh.psu.edu.