Impact of School Sealant Programs Report Released

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report, “Impact of School Sealant Programs on Oral Health Among Youth and Identification of Potential Barriers to Implementation.” This is the first study to examine children’s cavity risk and school dental sealant program impact in CDC-funded states. This study found that for every four sealants placed, one cavity is prevented. Increasing access to school sealant programs could reduce cavities, especially for children at higher risk for poor oral health.

Click here to learn more.

The Public Health Workforce Needs Report Has Been Released

The 2021 Public Health Workforce Interest and Needs Survey (PH WINS), conducted by the de Beaumont Foundation and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) between September 2021 and January 2022, shows trends similar to other studies regarding the future workforce. Nearly one-third of state and local public health employees said they are considering leaving their organization in the next year and 44% said they plan to leave within five years. Initial survey findings released in March 2022 revealed high levels of stress, burnout, and intent to leave among the governmental public health workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding training needs, across seniority levels, budgeting and financial management are top areas of high day-to-day importance but low proficiency among public health professionals Read the findings of the study.

Oral Health Workforce Report Released by Pennsylvania Oral Health Coalition

PCOH has released a workforce report that finds a major decrease in dental workforce, including a staggering decrease in dental assistants. The “Access to Oral Health Workforce Report” uncovers that many Pennsylvania counties are struggling to maintain recommended worker levels. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, rural areas and Medicaid provider networks have seen the sharpest reductions in care providers. This will result in limited access and delayed care for Pennsylvanians, especially those in rural communities. The report also evaluates education and training programs, state tax and local income losses, the impact of COVID-19 relief programs, and dental – Health Professional Shortage Areas (d-HPSAs).

Click here to download the report.

Updated Resources from Rural Health Value Announced!

The Rural Health Value team recently released two updated resources:

Related resources on the Rural Health Value website:

 Catalog of Value Based Initiatives for Rural Providers

One-page summaries describe rural-relevant, value-based programs currently or recently implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), primarily by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

This tool helps a rural healthcare organization assess readiness for the shift of payments from volume to value. The resulting report may be used to guide the development of action plans.

Contact information:

Clint MacKinney, MD, MS, Co-Principal Investigator; clint-mackinney@uiowa.edu

New from the RUPRI Center for Rural Policy Analysis: Nursing Homes in Rural America: A Chartbook

A new chartbook is available from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, Nursing Homes in Rural America: A Chartbook by Hari Sharma; Lili Xu; Fred Ullrich; Clint MacKinney; Keith J. Mueller

Closure of nursing homes and hospitals with swing beds in recent years has changed the availability of post-acute and long-term care services in rural areas. This study examines the availability of post-acute and long-term care services as well as characteristics of residents and nursing homes in noncore, micropolitan, and metropolitan counties.

Please click here to read the brief.

Pennsylvania State Data Center Releases Updated Data, Reports

Detailed Population Estimates Released 

The U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2021 Detailed Nation, State, and County Population Estimates, the final set of detailed population estimates for this vintage. The July 1, 2021 data provide estimates at the nation, state, and county level for population by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin.

To read more, visit: https://pasdc.hbg.psu.edu/Data/Research-Briefs.

Post-Census Group Quarters Review Operation Launched 

The U.S. Census Bureau began mailing approximately 40,000 eligible governmental units at the tribal, state, and local levels about participating in the 2020 Post-Census Group Quarters Review (PCGQR) operation. The 2020 PCGQR is a new, one-time operation that was created in response to public feedback received on the Count Question Resolution operation about counting group quarters’ populations during the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Group quarters are defined as places where people live or stay in a group living arrangement that is owned or managed by an organization providing housing and other services for the residents. Group quarters include such places as college residence halls, residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, group homes, military barracks, prisons, and worker dormitories. Heads of eligible governments received notice about this program which opened June 6 2022 and ends June 30, 2023.

This program is different from the Census Count Question Resolution program (CQR).  For more information on this program and data for you community visit our CQR StoryMap.  Contact us with any questions.

Post Enumeration Survey Results 

A new Report shows Pennsylvania is 1 of 37 states that did not have estimated statistically significant undercounts or overcounts.  Results of the Post Enumeration Survey were released this month identifying 14 states (or state equivalents) estimated to have had an undercount or overcount – a net coverage error statistically different from zero.

Pennsylvania had a 0.48 percent overcount (not statistically different from zero) in 2020. This is consistent with results from previous decades which showed a 0.14 percent overcount in 2010 and a 0.95 percent undercount in 2000.

Pennsylvania Municipal Population Estimates

With the release of the 2021 municipal total population estimates in May we learned a total of 702 municipalities in Pennsylvania experienced an increase in population between 2020 and 2021. A total of 111 municipalities were population neutral between 2020 and 2021 while 1,759 municipalities decline in total population.

For more details visit: https://pasdc.hbg.psu.edu/Data/Research-Briefs.

New Policy Brief Released: Supporting Critical Access Hospital Staff During COVID-19

The Flex Monitoring Team has released a new policy brief, Supporting Critical Access Hospital Staff during COVID-19.

This brief highlights initiatives in three Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in Illinois and North Dakota to help support their staff in the areas of child care, stress and well-being, and work flexibility as described in interviews with the Flex Monitoring Team. These examples may be useful for CAHs and State Flex Programs interested in starting similar initiatives. The brief also includes appendices of other initiatives supporting hospital staff and resiliency resources for CAHs.

Emergency Medical Services Personnel: Comparing Rural and Urban Provider Experience and Provision of Evidence-based Care Report Released

A new study by the WWAMI Rural Health Research Center, led by Davis Patterson, PhD, examined the relationship between EMS provider levels of experience and the provision of evidence-based care for rural and urban EMS systems.

We found that rural-serving EMS agencies provided evidence-based care for stroke, hypoglycemia, and trauma less often than urban serving EMS agencies. Rural EMS professionals responded to fewer daily 911 encounters on average and spent less total time on 911 responses than urban EMS professionals. Patients were more likely to receive evidenced based care for seizures and trauma when the lead EMS professional had accumulated more total time responding to 911 calls. Agency staffing—paid, volunteer or mixed—did not generally influence the provision of evidence-based care for seizures, stroke, and trauma. This study underscores the importance of developing benchmarks of evidence-based care appropriate for rural EMS systems, and will help inform educators, policymakers and stakeholders in devising solutions for addressing the gaps in training and systems of care for rural EMS systems.

Read more

Interested in more research on rural EMS? Our peer center, the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies recently published a related policy brief: How Actual Practice of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Aligns with the Recommended National Scope of Practice in Rural Versus Urban Areas of the U.S.

Latest Dental Health Policy Insitute Workforce Poll Results Released

The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI) released the latest data from their Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry poll conducted between May 17-22, 2022. The data shed new light on the impact the dental staff shortage is having on practices across the country. It focuses on recruitment needs, position vacancies, and economic confidence. Core questions are also available in a new, interactive state dashboard.

Click here for more information and to check out the dashboard.

Urban Institute New Report: Rural Residents Most Likely to Benefit from Enhanced ACA Subsidies

From FIERCE Healthcare

Rural residents were the most likely to benefit from enhanced subsidies for Affordable Care Act coverage and face the greatest danger of losing coverage if those benefits expire after this year, a new study finds.

The study, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tuesday, comes as healthcare groups are making a major effort to get Congress to renew the boosted subsidies. ACA enrollment grew to a record-setting 14.5 million people this year thanks in part to the higher subsidies.

“The enhanced premium subsidies have been transformational in high-cost rural areas,” said Kathy Hempstead, Robert Wood Johnson’s senior policy adviser, in a statement. “If the tax credits are allowed to expire, rural residents will have few if any policies to choose from that are both affordable and comprehensive.”

Researchers with the Urban Institute on behalf of the foundation looked at average benchmark premiums across several states on the ACA exchanges. The benchmark plan—which is the second-cheapest silver tier plan—is what the federal government uses to calculate income-based subsidies. The government ties the benchmark premium to a certain percentage of the household income.

“Because the percentage-of-income caps do not vary with premiums, the higher the benchmark premium, the greater the size of the federal government’s premium contribution for the household,” the study said.

Read more.