New Rural Advocacy Guide Released

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has created a comprehensive guide for rural community leaders to amplify their voices when advocating for rural. How to advocate for rural health change gives constituents the opportunity to effectively champion rural health issues by providing necessary information and tools. This resource provides details on branches of government, congressional committees, NRHA tools, and practical tips for how to get involved in advocacy efforts. Additionally, our advocacy guide includes sample letters and media advisories to accommodate your communication efforts with Congressional leaders. We hope that this document serves as an asset to your knowledge when advocating for the improvement of issues facing rural communities.

If you have any questions or would like more information or assistance, please contact NRHA’s government affairs team.

Provider Relief Fund – Phase 4 Payments

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 7,600 providers across the country this week. With this funding, more than $18 billion will have been distributed from the Provider Relief Fund and the American Rescue Plan Rural provider funding in the last three months.

These payments come on the heels of the nearly $9 billion in funding that was already released by HHS in December 2021. With today’s announcement, a total of nearly $11 billion in PRF Phase 4 payments has now been distributed to more than 74,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and five territories and approximately 82 percent of all Phase 4 applications have now been processed.

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Primary Care Migraine

The National Headache Foundation (NHF) launched Primary Care Migraine, a new educational training program available at no cost to health practitioners. The course also offers a diagnosis tool to assist in quickly diagnosing migraines while interviewing and examining patients.

New Pocket Guides from MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center

The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) has created several new pocket guides by Dr. Linda Frank and their regional partners which are available for download on their website. The new topics are:

  • Rapid Initiation of HIV Treatment
  • HIV and Medication Assisted Treatment Centers (MAT)
  • Differential Diagnosis of HIV and SARS-COV-2
  • Best Practices & Tips for Clinicians Providing Care for Patients with HIV via Telehealth
  • Integrating Geriatric Principles into an HIV Clinic
  • Workplace Burnout Guide for Health Professionals
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Persons with HIV

You can also find all their other pocket guides and clinical tools here.

New FAQ Videos in Spanish about COVID-19 Vaccine & Kids!

Pediatrician Ilan Shapiro, MD returns to THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN with a new series of FAQ videos, en español, about the COVID-19 vaccine for children, including more newly eligible 5-11 year-olds. Presented with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Shapiro answers some of the most common questions parents and caregivers are asking about the COVID-19 vaccine, including: How do we know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for kids? Do kids need the COVID-19 vaccine? What is in the vaccine given to kids? And more!

Study Finds Rapid Tests Highly Accurate for Kids

While PCR tests for COVID-19 have become the “gold standard” in detecting the virus, a new study says rapid tests are highly accurate when it comes to children and teens. The study, led by researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in collaboration with other institutions and published in MedRxiv, shows that rapid tests given to adolescents at school or at home have a similar accuracy to PCR tests.

USPS Now Taking Orders for Free COVID-19 Tests

The U.S. Postal Service has begun taking orders for free at-home coronavirus test kits via the website or COVID-19 Home Tests | USPS. Each household order will contain four rapid tests, which the Postal Service says will be shipped for free “in late January.” The White House says it will prioritize shipments to Americans from ZIP codes that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the first 20% of each day’s orders going to those areas.

Medicaid Enrollments Increased 17% During the Public Health Emergency

The December Medicaid enrollment count has reached 3,430,872, up 17% since the beginning of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration in March 2020. Medicaid eligible individuals did not lose coverage due to Maintenance of Effort provisions, but approximately 400,000 individuals stand to lose Medicaid eligibility when the PHE declaration is lifted or expires. Health centers nationwide expect to provide enrollment assistance to patients needing help enrolling in marketplaces at the end of the Public Health Emergency.