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Rural Health Information Center

Rural Population Health Learning Collaborative May 23, 2016 Webinar Notice

May 5, 2016

You’re Invited to Participate

Rural Public Health Learning Collaborative: Issues in Meeting Rural Health Obstetrical Needs – A Family Medicine Collaborative Approach in Western North Carolina (Webinar)

Date: May 23, 2016
Time: 2:30 pm Eastern

Objectives of the webinar are:

  • Review and discuss the number and type of health care and maternity care providers in rural Western North Carolina.
  • Describe the financial, demographic and liability issues and geographic factors impacting rural hospitals decisions to provide such services.
  • Discuss the concerns of families in seeking care during pregnancy
  • Describe the role of family medicine in meeting rural community needs for obstetrical services
  • Review the impact of medical students and family medicine residents in providing maternity services in rural communities.

How to Register –

  1. Click here to register
  2. Click Register.
  3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click Submit.

This call will be recorded and the viewable recording will be available on the NOSORH website –

Link * Engage * Sustain Missouri Rural Health Association

May 5, 2016

Join MRHA to address Access to Care for All

MRHA is making positive strides in addressing  the barrier of access to health and wellness  at the local, state, and federal level.  In 2016, Missouri will be the “one to watch” as MRHA takes on establishing a sustainable health and transportation program, HealthTran, and creating a statewide Mobility Management curriculum.  We want you to be a part of the excitement!

Visit to learn more.

A Personal Invitation from MRHA President

If you have never been an MRHA member, or have previously been a member but have been out of touch for a while, now is the time to join.  Our new mantra is “link-engage-sustain” . . . for full invite

Link to MRHA membership information

Get Link’d

Upcoming Get Link’d Conference brings health, transportation, and community leaders together to share, network and learn how working together we can address barriers  of  access to care.

Register on line on the MRHA website. 

Missouri Rides to Wellness

MO first in the Nation to host Rides to Wellness
Building partnerships through the FTA, Easter Seals, and CTAA,  MRHA is driving change and gaining recognition for inovative programs addressing access to care for rural Missourians.   Read the Executive Summary

Rural Monitor: LGBTQ healthcare; News: MIPS/APMs; Reports: Adverse childhood experiences; Health, United States; Improving IHS wait times, more

May 4, 2016

Rural Health Information Hub

View the 5.4.16 updates.

How to Register for the 2016 PQRS Group Practice Reporting Option Call — Last Chance to Register

May 3, 2016

How to Register for the 2016 PQRS Group Practice Reporting Option Call — Last Chance to Register

Wednesday, May 4 from 3 to 4:30 pm ET
To Register: Visit MLN Connects Event Registration. Space may be limited, register early.

This call gives a walkthrough of the Physician Value – Physician Quality Reporting System (PV-PQRS) Registration System, an application that serves the PQRS and Value-Based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier) programs. Learn how to meet the satisfactory reporting criteria through the PQRS Group Reporting Option (GPRO), avoid the CY 2018 PQRS payment adjustment, and CY 2018 Value Modifier automatic downward payment adjustment. A question and answer session follows the presentation.

The PV-PQRS Registration System is open through June 30 for groups to select a GPRO reporting mechanism. See the PQRS GPRO Registration webpage for more information.


  • PQRS and Value Modifier: Incentives and adjustments for CY 2018
  • 2016 PQRS reporting criteria for group practices reporting via the GPRO, including the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for PQRS survey
  • How to obtain an Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account
  • How to register for the PQRS GPRO in the PV-PQRS Registration System
  • Where to call for help and resources

Target Audience: Physicians, Medicare individual eligible professionals and group practices, therapists, medical group practices, practice managers, medical and specialty societies, payers, and insurers.

This MLN Connects Call is being evaluated by CMS for CME and CEU continuing education credit (CE). Refer to the call detail page for more information

Announcement from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

May 2, 2016

Special Edition – April 29, 2016

Historic Change to How Clinicians Are Paid – Comments Requested by June 27

At the heart of the proposed rule that CMS issued on April 27th is the Quality Payment Program which, beginning in 2019, would offer new systems for paying doctors and other clinicians who serve Medicare beneficiaries.   One, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), would evaluate the quality of care delivered based on four performance categories: cost, quality, exchange of information (use of electronic health records) and clinical practice improvement. The second system, advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs), offers higher financial incentive to clinicians who improve quality by coordinating care across providers and settings.  Initiatives for coordinated care include CMS’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model and Comprehensive Primary Care.

The rule would consolidate three existing payment programs under MIPS:  the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Physician Value-based Payment Modifier and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. It is the first step toward implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which aims to lower costs while raising quality of health care delivery.  It’s expected that most Medicare clinicians will initially participate in the MIPS program but over time will move toward the alternative payment model.

What do rural providers need to know?  First, that CMS needs your review and feedback to understand the challenges that are unique to rural areas and how these changes would affect your practice.  Once the proposed rule is officially published on May 9th, CMS will accept comments until Monday, June 27th.  Some key issues for your consideration:

  • For the first two years of MIPS, Eligible Professionals (EPs) would include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists.  Other professionals may be added in later.
  • EPs below the low-volume threshold would be excluded from MIPS.  The proposal defines the threshold as having Medicare billing charges less than or equal to $10,000 and providing care for 100 or fewer Part B-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The MIPS adjustment would apply to EPs who have assigned their billing rights to a Critical Access Hospital (i.e. Method II CAH billing).
  • Currently, Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers are excluded from reporting to MIPS since they are paid differently under Medicare. CMS is asking for comment on whether these safety net providers should but have the option to voluntarily report on applicable measures and activities with no penalty in order to remain in alignment with broader efforts under Delivery System Reform.
  • Only certain APMs are considered as qualifying for receipt of incentive payments and exclusion from MIPS payment adjustments.

CMS is providing opportunities to better understand the rule and provide early feedback through three sessions that are open to the public. Register now for an Overview of MACRA on Tuesday, May 3rd, an Overview of MIPS on Wednesday, May 4th, and an Overview of the Quality Payment Program on Tuesday, May 10th. Space for these webinars is limited and registration is required.  After your registration is completed, you will receive a follow-up e-mail with step-by-step instructions on how to log-in to the webinar.  CMS encourages review of the proposed rule (CMS-5517-P) prior to these listening sessions and reminds that the feedback you give will not be considered formal commenting.

Model program: faith groups & care coordination; Funding: USDA community facilities loan/grant program, American Indians into nursing; NRHA policy brief on opioid crisis; more

April 27, 2016

Rural Health Information Hub
View the 4.27.16 updates.

Rural Health Report

April 27, 2016

The new Health in Rural Missouri Report, is now available. If you have any thoughts/questions, or suggestions for the next report due in 2017, please do not hesitate to contact the State Office of Rural Health.