November 25, 2014
The Rural Assistance Center is a collaborative effort of the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health, and the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI); and is funded by a grant through HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy. View the RAC Online newsletter.
November 13, 2014
Hot Off the Presses
1. ORHP is pleased to announce the release of the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program (Network Planning). This is a one-year community-driven program targeted to assist in the planning and development of an integrated health care network. Health care networks can be an effective strategy to address a broad range of challenges unique to rural communities by bringing together rural providers and other community organizations. For grantees, this funding provides an opportunity to implement new and innovative approaches to adapting to a changing health care environment that may serve as a model to other rural communities to better align and coordinate local health care services. The increasing focus on showing value in health care delivery creates incentives to develop regional systems of care that preserve local autonomy for rural communities while also ensuring access to the appropriate continuum of care for the local service population. Previously funded projects supported efforts related to workforce, behavioral health, telehealth, care coordination, health information technology, and outreach and enrollment. Network planning activities that model evidence-based frameworks or models that work are encouraged.
October 21, 2014
Hot Off the Presses
1. On October 8, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report examining Medicare beneficiaries’ payments for outpatient services at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). The report found that Medicare beneficiaries paid more in required coinsurance** at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) than they would have if they received the same services at a prospective payment system (PPS) hospital, because cost sharing calculations are different in the two settings. As noted in some of the media coverage of the report, many people have Medicare supplemental insurance policies that cover the coinsurance, so many beneficiaries are not paying the higher cost sharing directly. For specific services investigated, beneficiary cost sharing averaged 2 to 6 times more at CAHs than at PPS hospitals. Since the method for calculating outpatient coinsurance at CAHs (20 percent of charges) is set by statute, it would require Congress to change the law to change the amount of cost sharing paid by beneficiaries. Additionally, any reduction in beneficiary payments due to lower beneficiary cost sharing would require an increase in Medicare payments to CAHs so that they continue to receive a total payment of 101 percent of costs (the sum of the Medicare payment and the cost sharing).
NEW! Register for the 7th Annual Rural Health Conference.
September 8, 2014
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce that the FY15 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program funding opportunity announcement (announcement number: HRSA-15-039) is now available. To access the application package and learn more about the funding opportunity announcement, please click on: http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=264030 (look under ‘application package’ tab)
August 25, 2014
7th Annual Missouri Rural Health Conference, Wednesday November 19, 2014
Registration opens September 15th.
August 18, 2014
Hot Off the Presses
1. On Friday, September 19th, 2014 from 2-3 PM ET, Mark Holmes, PhD and George H. Pink, PhD from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Center will host a webinar entitled “Change in Profitability and Financial Distress of Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) from Loss of Cost-Based Reimbursement.” Information and registration for the webinar is available at: http://www.ruralhealthresearch.org/webinars/critical-access-hospitals. The webinar will focus on the financial distress of Critical Access Hospitals, and will present summaries of three recent reports: