Category Archives: Current Affairs
March 8, 2018
Interoperability, Patient Choice at HIMSS. On Tuesday, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma announced a new initiative, MyHealthEData, “to empower patients by giving them control of their healthcare data, and allowing it to follow them through their healthcare journey.” Speaking to attendees at the annual conference of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Las Vegas, Verma said that CMS plans to overhaul requirements for the agency’s meaningful use program and MACRA’s Quality Payment Program to increase the focus on interoperability and reduce barriers to compliance – both areas presenting a challenge to rural providers. The HIMSS Conference runs through the end of the week. Those in attendance can find our FORHP colleagues at HRSA Booth #10219 in the Federal Health IT Pavilion.
Updated Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America. The rural atlas, maintained and updated by the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides statistics on three broad categories of socioeconomic factors: demographics, including migration and immigration, education, and characteristics of veteran population; jobs, with employment trends, industrial composition and household income; and county classifications that include the rural-urban continuum, economic dependence, persistent poverty and other characteristics.
March 8, 2018
Rural Utilities Service Contract Administration Workshop
Please plan on joining USDA for the 2018 Rural Utilities Service Contract Administration Workshop. The workshop will be held on April 17th & 18th in Columbia, MO. The registration form, attached below, must be completed and emailed to Chris Collins at email@example.com by April 6th if you plan on attending.
If you have any questions about the workshop, please email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (573) 208-0574.
February 28, 2018
HRSA Recognizes Rural Health Champions. Today, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced seven rural community-based organizations for outstanding work through their grant programs funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Visit HRSA.gov to learn more about how these Rural Health Champions adopted sustainable, best-practice models for increasing access to health care.
CDC: Rural-Urban Differences in COPD. In the most recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at 2015 data for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and found that prevalence, Medicare hospitalizations, and deaths were significantly higher among persons living in rural areas than among those living in micropolitan or metropolitan areas. Higher burdens of COPD among rural residents highlight the need for continued tobacco cessation programs, policies to prevent COPD among smokers, improved access for adults with COPD to treatment strategies, and comprehensive chronic disease self-management programs. Read the COPD National Action Plan developed by the National Institutes of Health to learn more about the strategy to reduce the burden of one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
Overdose Death Data Visualization Tool. The CDC updated 12-month counts for overdose deaths in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia. The interactive tool provides the number of deaths for the 12-month period ending July of 2017 and graphs the percent change from the previous 12-months for each jurisdiction. The National Vital Statistics Survey reported 66,972 deaths in the U.S. overall, up 14 percent from the previous year. States with the highest increase in deaths include Pennsylvania with 43 percent more deaths, and Florida and Ohio each with a 39 percent increase. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a new website for rural communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic, with grant programs and models for their use to help address the crisis.