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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Wipfli Alerts & Updates: Extension of Due Date for Furnishing Statements to Participants of Forms 1095 and Related Relief

November 23, 2016

View the updates

Reassessing Financial Peer Groups for CAHs

November 22, 2016

Since 2004, the Flex Monitoring Team has produced the Critical Access Hospital Financial Indicators Report (CAHFIR) that provides CAH administrators with comparative financial indicators. In the past ten years, significant changes have occurred in the U.S. health system and economy that may have influenced the factors shaping CAH financial performance.

The Flex Monitoring Team has assessed whether the factors used in the current CAH financial peer groups are still important influences on CAH financial performance, and whether new hospital, geographic, or community factors should be considered. The results of this assessment are described in a new policy brief.

Access the Policy Brief

National Diabetes Month-Diabetes in Rural America

November 22, 2016

National Diabetes Education Program

Diabetes in Rural America

Long-Distance Care

More people take to the road to visit far-flung family and friends over Thanksgiving weekend than at any other time of the year. During these visits, adult children often notice the emerging health issues of their aging parents and relatives—particularly those with diabetes. This annual migration creates a great opportunity for you to help patients with diabetes who may need extra support. The National Diabetes Education Program’s (NDEP) “How to Help a Loved One with Diabetes When You Live Far Apart” is now available as a resource you can provide for those patients who need additional help and for those trying to care for a loved one living far away. Download this new resource today.

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Tips for long-distance caregivers:

  • Learn about diabetes.
  • Gather your loved one’s health information and keep it in one place in both your home and theirs.
  • Plan your visits to your loved one to make the most of your time.
  • Help your loved one reach out to their care team.
  • Stay in touch with your loved one.

Check out these other resources from NDEP:

Sign up here to get notices about diabetes from CDC and NDEP. Select “diabetes education materials” from the subscription options.

CMS Region 7 Update

November 22, 2016

View the update.

Dec 6 Call Re- National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care

November 22, 2016

National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and QAPI MLN Connects® Call

Tuesday, December 6 from 1:30 to 3 pm ET

To register or for more information, visit MLN Connects Event Registration.

During this call, learn about the reform of requirements for long-term care facilities, highlighting the Behavioral Health Services & Pharmacy Services sections. A Tennessee nursing home will also discuss innovative approaches that they implemented to dramatically reduce the use of antipsychotic medications. Additionally, CMS experts share updates on the progress of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes and Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI). A question and answer session will follow the presentations.


  • Diane Corning, CMS
  • Douglas Ford, National HealthCare Corporation, Fort Sanders
  • Michele Laughman and Debbie Lyons, CMS

Target Audience: Consumer and advocacy groups, nursing home providers, surveyor community, prescribers, professional associations, and other interested stakeholders.

CARE Connection – Update from the NAFC

November 21, 2016

Nearly $220M to Increase Rural Veterans’ Access to Health Care and Services

November 17, 2016

VA Awards $219.2M to Increase Rural Veterans’ Access to Health Care and Services

The 2.9 million rural Veterans who rely on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care will benefit from a recent award of $219.2 million in health care programs and services by VA’s Office of Rural Health (ORH).

“Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of rural Veterans by increasing their access to care and services,” said Gina Capra, ORH Director. “To do this in a more uniform manner nationwide, we shifted our focus from local pilot programs to spread what we refer to as enterprise-wide initiatives – or proven solutions designed to bring care and services closer to home for rural Veterans.”

In fact, this funding translates to more than 40 enterprise-wide initiatives at 400 VA medical centers and community based outpatient clinic sites in more than 45 states across the U.S., with more sites expected throughout fiscal year 2017.

The initiatives reach 75 percent of the 167 VA medical centers across the nation. ORH estimates these initiatives will impact more than 570,000 rural Veterans.

ORH’s fiscal year 2017 enterprise-wide initiatives are grouped into five categories, listed below with corresponding funding amounts:

  • Primary care services – $61.7 million
  • Mental health services – $22.5 million
  • Specialty care services – $57.4 million
  • Workforce training and education services – $10.7 million
  • Ancillary support services – $66.9 million (comprised mostly of transportation-related programs)

“This year and beyond, we will continue to develop programs that address rural Veteran health care needs and deliver high-quality care across the VA system,” said Capra.

Examples include free transportation for rural Veterans to or from medical appointments, physical rehabilitation at home, training for rural providers and support for caregivers of Veterans.

To view a full list and learn more about ORH’s enterprise-wide initiatives, visit For more information about the VA Office of Rural Health, visit