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Category Archives: Health Care

FORHP Announcements – February 14

January 14, 2017

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

What’s New

Flexibility for Transportation Services.  The Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently issued a final rule that eases the ability to provide free or discounted transportation services for health care.  Under the rule, Federal health care programs arranging service from local transportation providers are granted a “safe harbor” exemption from the anti-kickback statute, which prohibits offering, soliciting or accepting of any type of remuneration for referral to a federal health care program business. Thus, the rule allows for federal health care providers to make financial arrangements with local transportation providers when carrying patients to and from the patient’s home for up to 50 miles in rural areas (air, luxury, or ambulance transportation excluded).

Funding Opportunities

AI/AN Health Equity Initiative – April 3.  Up to seven American Indian and/or Alaska Native organizations will be awarded federal funding of up to $350, 000 for programs that address the negative health impact of violence and substance abuse for AI/AN adolescents.  Studies suggest the incorporation of traditional cultures and engaging youth in Native teachings as an effective public health approach.  Successful applicants will implement promising practices for culturally-appropriate services and build capacity for healthcare professionals serving AI/AN youth.

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FOHRP Announcements – February 6

February 6, 2017

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

What’s New

USDA State Fact Sheets.  The Economic Research Service (ERS) at the US Department of Agriculture has released new State Fact Sheets that provide information on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and agricultural exports. Data are available for all States, and for metro/non-metro breakouts within States. Links to county-level data are provided where available. With this release, statistics on poverty, educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data.

New Federal Poverty Guidelines. HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) recently published the 2017 federal poverty guidelines to be used in determining eligibility in income-based Federal programs, including several that may affect the health and welfare of rural communities such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare subsidized prescription drug coverage.  The Guidelines went into effect on January 26, 2017.

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Reminder: Rural Health Information Hub User Survey

February 2, 2017

If you haven’t yet completed the survey, there is still time! Please share your thoughts by February 10, 2017.

The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) staff would like to thank you for using our services. Please consider answering a few questions about your experience using RHIhub and help us improve our ability to assist you.

Your privacy is important to us. The survey is anonymous unless you wish to share your contact information with us. Your responses will not be presented in a way that would identify you.

To take the survey, please follow this link: https://und.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_79BCn4eouAnhAoZ.

If you have questions about this survey or your use of RHIhub services, please contact us at info@ruralhealthinfo.org or 1-800-270-1898.

Many thanks for your participation,
The RHIhub Team

Rural Health Information Hub

February 2, 2017

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

Rural Health Information Hub

February 1, 2017

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

FORHP Announcements – January 31

January 31, 2017

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

What’s New

Medicare ACO Track 1+ ModelCMS offers new details on the Medicare Accountable Care Organization Track 1+ model, which will begin in 2018. The model will qualify as an advanced alternative payment model under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act by incorporating more downside risk than is currently present in Track 1 of the Medicare Shared Savings Program.  It is designed to help small practices move toward performance-based risk and to allow small hospitals, including rural, to participate.   

Request for MACPAC Nominations  – February 24. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is requesting nominations for new members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). The U.S. Comptroller General appoints MACPAC’s 17 commissioners, who come from diverse regions across the United States and bring broad expertise and a wide range of perspectives on Medicaid and CHIP, review Medicaid and CHIP access payment policies, and make recommendations to Congress. Appointments take effect May 1, 2017.

Request for MedPAC Nominations – March 10:  The GAO is also accepting nominations for Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) appointments that will be effective May 1, 2017. MedPAC is an independent congressional agency that advises the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program and is also tasked with analyzing access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. This is an opportunity for rural providers and stakeholders to submit nominations for MedPAC members who can bring their perspective and expertise on the financing and delivery of health care services in rural areas.

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Rural Economy and Population

January 31, 2017

Releases for the week of: January 23, 2017 to January 27, 2017
New from USDA’s Economic Research Service

Federal Tax Issues
ERS research focuses on the most important features of Federal tax law and how they affect farmers and the broader rural economy. This release updates information on Federal tax policy issues and Federal estate taxes.
01-27-2017

State Fact Sheets
The ERS State Fact Sheets provide information on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and agricultural exports. Data are available for all States, and for metro/nonmetro breakouts within States. Links to county-level data are provided where available. With this release, statistics on poverty, educational attainment, per capita income, and earnings per job have been updated with the latest available data.
01-27-2017