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Category Archives: Health

Hospital Accreditation: Contract Services – Part Four

January 29, 2016

Hospital Accreditation: Contract Services – Part Four
By Traci Burgkwist

Welcome to the last in a four part blog series on CMS’ expectations for managing contract services in a hospital. In this blog, we’re going to discuss CMS expectations for integrating oversight into your hospital’s quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program.

Read more…

MLN Connects Provider eNews

January 29, 2016

View the e-News.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

January 28, 2016

What’s New

Transitioning Meaningful Use – Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Andy Slavitt announced last week that Meaningful Use, the requirements for use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) will be phased out in 2016 and replaced by standards that reward providers for patient outcomes.  The change is driven by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and its objectives to improve the quality and cost of clinical practice.

Rural Research

Rural Health IT Adoption –The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a new study that shows wide variation in the adoption of health IT among rural providers and hospitals that “may make seamless exchange and use of electronic information challenging.”  The study attributes technical assistance from ONC-funded Regional Extension Centers for initial rates of adoption that were higher in rural areas than urban, but concludes that rural providers were “more likely to skip subsequent years of meaningful-use achievement and may require additional assistance to support their ongoing use of health IT and sustain delivery and payment reform efforts.”


CMS Regional Office

January 26, 2016

Accountable Health Communities Model Overview & Application Requirements Webinar

Earlier this month, the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced the Accountable Health Communities Model and funding opportunity. The model is the first to test ways to address the health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. It makes available $157 million in funding for a five-year model to support local communities working together to address the unmet health-related social needs, such as food insecurity and inadequate or unstable housing, of community-dwelling beneficiaries. These unmet needs may increase an individual’s risk of developing chronic conditions, reduce an individual’s ability to manage these conditions, increase health care costs, and lead to avoidable health care utilization.

CMMI is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, January 27 from 3:00pm – 4:30pm EST to provide an overview of the model and application requirements. To register, please visit We encourage all interested partners to listen in.

A fact sheet, with detailed information on the model, is available here: , and you can find more resources, including Frequently Asked Questions, at the homepage for the Accountable Health Communities Model: .

The deadline to submit a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) is February 8, 2016. More information on the LOI is available here: . Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 1:00pm EST on March 31, 2016.

If you have any questions on the model or need any more information, feel free to let us know. To submit questions directly to CMMI, email .

Route 66 Grants

January 26, 2016

Route 66 Grants

The National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is dedicated to preserving the diverse history of U.S. Highway 66. The program provides financial assistance in the form of competitive, cost-share grants for building, structures, road segments, and cultural landscapes along the length of the Route 66 corridor. Cost-share grants are also available for planning, research, and education initiatives. Applications due April 1.

Rural Health Works Newsletter

January 26, 2016

View the Rural Health Works Newsletter – January 2016 Newsletter.

USDA Announces Webinar Schedule for the Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program

January 21, 2016

On January 27th, February 2nd, and February 18th (1 – 3 pm EST) the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host webinars focused on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. These webinars will inform participants about the major eligibility and regulatory requirements of the program and will provide detailed guidance on how to submit a successful grant application.  There will also be time for participants to ask the speakers specific questions about putting together an application.

Contact us soon to ensure you can attend the workshop that works best for your schedule!

Web Conference Information

Due to the limited amount of seats available for each session, interested parties must preregister with the RUS Loan Origination and Approval Division. Seats for each session will be reserved in the order in which the requests are received by the RUS.

To preregister, please contact Deborah Anderson or Gayle Buckner at (202) 720-0800 or email: and

The webinar information will be provided prior to the scheduled workshop sessions.


Please contact the RUS at with any questions about these events.

More information about the DLT Grant Program is available on our website at: