December 8, 2014
The Affordable Care Act
1. As the ACA’s second open enrollment period continues, a new tool from the Kaiser Family Foundation maps marketplace enrollment by state and at local level to compare the number of people eligible for a marketplace plan with the share who signed up.
The resource, Mapping Marketplace Enrollment, calculates by local area the percentage of potential ACA marketplace enrollees that signed up for a health plan in a federally-based exchange by mid-April 2014. It also displays the number of potential enrollees and the number of plan sign-ups in 100,000-resident statistical geographical areas associated with a zip code. Rural assistors and stakeholders may be interested in using this local data to target special enrollment efforts to areas where a relatively low percentage of possible enrollees were enrolled during the last open enrollment period. Stakeholders may also be interested in the most recent the Medicaid Enrollment Report for September 2014.
April 10, 2014
Rural Research Highlights
- Widening Rural–Urban Disparities in Life Expectancy, U.S., 1969–2009
This study by HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau examines the trends in life expectancy disparities between rural and urban areas in the United States between 1969 and 2009. The article finds that the disparity has increased since 1990, because life expectancy has grown more rapidly in urban than in rural areas. The disparity in life expectancy of urban over rural areas stood at 2.4 years during 2005-2009. Furthermore, the study’s findings indicate that mortality from cardiovascular diseases, injuries, lung cancer, and COPD is much higher in rural than in urban areas.
- Nursing in 3D: Workforce Diversity, Health Disparities, and Social Determinants of HealthThis special report explores the intersecting goals of increased workforce diversity, fair and equal access to quality health care and health care resources, elimination of health disparities, and achieving health equity. In August 2012, HRSA hosted a summit titled, “Nursing in 3D: Workforce Diversity, Health Disparities, and Social Determinants of Health.” This resulting special supplement includes 11 articles authored by 3D Summit speakers who are content experts in the fields of nursing workforce diversity, health disparities, and the social determinants of health.
More recent rural research can be found on http://www.ruralhealthresearch.org/.
1. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has released a funding opportunity in support of the rural Access to External Devices Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to: (1) purchase automated external defibrillators; (2) provide defibrillator and basic life support training in automated defibrillator usage; and (3) place automated external defibrillators in rural communities.
View the NRHA today article on “Rural Fiscal Cliff Averted”.
At 10 a.m. today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety (with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read). The Court could have struck down all or part of the bill as unconstitutional, but instead, upheld each of four distinct legal challenges.
What does the court’s decision mean to rural America?
Whether you support of oppose the health care bill, it is important to know that many provisions were included in the bill that benefit both the rural provider and patient. During the health reform debate, NRHA’s message was clear: Improve rural America’s access to health care providers by resolving the workforce shortage crisis in rural areas, and eliminate long-standing payment inequities for rural providers.
NRHA fought for and won key rural workforce and payment improvements in the bill. Each of these decisions will remain intact in light of today’s decision. However, complete funding for several of the provisions will likely continue to remain challenging. (Many programs “authorized” in the ACA, must actually be funded through a separate act of Congress.) Click here for a complete list of the positive rural provisions in the ACA. (more…)