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Category Archives: Webinar

New Medicare Card Webinars with Updated Information

February 2, 2018
New Medicare Card Webinars with Updated Material since 1/30/2018 webinar

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Kansas City Regional Office invites you to attend the New Medicare Card Webinars. Recent legislation requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers from all Medicare cards to address the current risk of beneficiary medical identity theft, and to replace the cards with a unique number for each Medicare beneficiary. These webinars will address the new card design, the timeframe of the mailings and scenarios, what Medicare beneficiaries should do to ensure they receive their new card, and partner resources to help with education.

The goal of these free webinars is to educate those who serve people with Medicare and their caregivers so they can be a valuable resource on this initiative. Please share this invite with your partners.

There are multiple webinars so you can choose one that best works with your schedule. All webinars will provide the same information. CMS will host separate webinars and informational sessions for people with Medicare and their caregivers.

February 8, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

February 16, 2018 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

February 21, 2018 1:00 PM CST – 2:00 PM CST

Telehealth news from the Kansas, Missouri & Oklahoma

January 29, 2018

American Heart Month: Remote patient monitoring and heart health
Keeping hearts healthy is the focus of February’s American Heart Month, and telehealth is well-positioned to lend a hand. Digital stethoscopes and mobile echocardiograms make it easier for cardiologists to diagnose and treat patients in remote regions. Additionally, patient monitoring devices can collect and relay actionable data from a patient’s home to health care providers in real time. But like many other specialties, cardiology and stroke care are both victims of the unrequited love between telehealth potential and telehealth policy.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and experts have predicted a shortage of cardiologists in the next decade that will affect rural areas the most. The American Heart Association stresses the vital role telehealth can play in reducing morbidity and mortality from the disease by alleviating the maldistribution. These underserved areas have the potential to benefit greatly from telecardiology and telestroke care, but they are often the least equipped with technology and training.

In order for telecardiology and telestroke services to be effective, the AHA emphasizes that “programs need timely data, appropriate staff and a feedback loop to patients with sufficient empowerment to understand and implement instructions.” Remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices are promising tools to fit these needs in prevention, emergency care and transitional care. In one study, an RPM transitional care program for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure patients reduced 30-day hospital readmissions by 50 percent when compared to the control group.


February Educational Webinars

January 29, 2018

Managing Endometriosis in the Rural Primary Care Setting

Endometriosis is a debilitating condition affecting up to 1 in 10 women in the United States. Delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis are common, and optimal symptom control is challenging, given the limitations of current treatments. Women living in rural areas may be particularly at risk for poor health outcomes due to reduced access to care and a limited number of health care providers. Often, they turn to their primary care provider for evaluation and treatment. In this online CME activity, expert faculty will discuss strategies to improve the diagnosis and management of endometriosis, specifically in the rural primary care practice setting. This case-based program will review the latest advances in diagnosis, the efficacy and limitations of available and emerging treatments, and evidence-based strategies for delivering individualized care to patients with endometriosis.

Learning Objectives:

  • After completing this activity, participants should be better able to:
  • Identify signs and symptoms of endometriosis as well as strategies to improve its timely diagnosis.
  • Develop patient-centered treatment plans for women with endometriosis, based on individual drug characteristics and personal preferences.
  • Describe the role of surgery for endometriosis and the need for ongoing medical management to prevent disease recurrence

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Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

January 25, 2018

What’s New

DEA Broadens Access to Drug Treatment.  On Tuesday, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced a change in regulation designed to increase access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction in rural areas.  Under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), prescribing authority for long-term use of buprenorphine, the drug used in outpatient addiction treatment, was expanded in 2016 to include qualified nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  In the same year, CARA also gave authority to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase the maximum number of patients that a qualified practitioner may treat from 100 to 275.  This week’s action by the DEA incorporates those changes into its regulations for the Controlled Substances Act and is intended to increase access to treatment in rural areas.  Research has shown that more than half of rural counties had no DEA waivered physicians in 2016.  Rural physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can get no-cost MAT waiver training online from the Providers’ Clinical Support System.

Rural Health  Research

Rural Health Research 2017 Year in Review.  As noted above, the HRSA/FORHP-funded Rural Health Research Gateway published a report last year on the number of rural physicians prescribing buprenorphine.  The report was one of 16 peer-reviewed articles from 2017 on subjects ranging from the decline of obstetric services in rural counties to predicting financial distress and closure in rural hospitals .  Sign up for email alerts on the Gateway website to see research as soon as it’s released in 2018.


Rural Health Research & Policy Centers

January 22, 2018

View the Research Alert.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

January 18, 2018

What’s New

Two New Policy Briefs from the National Advisory CommitteeThe National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services is a citizens’ panel of nationally-recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services twice each year.  The latest policy briefs were written by the committee after a meeting last fall in Boise, Idaho, where the group focused on the impact of suicide in rural America and enhancing the Rural Health Clinics program to adapt to a value-focused health care environment.  Also, a new website for the rural health advisory committee provides a look back more than two decades into the past with recommendations for health policy issues such as provider payment reform, workforce development, and telehealth implementation.  Beginning in 2003, the committee expanded its focus to include human services and started addressing such issues as homelessness, intimate partner violence and social determinants of health.

CDC Updates Numbers on Opioid Overdose.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System and found that there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016.  The age-adjusted rate of death was 21 percent higher than it was just one year before.  The highest rates of death were among adults aged 35-44, the age range that also had the greatest percentage increase in overdose death rate, 29 percent higher than in 2015.  Last year, the CDC determined that the drug overdose rate in rural areas is higher than in urban areas.

2020 Census Expected to be a Challenge for Rural Areas. Rural areas and particularly minority populations that live in them are typically considered Hard to Count (HTC) for Census data collection every decade.  But researchers at the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy predict that the 2020 Census will present an even greater challenge for the population count that’s used to determine federal spending, community planning for schools and hospitals and site selection for new business, among other uses for the data. Seventy-nine percent of HTC counties are in rural areas, where counts are typically conducted via mail and door-to-door canvasing.  Plans for the 2020 Census call for a majority of residents to receive communication that will urge a response via the internet, for which broadband access adds a special challenge for rural areas.


Next AHA Town Hall Webcast Wednesday, January 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET

January 16, 2018

Please join us Wednesday, January 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET for our next Town Hall Webcast.

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack will be joined by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma to discuss the current regulatory landscape. Together they will discuss areas of priority and challenge for hospitals and health systems, as well as for CMS, and preview new efforts to reduce regulatory burden that will be rolled out this year.

Please click here to register and log-in

Questions about the webcast or its contents? Call 1-800-424-4301. If you have any additional technical questions, please email: