January 13, 2015
Medicare Update: Open Payments – New Tutorial Available; Reminder: Jan. 15 Q&A; System Down Through Late Jan.
Program Overview Video Tutorial Now Available
The 2014 Open Payments Program Overview and Enhancements – Video Tutorial is now available on the Open Payments website on the Resources page.
This video provides an overview of the 2014 Open Payments program year, along with general guidance on navigating the Open Payments system. During this 20 minute video, viewers can reaquaint themselves with the reporting process and timeline, get an overview of system enhancements, and learn where to access resources and information.
December 17, 2014
The Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program funding opportunity announcement (FOA) was recently announced! Please pass along this message to anyone who may be interested in applying. More information on the program purpose and eligibility can be found online at: http://bhw.hrsa.gov/grants/geriatricsalliedhealth/gwep.html and in the attached FOA.
HRSA will host four Technical Assistance Webinars this week and regional sessions the week of January 5th.
October 21, 2014
Hot Off the Presses
1. On October 8, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report examining Medicare beneficiaries’ payments for outpatient services at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). The report found that Medicare beneficiaries paid more in required coinsurance** at Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) than they would have if they received the same services at a prospective payment system (PPS) hospital, because cost sharing calculations are different in the two settings. As noted in some of the media coverage of the report, many people have Medicare supplemental insurance policies that cover the coinsurance, so many beneficiaries are not paying the higher cost sharing directly. For specific services investigated, beneficiary cost sharing averaged 2 to 6 times more at CAHs than at PPS hospitals. Since the method for calculating outpatient coinsurance at CAHs (20 percent of charges) is set by statute, it would require Congress to change the law to change the amount of cost sharing paid by beneficiaries. Additionally, any reduction in beneficiary payments due to lower beneficiary cost sharing would require an increase in Medicare payments to CAHs so that they continue to receive a total payment of 101 percent of costs (the sum of the Medicare payment and the cost sharing).
September 8, 2014
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is pleased to announce that the FY15 Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program funding opportunity announcement (announcement number: HRSA-15-039) is now available. To access the application package and learn more about the funding opportunity announcement, please click on: http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=264030 (look under ‘application package’ tab)
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/.