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/.
March 24, 2014
Epi Grand Rounds: Health in Rural Missouri
Learn about key findings from the 2012-2013 Health in Rural Missouri Biennial Report, including why rural Missourians tend to be less healthy than urban Missourians and recommendations for addressing these challenges.
Monday, March 24 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m., Birch Conference Room, 930 Wildwood, Jefferson City or via webinar format
Andrew Hunter, Chief, Bureau of Health Care Analysis and Data Dissemination
Becca Mickels, Research Analyst IV, Bureau of Health Care Analysis and Data Dissemination
Melissa VanDyne, Rural Health Manager, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health
To participate via webinar format (click the below link, and register as guest):
No registration required!