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Calling all Primary Care Dental and Medical Students! S2S Opens August 16

July 13, 2016

Dental Students Now Eligible! S2S Loan Repayment Program

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Rural Health Information Hub

July 7, 2016

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

Rural Health Information Hub

July 6, 2016

View the Rural Health Information Hub updates.

State Office Council : 2016 Hospital 340B Recertification Webinar: July 20, 2016, 1:00 pm ET

July 6, 2016

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) is required to re-certify all participating covered entities enrolled in the 340B Program annually to ensure all covered entities are appropriately listed on the 340B database and that all covered entities remain compliant with the 340B Program requirements.  To help covered entities with re-certification, the OPA will hold a webinar on July 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM ET. Here is the call-in detail:

Conference Number(s): 888-787-0207

Participant passcode: 7814467

To join the meeting: hrsa.connectsolutions.com/recertification

In addition to the webinar, OPA suggests the following steps to ensure a smooth re-certification:

Visit the 340B Program database and verify that your covered entities information is correct and that the listed sites remain eligible to participate in 340B.  It is the covered entities responsibility to keep its 340B database record up-to-date, this includes contract pharmacies.  The database record should reflect the covered entities current information.  If your covered entity’s record is incorrect, please update it prior to the re-certification process by submitting an online change request to OPA.  Questions regarding registration, change requests, or re-certification may be directed to the 340B Prime Vendor Program at 1-888-340-2787, or by sending an e-mail to ApexusAnswers@340bpvp.com.

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy – July 5, 2016

July 6, 2016

What’s New

Telemedicine Funding to Address Opioid EpidemicThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced nearly $1.4 million for rural areas in the Appalachian region hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic.   The funds will support five projects using telemedicine to expand access to mental health and drug addiction treatment in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.  It is the first part in a series of Distance Learning and Telemedicine projects administered by USDA specifically to address the opioid crisis; the agency has been tasked by the White House Rural Council with leading the federal response.

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Rural Health Works Newsletter – June 2016

July 6, 2016

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Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

June 27, 2016

What’s New

Comments Due on Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule – June 27. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will accept comment at FederalRegister.gov until 11:59 pm ET on Monday, June 27. The proposal first issued on April 27 would change the way clinicians are paid under Medicare, aiming to lower costs while raising the quality of health care delivery.  Change in payments is the first step toward implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), consolidating three existing payment programs under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS):  the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Physician Value-based Payment Modifier and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.

Considerations are being made for low-volume providers.  Currently, Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers would be excluded from MIPS reporting because they are paid differently under Medicare.  CMS has asked for comment on whether these safety net providers should have the option to voluntarily report on measures with no penalty in order to remain in alignment with broader efforts under Delivery System Reform.  For the final rule, they will need to better understand the challenges that are unique to rural areas and how these changes would affect your practice.

This week, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced $100 million over the next five years to help individual and small practices in rural areas succeed in the Quality Payment Program. In order to receive funding, organizations must demonstrate their ability to strategically provide customized training to clinicians, helping them evaluate options for joining an Alternative Payment Model and quality measures appropriate for their practices’ needs.  Most importantly, organizations that receive this funding will provide education and consultation at no cost to the clinician or their practice.  Visit FedBizOpps.gov for more information on how to apply as a contractor, and attend a pre-proposal conference at 1:00 p.m. EST on June 30, 2016. Register early to receive an email confirmation with instructions for joining the session.

Until that technical assistance becomes available, you can refer to  online resources about the Quality Payment Program and sign up for email updates on the CMS website.

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