National Rural Health Association

NRHA's 2017 Rural Health Policy Institute

Policy Documents

The National Rural Health Association is a member-driven association. Our members set the policies and positions that we advocate for at a national level. All members of the association are able to participate in that process by submitting potential policy positions for consideration. Positions are then adopted by the Rural Health Congress, which is made up of a broad representation of our members. For more information and to participate in the process, visit our Policy Position Development page.

The policy paper and statements adopted by the Rural Health Congress are the background and support for NRHA's agenda which reflects the mission and values of NRHA by highlighting issues of importance to our membership.

2016 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda


Allied Health, Paper #11 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, October 2008

American Indian and Alaska Native Health, February 2016, an update to the November 2006 American Indian and Alaska Native Health policy paper. A supplemental document to the 2016 American Indian and Alaska Native Health Policy Paper can be found here. 

Behavioral Health, Paper #5 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, October 2008

Border Health, January 2010 

Broadband Access in Rural America, September 2012 

Comprehensive Quality Improvement in Rural Health CareFebruary 2015 (an update of the Comprehensive Quality Improvement in Rural Health Care policy paper passed in October 2007)

Defining the Issues and the Principles of Recruitment and Retention, Introduction to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, January 2012

Definition of Rural, Policy Statement, April 2012

The National Rural Health Association strongly recommends that definitions of rural be specific to the purposes of the programs in which they are used and that these are referred to as programmatic designations and not as definitions. Programs targeting rural communities, rural providers, and rural residents do so for particular reasons, and those reasons should be the guidance for selecting the criteria for a programmatic designation (from among various criteria and existing definitions, each with its own statistical validity). This will ensure that a designation is appropriate for a specific program while limiting the possibilities that other unrelated programs adopt a definition, which is not created to fit that program.

Deleterious Impacts on Rural Multiracial and Multicultural Populations Related to the Devolution of Welfare Programs, April 2011

Designation of Frontier Health Professional Shortage AreasApril 2015 (an update ofthe Designation of Frontier Health Professional Shortage Areas passed in October 2007)

Elder Health in Rural America, February 2013

Electronic Health Record Implementation and Meaningful Use Adoption in Rural Hospitals and Physician Clinics, January 2012 

Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and Telehealth in Critical Access Hospitals, May 2011

FMG/J1 Visa Waiver PhysiciansFebruary 2014 

Food and Nutrition, January 2011

Frontier Definition, Feb. 2016 (an update to the October 2008  Frontier Definition)

Future of the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic, February 2014

Future of Rural Behavioral HealthFebruary 2015  

Future of Rural Health, February 2013

Geographic Restrictions for Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement, May 2011

Graduate Medical Education for Rural Practice, a policy jointly adopted by the American Academy of Family Physicians, April 2014. This is an update of a May 2008 paper

Health Care Workforce Distribution and Shortage Issues in Rural America, January 2012

Health Disparity, Policy Statement, September 2014

A health disparity generally refers to a higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by a population or group of people. The health disparity is linked with social, economic and/or an environmental disadvantage based on racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, mental health, sexual orientation, geographic location, or characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.

Health Home, October 2008

HIV/AIDS in Rural America: Disproportionate Impact on minority and Multicultural Populations, April 2014

Hospital AdministrationPaper #10 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, May 2007

Impact of Swing Beds, February 2016

Issues of Preserving Rural Professional Quality of Life, Paper #14 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, May 2006 

Medicaid Reform: A Rural Perspective, September 2012 (an update of papers passed in May 2007April 2004 and May 2003)

Oral Health, Paper #4 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, November 2006

Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, Paper #3 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, May 2006

Pharmacy, May 2009

Physicians, Paper #1 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, November 2006

Physician Assistants, Paper #12 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, October 2008

Population Health in Rural Communities, April 2015 

Primary Eye Care, Paper #8 to the "Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, October 2009

Principles for Community Paramedicine Programs, September 2012 

Professional Liability Reform, September 2012 (an update of the April 2003 Professional Liability Reform paper)

Public Health Nursing: Strengthening the Core of Rural Public Health, January 2011

Public Reporting of Hospital Quality in Rural Communities: An Initial Set of Key IssuesJanuary 2012

Quality of Life Impacts the Recruitment and Retention of Rural Health ProvidersFebruary 2015 

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, May 2006

Recruitment and Training of Racial/Ethnic Health Professionals in Rural America, February 2013 

Responsive Rural Health Delivery System, Feb. 2016 (an update of the October 2008 Responsive Rural Health Delivery System)

Rural America's Oral Health Needs, February 2013 (an update of Meeting Oral Health Care Needs in Rural AmericaApril 2005)

Rural Communities in Crisis:Strategies to Address the Opioid Crisis, April 2016  

Rural Economic Development, Feb. 2015 (an update of Rural Economic Development, May 2009)

Rural Graduate Medical Education, June 2003

Rural Health Careers Pipeline: Kindergarten to 12th Grade Education, Paper #7 to the "The Rural Health Careers Pipeline" series, February 2006

Rural Health Clinics, April 2014 (an update of the Rural Health Clinics paper from November 2006 and a paper passed February 1997)

Rural Health Preparedness, April 2011 (An update of the January 2002 Rural Health Preparedness paper)

Rural Health Professions, January 2004

Rural Hospital Participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, February 2013 

Rural Proofing Tool, September 2015 

Rural Public Health, Feb. 2016 (an update to Rural Public Health, June 2004)

Rural Veterans: A Special Concern for Rural Health Advocates, February 2014 (An update of a February 2007 paper and a paper passed in February 2004

Rural Women's Health, January 2013 (An update of the November 2005 Rural/Frontier Women's Access to Health Services paper)

Strengthening the Role of International Medical Graduates in Providing Access to Health Care for Rural AmericaMarch 2003

Streamlining Telemedicine Licensure to Improve Health, February 2013  

Telemedicine Reimbursement, May 2010

Telemedicine Credentialing, May 2010

Under-insurance, October 2009 

Recruitment and Retention of a Quality Health Workforce in Rural Areas

A series of policy papers on the Rural Health Careers Pipeline
These will be posted as they are approved in both this list and above in the chronological listing.

View archived Policy Positions »

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