NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog offers informed commentary on the latest news in rural health care from NRHA staff and editorials from selected contributors.

The Rural MOMS Act: Reducing Maternal Mortality and Increasing Care

Last week, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced S. 3568, the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (MOMS) Act. This bill begins to address the needs of expecting mothers and babies in rural areas to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for rural families.  

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Assurance for Rural ACOs: NRHA Submits CMS Comments

This week, after many discussions with members participating in ACOs, NRHA submitted its comment letter to CMS, outlining our recommendations to improve the proposed rule to allow financially vulnerable rural providers an opportunity to participate in the program.

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Senate Votes on Final Passage of Opioid Package

The Senate passed the final version of a sweeping opioids package Wednesday afternoon in a 98-1 vote and will now send the legislation to the President's Desk for a final signature.

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Senate Passes Opioid Crisis Response Act

Last night, the Senate passed the Opioid Crisis Response Act with nearly unanimous approval (99-1).

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Conference Concludes with Final Version of L-HHS Bill

The Senate and House Conference Committee on Minibus III (Defense/L-HHS) concluded their Conference meetings last night and filed the final version of the Defense/L-HHS Bill funding the departments for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).  

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6 ways to maximize your time at NRHA’s clinic, CAH events

In less than two weeks, NRHA will host not one, but two conferences in a city brimming with inspiration: the 2018 Rural Health Clinic Conference and Critical Access Hospital Conference are happening Sept. 25-28 in Kansas City, Mo., a gem of the Midwest where ideas flow in happening places. Whether you’re planning to attend both conferences or just one, here are some strategies to maximize your time at NRHA’s fastest-growing events and get the most out of your visit to Kansas City.

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Senate to Vote on The Opioid Crisis Response Act

This week, the Senate will vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act, a large package of bills focused on addressing the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders throughout the country. As this crisis has spread through our nation, rural communities lacking the resources to grapple with the epidemic have been left devastated.

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Farm Bill Conference Begins

Today, the Senate and House Joint Conference Committee begins meetings to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate Farm Bills passed early this summer. The Farm Bill includes programs critical to rural communities. We have worked to ensure that Congress take steps forward to ensure the strong and healthy future of rural America. Spurring rural economic growth begins with rural hospitals, and subsequently, critical programs housed at the USDA and authorized through the Farm Bill....

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Update: Senate Passes LHHS Appropriations Bill

The Senate recently passed a bill with hundreds of millions of increases in rural funding. NRHA has long fought for these significant increases in the rural health safety net. The Senate’s package included legislation funding the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The House will now go to conference with Senate lawmakers on the DoD / Labor-HHS spending package instead of voting on their own.  

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Leveraging Technology to Improve Rural Health Outcomes in the Now and Next

Rural hospitals are often the lifeblood of their communities – which makes their closures noteworthy. By now, many have likely heard the data around rural hospital closures within the last decade: Since 2010, there have been more than 80. But if we push the timeline back just five years to 2005, the number of such closures increases to more than 120. Additionally, there are currently more than 650 additional rural facilities around the country that are at risk of closing.

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