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.

Cochran-McClain Named as National Rural Health Association Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy

Today, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) announced that Caroline Cochran-McClain, MPA, will join the organization as vice president of government affairs and policy.

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NRHA President Pat Schou on community hospital best practices

2020 NRHA President Pat Schou can attest personally, and professionally, that NRHA’s Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences are a great source of guidance for community hospitals and more. Schou will kick off the virtual event at 1 p.m. CDT Sept. 22 and conclude Sept. 25, hosting over 70 sessions with over 100 speakers to spark conversation among health care leaders trying to overcome the challenges facing rural America.

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NRHA Applauds the Trump Administration’s New Rural Action Plan

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Rural Action Plan, the first HHS-wide assessment of rural healthcare efforts in more than 18 years and the product of HHS’s Rural Task Force, a group of experts and leaders across the department first put together by HHS Secretary Alex Azar in 2019. The plan features a strategy with four main points: building a sustainable health and human services model for...

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How health partnerships can help rural communities prep for COVID

With stark images of urban hospitals overrun with patients, the national media coverage of COVID-19 has focused largely on cities. Less discussed and less understood is the impact on rural communities, which have been grossly underprepared for a pandemic. As we contemplate an additional wave of the virus, now is the time to assess how rural communities can achieve greater resilience.

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Trump Administration Announces Details of New Rural Health Model

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the details of the Trump Administration's long-awaited, new rural health payment model, the Community Health and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model. The CHART Model aims to, "[Unleash] innovation through new funding opportunities that will increase access and improve quality," by allowing a limited number of rural health providers to participate in one of two tracks, the Community Transformation Track and...

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NRHA Continues to Win Fight to Protect 340B Drugs for Rural Providers

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed to cut Medicare Part B payments to hospitals for 340B-purchased drugs next year and in subsequent years by 6.2 percent below the current rate. However, as in the past, Critical Access Hospitals and rural Sole Community Hospitals were exempted from the cuts and will continue to be paid at reasonable cost and the default ASP plus 6 percent rate in the proposal. CMS made the announcement in its Hospital Outpatient...

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President Trump Signs New Executive Order to Improve Rural Health

Last night, President Trump signed an Executive Order to enhance the health of all Americans by improving access to care, particularly for those living in rural areas. The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds the ‘Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access’ and hopes that Congress will contribute to the momentum made by President Trump in future legislative packages.

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Rural And Community Hospitals – Disappearing Before Our Eyes

Over the last 10 years, more than 129 rural and community hospitals have closed their doors, with the highest number in 2019. The current COVID-19 pandemic is certain to accelerate this rate of insolvency, so it is important to revisit the role of these vital providers in their respective communities. Without answers to important questions, the continued loss of these hospitals may jeopardize the health of rural residents and devastate communities across the country.

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Rural child social workers offer pandemic perspective

The allure of being a child social worker in a rural area is strong. Social workers who decide to work in smaller communities may forgo an abundance of resources to support families, but they gain slower-paced, socially supportive neighborhoods with strong connections to the natural environment. So what happens during a first-in-our-lifetime pandemic in communities already lacking in resources? It gets complicated.

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2020 Journal of Rural Health article of the year

The Journal of Rural Health , NRHA’s quarterly, scholarly publication, recognizes its 2020 Article of the Year, selected by the JRH Editorial Board from all articles published online last year. The 2020 Article of the Year is “Utilization of Interactive Clinical Video Telemedicine by Rural and Urban Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration Health Care System” by Scott V. Adams, PhD; Michael J. Mader, MS; Mary J. Bollinger, PhD; Edwin S. Wong, PhD; Teresa J. Hudson...

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