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.

Rural Maternal Health Week

This week, NRHA dedicated its messaging to highlighting challenges and opportunities to improving maternal health in rural America. The NRHA social media platforms shared messages aimed at increasing awareness of the health disparities faced by rural moms throughout the week, and on Wednesday, NRHA leadership attended an event hosted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services titled, “A Conversation on Maternal Health Care in Rural Communities: Charting a Path to Improved Access,...

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A year in review: NRHA and All of Us

NRHA is excited to join the celebration of All of Us’ one-year anniversary, which officially occured May 6. In the last thirteen months, the program has enrolled more than 200,000 participants, roughly 152,000 of whom have completed all of the initial steps of the protocol. All of Us is a historic, longitudinal effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health.

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NRHA Supports Changes to Improve Payments for Rural Hospitals

In April 2019, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma unveiled a proposal to increase Medicare’s reimbursements to hospitals in the bottom quartile of the wage index by decreasing payments to hospitals in the top quartile. This week, NRHA met with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other key officials to discuss how to ensure this rule will impact rural Americans positively. NRHA strongly supports this change since it will decrease wage index...

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NRHA Urges Congress to Support Funding the Rural Health Safety Net

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing this morning titled “Investing in America’s Health Care” to discuss funding for various programs that are essential to the rural health safety net. The hearing focused on 12 pieces of funding legislation, including H.R. 1943, the “Community Health Center and Primary Care Workforce Expansion Act of 2019”, which NRHA has been following closely. The hearing focused on how supporting stable funding for...

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Top Critical Access Hospitals Announced

NRHA is proud to announce the 20 highest-ranked critical access hospitals (CAHs) in the country, as determined by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. The determining factors for the Top 20 CAHs were based on the results of the Hospital Strength Index and its eight indices of performance: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspectives, cost, charge, and financial stability. An awards ceremony will be held during NRHA’s Critical Access Hospital...

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NRHA Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Eliminate Mileage Limitation for Critical Access Hospital Designation

NRHA strongly supports the bipartisan Rural Health Care Access Act introduced today by Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee’s 7th District and Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi’s 2nd District, which proposes removing the mileage limitation that restricts hospitals from receiving Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation.

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Rural health care state of the union

NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference is back. Over a thousand rural health care leaders will convene May 7-10 in Atlanta to address some of the critical issues and emergencies facing rural hospitals, clinics, educators, and providers across the country. So what has changed since last year’s conference?

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House Appropriations Committee Releases FY2020 Labor-HHS Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released the text of its Labor and Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations bill last night. NRHA submitted testimony and requests to both the House and Senate Appropriators requesting robust support for rural health programs. While we understand the current federal budget situation, rural health discretionary spending is relatively small but is vitally important for maintaining access to care for individuals living in rural America. The rural healthy...

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NRHA announces Rural Health Award recipients

NRHA is proud to announce its 2019 Rural Health Award recipients to be honored at the largest gathering of rural health professionals in the country May 9 in Atlanta, Ga. “We’re extremely proud of this year’s winners,” says Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. “They have each made tremendous strides to advance rural health care, and we’re confident they will continue to help improve the lives of rural Americans.”

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NRHA Journal Recognizes Article of Year

The Journal of Rural Health (JRH) has selected “Developing Telemental Health Partnerships Between State Medical Schools and Federally Qualified Health Centers: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape and Policy Recommendations” as its 2018 article of the year. NRHA will recognize its 2018 JRH article of the year at the association's Annual Rural Health Conference May 9 in Atlanta, Ga. The JRH Editorial Board selected the winner from all JRH articles published online last year.

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