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.

Regulations, health IT, and rural health care

Evolving legislative and regulatory demands require health care organizations to better manage their health IT strategies. Health care providers in rural areas feel this impact more intensely. Dr. Geoff Caplea, Allscripts medical director of regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and patient safety, outlines how rural health care organizations can use health IT to drive smarter health care delivery, including how it can help engage patients with their care plans and confront the opioid crisis.

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NRHA announces 2019 Rural Health Fellows

The National Rural Health Association is excited to announce the final selections for its 2019 Rural Health Fellows program. After the completion of a competitive review process, 15 fellows were selected to participate in this yearlong, intensive program aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America.

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How CMEs can qualify as MIPS improvement activities

Did you know that if you participate in CME activities, you could already be on your way to satisfying your Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirement? Because MIPS falls under the Quality Payment Program, CME can count towards your MIPS requirement if the activities are designed and executed in alignment with the QPP guidance. 91% of clinicians participated in MIPS in QPP’s first year. You could already be eligible to use CME to meet your MIPS requirements.

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NRHA Announces Partnership with United States Department of Agriculture

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) today announced that it will partner with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support capacity building for rural health facilities.  

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CMS Releases Final Site Neutral and 340B Rules

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has just finalized two rule proposals on site neutral payments and cuts to the 340B Program.   

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Why rural health care providers should invest in value-based solutions

Most of us would agree that controlling costs while providing high-quality, coordinated health care is a financial and moral imperative. This is especially true in rural markets, where household incomes are approximately four percent lower than urban areas and about 13.3 percent of families live below official poverty thresholds. But creating health solutions infrastructure to deliver value and provide an exceptional level of care comes at a cost, often requiring hard choices on where to...

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CMS Releases Proposal to Cut Medicare Part B Drug Costs

Late this week, CMS released a proposal to reduce the cost of Medicare Part B Drugs. What would its impact be for rural America?

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Breast Cancer in Rural America

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, breast cancer deaths have decreased by as much as 34% and continue to decline. Unfortunately, improvement has not occurred equally among all populations. Just as with so many other diseases, those with breast cancer in rural America are less likely to have the cancer diagnosed early and to receive the treatment necessary.

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Rural Hospital Closures Climb Rapidly

For a brief time, the number of rural hospital closures seemed to have stalled. Despite a rising number of hospitals operating at a loss, and regardless of Congressional inaction, rural hospitals were managing to hold on. Then the summer brought a rush of hospital closures, a landslide that’s continued into the fall.

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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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