News

CMS announced their new initiative on rural health today. "CMS is taking measureable steps toward improving access to health care for rural populations, including forming a council of experts tasked with addressing rural health issues, engaging stakeholders in rural communities, and partnering with health organizations to raise awareness." Check out their website...

Ransomware attacks continue to plague hospitals, particularly critical access hospitals where excess money and time to treat and prevent such attacks is scarce. The Texas Hospital Association is working extensively with their member hospitals to thoroughly prepare their systems and staff for cybersecurity threats. ...

The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center released their new report on Medicaid Managed Care and rural America. "Nearly all states use managed care organizations (MCOs) to control costs and improve delivery of care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Making beneficiary enrollment in managed care mandatory, rather than optional, requires a waiver from...

The Federal Communications Commission announced a cut in funding for the USAC Rural Health Care Program which provides funding to rural hospitals for improvement of telehealth programs. The FCC sought comment on this program a few months ago along with the announcement they would be increasing the funding levels in...

A profile in the Sioux City Journal follows a Western Iowa woman's story as she navigated the difficulty of finding emergent OB care after the critical access hospital in her community had stopped providing OB services. This closure left mothers and families in the community with an 80-mile drive through farmland...

HRSA released the following information in their update on the government's response to the opioid crisis: COMING SOON! The rural communities opioid response funding opportunity! The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) plans to award up to 75 grants to rural communities as part of...

Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) introduced a bill removing the 96-hour rule on Critical Access Hospitals. The bill has since been referred the House Committee on Ways and Means. The Critical Access Hospital Coalition will continue to monitor the status of this legislation. ...

"In rural communities across the United States, citizens depend on front-line healthcare services from 1,300 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Twenty-three percent of Americans live in rural areas; these facilities are often an area’s sole care provider. Sadly, today many CAHs face closure as proposed federal legislation decreases payments for care." ...

A draft of the House Farm Bill was released late last week. The Farm Bill contains many changes, including a provision allowing the Secretary of Agriculture to declare a 'rural health emergency' and allocate funding for such a crisis. The bill includes cuts in spending, reforms to the SNAP program,...