NRHA Today
Aug. 1, 2013

Members rallied Congress to protect rural hospitals

More than 50 rural health administrators and advocates from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill yesterday to protect rural hospitals and patients as part of NRHA’s March for Rural Hospitals. Cuts to critical access hospitals are again proposed, and hundreds of millions of dollars to rural PPS hospitals will be lost if Congress does not act soon. To join the fight and learn more, attend Preserving Community Hospitals events Aug. 20-21 in Seattle and Aug. 27-28 in Milwaukee. More

Be a rural rock star in the Lone Star state

Get your tickets today for NRHA's Rural Health Clinic Conference, Oct. 1-2, and Critical Access Hospital Conference, Oct. 2-4, in the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas. You'll discover the best rural-relevant ways to navigate accountable care organizations, manage ICD-10 implementation and code changes, integrate telemedicine and achieve meaningful use, transform to a patient-centered medical home model and more from experts and colleagues from across the country. Register today to save hundreds on both events.More

We know you're busy, so NRHA is coming to you

We're bringing rural health experts to provide hospital leaders with the foundation, framework and options to make informed capital, affiliation and governance decisions. Register today to save $100 on the first of a series of events geared toward keeping rural hospitals open and helping them thrive Aug. 20-21 in Seattle and Aug. 27-28 in Milwaukee. Bring your team, including board members, to gather consensus on strategies to move your hospital forward. Protect your hospital. Register today.More

NRHA in the news: Can critical access hospitals properly treat seriously ill patients?
Until recently, Medicare paid critical access hospitals for most inpatient and outpatient services at a rate of 101 percent of allowable costs. This additional compensation is provided because actual costs for small hospitals can exceed what Medicare normally allows for reimbursements. Following the recent federal spending reduction that began on in March 2013 because of budget constraints, the reimbursement figure dropped to about 99 percent of allowable costs, says Brock Slabach, NRHA's senior vice president for member services. More

Share your story

Do you or a colleague have an innovative project or a rural health solution that could benefit rural providers or patients? Have you recently received an award, promotion or changed jobs? Send us your story idea or career accomplishment, and you might be featured in an upcoming issue of Rural Roads. More

Apply to become a Rural Health Fellow

NRHA is accepting applications for its 2014 Rural Health Fellows program through Aug. 31. The goal of the fellows program is to educate, develop and inspire a networked community of rural health leaders who will step forward to serve in key positions in NRHA, affiliated rural health advocacy groups and local and state legislative bodies. Fellows meet in person three times throughout the year to undergo leadership and advocacy training. Apply or share this opportunity today. More

Rural life can be hazardous to your health
HealthLeaders Media
A study finds that the risk of injury deaths is 22 percent higher in the most rural counties than in the most urban areas. While the data reveals some surprising findings, the lead author says she can only speculate as to the reasons why.More

Health insurance marketplace training: Become a certified application counselor

Millions of Americans will become eligible to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act directed health insurance marketplaces starting Jan. 1. Do you want to find out how your organization can help citizens of your rural community get health coverage? If you're interested in training your staff and volunteers to assist people applying for coverage through the federally facilitated marketplace, including state partnership marketplaces, you can apply to be a certified application counselor organization. More

Join Journal of Rural Health editorial board

The National Rural Health Association is accepting applications and nominations for Journal of Rural Health editorial board positions. "Serving on our editorial board is great way for rural health scholars to become more involved with NRHA, connect with fellow researchers and further contribute to our journal," says Ty Borders, Ph.D., journal editor. Terms for open positions begin Jan. 1, and board members serve three-year terms. Apply or nominate a board member by Sept. 30. More

Critical access hospitals: What's the fuss?
Daily Yonder
The U.S. system of critical access hospitals began as a way to keep medical care available in the places where it was needed the most — remote rural communities with few health care alternatives. With budget tightening underway, can the nation improve the system without undermining its intent?More

VA offers new pilot grants to assist veterans' transition to civilian life

The Department of Veterans Affairs has released the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot grant opportunity that is open to eligible community-based organizations as well as local and state government entities to assist veterans and their families who are transitioning from military to civilian life in rural or underserved communities. These grants will span two years and will total $2 million each.More

RAC hosts webinar featuring the new rural oral health toolkit

The Rural Assistance Center and NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis recently released a rural oral health toolkit to help rural communities improve access to oral health care. The toolkit contains resources to help communities develop oral health programs by building on best practices of successful oral health program models. This webinar will feature two examples of successful programs funded by ORHP, including lessons learned, at 1 p.m. CDT Aug. 6.More

NRHA, ORHP and Grantmakers bring rural health collaboration to White House

Last week, NRHA hosted the White House Meeting on Opportunities for Public-Private Collaboration in Rural Health Care in partnership with ORHP and Grantmakers in Health this week. NRHA CEO Alan Morgan served on a panel alongside HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield and other Administration officials from USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services to identify areas of collaboration and partnership. More

USDA offers $17.5 M for distance learning and telemedicine

The USDA is making available up to $17.5 million in grant funding to support distance learning and telemedicine efforts serving rural America. The program is designed to assist community facilities serving rural areas acquire distance learning and telemedicine technologies to link with other professionals to improve the services delivered to rural Americans. Each award will be between $50,000 and $500,000. Applications for this program are due by Aug. 12. More

Alabama students participate in health studies program recognized by NRHA
Demopolis Times
The Rural Minority Health Scholars program introduces students from rural areas to college life and gives them an orientation to the need for health and medical professionals in communities like their own. The concept of the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline, which was recognized earlier this year with an Outstanding Rural Health Program Award from the National Rural Health Association, was developed as part of a strategy to recruit rural students into medical school. More

HHS offers ACA webinar series

The HHS Partnership Center is hosting a series of webinars that include a question and answer session with HHS staff. "Health Care Law – Health Insurance Marketplace 101" will focus on main provisions in the Affordable Care Act and how to access care in your community at 4 p.m. EDT, Aug. 7. Topics include the health insurance marketplace, how to help enroll others in health insurance and how to receive updates on implementation of the law.More

NRHA partner webinars on meaningful use audits and informed device purchases

NRHA partner Veragae will present a session on preparing for CMS meaningful use audits at noon CDT, Aug. 7 to help attendees understand how to defend against being selected for audit, and if selected, against adverse results. The webinar "Never Hold a Beauty Contest in the Dark" will be presented by Rubbermaid at noon CDT, Aug. 8 to discuss best practices for saving time and money as well as getting the most valuable input from clinicians about device purchases.More

Telemedicine clinics make inroads into primary care
The article says that the health IT expansion of the last five years seemed to have left behind videoconferencing for remote patient visits. While it would seem to be a no-brainer that potentially can save time for both patient and provider, telemedicine seems to have been reserved for high-demand specialists. The holy grail for telemedicine advocates has been primary care, which could make video physician visits an everyday occurrence on a much larger scale. More

States with the least restrictive regulations experienced the largest increase in patients seen by nurse practitioners
Health Affairs
The use of nurse practitioners is one way to address the shortage of physician primary care providers. NP training programs and the number of practicing NPs have increased in the past two decades. However, regulations limiting their scope of practice vary greatly by state. More

Remote doctors, one answer to physician shortage in rural Minnesota
Minnesota Public Radio
When a man with a dislocated knee came to the emergency room in the small city of Appleton, Minn., he was treated by a doctor who had never worked on this particular condition. But the doctor was able to hit a button and consult on camera with a specialist in another location. "The eDoctor was able to help him and go step-by-step." More

VA offers interactive courses on rural veteran outreach and more

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Rural Health has partnered with the VA eHealth University, My VeHU, to deliver interactive live broadcasts of rural health specific content. Sponsored by ORH's Rural Health Professions Institute, these courses cover post-deployment care integration, facilitating co-managed care, rural community collaborations and veteran outreach, cultural competence and more. MyVeHU trainings are recorded for viewing on-demand.More

When mHealth and telehealth become 'just health care'
Government Health IT
mHealth and telehealth: Two popular terms in the health care lexicon these days. And two whose days are numbered. "It's connected health care — no 'tele-,' no 'm-,'" said Jonah J. Czerwinski, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "This is just health care."More

Members rallied Congress to protect rural hospitals
More than 50 rural health administrators and advocates from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill yesterday to protect rural hospitals and patients as part of NRHA’s March for Rural Hospitals.More

8 things you need to know now about ICD-10
By Charlotte Bohnett
The United States is the last country in the world with modern health care to adopt ICD-10 diagnosis codes, but it will join the crowd on Oct. 1, 2014.More

Quality and Clinical Conference commences; Texas is next
Rural professionals, including Tom Morris, Office of Rural Health Policy head, are currently discussing innovations in rural health care quality and federal updates in Chicago. Plan now to attend NRHA's Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital conferences Oct. 1-4 in Austin, Texas.More