This webinar, hosted by the HRSA-funded Rural Health Research Gateway, explores various social determinants of health. For rural populations, many of these elements are less favorable than in urban areas. Access the webinar recording, presentation slides, and transcript to learn about some of the key elements associated with health across rural white and minority populations, such as education, income, and health facility availability.

Two companion research recaps are also available: Rural Ethnic/Racial Disparities: Social and Systemic Inequities and Rural Ethnic/Racial Disparities: Adverse Health Outcomes.

As part of the COVID-19 response efforts, Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Health Center Program is working in collaboration with Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and State Primary Care Associations (PCAs) to identify health centers to pilot the administration of outpatient monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutics to high-risk COVID-19 positive patients in outpatient settings. As of January 4, OWS has reported that 36 health centers have been allocated Bamlanivimab under the SPEED mAb Program in the following 21 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Read more about mAb therapeutics.

January 7, 2021

COVID-19 Taking Heavy Toll on Farmers’ Mental Health. The American Farm Bureau released a report showing that two in three farmers surveyed say that the pandemic has impacted their mental health. Farmers and farmworkers were 10% more likely than rural adults as a whole to have experienced feeling nervous, anxious or on edge during the pandemic (65% vs. 55%). Two-thirds of rural adults ages 18-44 say they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago.

CDC Recommended Strategies for Initial COVID-19 Vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) produced a guide intended to assist state, tribal, local, or territorial immunization programs with planning for the first three phases of vaccination: Phase 1a, which includes healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities; Phase 1b, frontline essential workers and individuals aged 75 years and older; and Phase 1c, other essential workers, persons 65-74 years of age, and individuals 16-64 years of age with underlying medical conditions.

Share Your Thoughts and Opinions on Health – Respond by January 11. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is seeking English-speaking individuals to participate in upcoming virtual discussions about health from any of the following groups: 1) parents or guardians of children ages 6 months to 3½ years; 2) people with HIV; 3) people living in rural areas; 4) HRSA health center patients; 5) adults ages 45 years and older. Patient feedback will help HRSA create easy to understand health materials for everyone. We’ll hold 90-minute Zoom sessions in January, March, and May. Participants will receive monetary payment. If you or someone you know who may be interested, please have them email Heidi Palacios or call (972) 503-3100 x407.

AHRQ Hospital Utilization Trends. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provides a series of data files on monthly hospital utilization. The tables include state-by-state data on hospitalizations due to COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory conditions; normal newborns and deliveries; non-elective stays admitted through emergency departments; and elective inpatient stays. 

National Rural Health Day Events Archive. Where available, webinar recordings, PowerPoint slides, and transcripts for 2020 National Rural Health Day programming can now be accessed on the National Rural Health Day website. All links are free and accessible to the public. Event topics range from telehealth and COVID-19 testing to social determinants of health and substance use disorder. Participating organizations included the Department of Health and Human Service entities Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, the National Association of Rural Health Clinics, and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

CMS is announcing the release of new resources highlighting strategies that Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and End-Stage Renal Disease Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs) use to improve quality of care, lower health care costs, and enhance the beneficiary experience. These resources, posted on the ACO General Information web page, include:

  • A care transformation toolkit that describes ACO approaches to developing and implementing programs that transform the delivery of care and relate to telehealth, home visits, and timely access to skilled nursing facilities.
  • Four case studies that feature specific ACO and ESCO initiatives to:
  • A tip sheet that highlights strategies for enhancing education on home dialysis and for expanding the use of home dialysis.

The care transformation toolkit, case studies, and tip sheet join a collection of resources for organizations participating in value-based care models, including toolkits on provider engagement, beneficiary engagement and care coordination, and over a dozen case studies that describe ACO and ESCO strategies to improve care delivery. For more information please visit the ACO General Information web page.