October 17, 2019

What’s New

New Guidelines for Long-Term Use of Opioids.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released a guide for clinicians on tapering or discontinuing long-term opioid prescriptions.  Individual patients, as well as the health of the public, benefit when opioids are prescribed only when the benefit of using opioids outweighs the risks.  But once a patient is on opioids for a prolonged duration, any abrupt change in the patient’s regimen may put the patient at risk of harm and should include a thorough, deliberative case review and discussion with the patient.  While rates of prescribing have declined in recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports data showing opioid prescribing rates have been significantly higher in nonmetropolitan counties than in metropolitan counties.

New Data: One in Three Children Have Suffered an Adverse Childhood Experience. According to the 2018 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), one in three children under the age of 18 have experienced stressful or traumatic events that are strongly related to a wide range of health problems throughout a person’s lifetime.  The NSCH is an annual survey conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration collecting information on several of these experiences, including:  having divorced/separated parents or a deceased parent, living with anyone with a drug or alcohol problem or who is mentally ill, having a parent who served time in jail, seeing or hearing parental violence, and witnessing or being the victim of neighborhood violence.  Last year, the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services examined adverse childhood experiences from a rural perspective and made recommendations to federal policymakers.

Funding Opportunities

NIH Strategies to Reduce Disparities in Rural – December 13.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will invest up to $350,000 in research that promotes greater understanding of the challenges to better health outcomes and development of evidence-based interventions.  Eligible applicants are public and private entities at state and local levels, including small businesses, Native American tribal organizations, school districts, and public housing authorities.  Read more »

In celebration of National Rural Health Day; the Missouri Office of Rural Health and Primary Care recognizes a Rural Health Champion Individual and Team every year, who advocates for rural health issues in Missouri.  We would like to announce the winners of the 2019 Missouri Rural Health Champion Awards below:  

Individual Champion Award Winner

CONGRATULATIONS goes to Elizabeth Hughes, the former Director of Christian Action Ministries in Taney County MO, for being voted Missouri’s Rural Health Champion Individual Award Winner for 2019.

Click here to view the nomination for the 2019 Individual Award Winner: Elizabeth Hughes

 

Team Champion Award Winner:

CONGRATULATIONS goes to Pain Management and Suboxone Team with Ozarks Community Hospital in Southwest MO, for being voted Missouri’s Rural Health Champion Team Award Winner for 2019.

Click here to view the nomination for the 2019 Team Award Winner: Ozarks Community Hospital’

 

Congratulations to our winners on their well-deserved honor!

Thanks to you and all the nominees, for all you do for your patients and your communities!

October 1, 2019

 

Comments Requested: Rural Access to Health Care Services – Response deadline October 9

Secretary Alex M. Azar II created a Rural Health Task Force at HHS, with key leaders and stakeholders from across the Department, to identify the needs of rural communities, how to meet those needs, and what HHS policy changes can address those needs. The intent is to determine not only how to deliver care in rural areas in a sustainable manner but also how rural health care may change in the future to ensure that it is accessible, high quality, value-based, and provided at the lowest cost possible.   As part of the Rural Health Task Force, HRSA is soliciting public input on how best to conceptualize and measure access to health care in rural communities.  HRSA seeks responses to the “Questions for Public Comment” section of this notice.

Response Format: Responses must be provided via email to hrsacomments@hrsa.gov and must reference “Rural Access to Health Care Services RFI” in the title.

Additional details about the opportunity, including the question listhttps://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/rfi-rural-health-care-access

 

Vulnerable Rural Hospital Technical Assistance Applications – Open until October 31

The HRSA-funded Vulnerable Rural Hospital Assistance Program application period is open. This program aims to provide targeted in-depth assistance to rural hospitals so they may provide continued access to essential health services.  Please note the application is an abbreviated process and is not a full grant application.  For this program, 30 hospitals will be selected for technical assistance in 2020: 5  will receive on-site technical assistance and 25 will receive remote facilitation.   The program offers technical assistance only;  there are no grant funds available for hospitals.  The work between the technical assistance provider and the hospitals is a partnership. In collaboration with the technical assistance team, hospitals will take an active role in identifying priorities and implementing action plans

Additional details about the opportunity and the application itselfhttp://www.optimizingruralhealth.org/wp_2019/application-faqs/

 

Comments Requested:  Rural Health Grants Eligibility – Response Deadline November 2

HRSA seeks public input on whether or how eligibility criteria governing community-based grant programs administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy affect rural health organizations’ ability to apply for and leverage grant funding. In particular, HRSA seeks responses to the “Questions for Public Comment” section of this notice.

Response Format: Responses must be provided via email to RFIComments@hrsa.gov and must reference “Rural Health Grants Eligibility RFI” in the title.

Additional details about the opportunity, including the question listhttps://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/rfi-rural-health-grants-eligibility

 

September 26, 2019

What’s New

Quality Improvement Mentors for Critical Access Hospitals Announced.  Last week, eight Critical Access Hospital (CAH) staff were announced to serve as national Virtual Quality Improvement Mentors for other CAHs across the country.  The mentors were selected from a pool of candidates nominated for their success in the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Program (MBQIP), a project that invites CAHs to voluntarily report their data on quality measures and look for ways to improve patient outcomes.

Funding Opportunities

Small Rural Hospital Transition Project – October 16.  In response to the increasing number of rural hospital closures, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy administers the Small Rural Hospital Transition Project (SHRT).  The program provides technical assistance through onsite consultations to eligible hospitals that have 49 beds or less and are located in a federally-designated persistent poverty county. Core areas of technical assistance include: 1) financial operational assessment (FOA) and 2) quality improvement (QI) projects. A total of nine hospitals will be selected based on a competitive process. A minimum of three FOA projects and three QI projects will be selected in each core area.  Interested applicants that meet SRHT readiness requirements and project expectations are encouraged to apply.

Community Food Projects Technical Assistance – Ongoing.  Any organization seeking or receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Community Food Projects grant program is eligible to apply for one-on-one technical assistance, educational resources, and professional development opportunities from the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project.  The USDA program promotes self-reliance in low-income communities by improving access to locally-grown foods. Read more »