Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 28, 2017

FORHP Special Announcement

New Data From the CDC on Rural Health

Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs in Nonmetropolitan Counties

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, despite higher prevalence of diabetes in rural areas of the country, a significant number of rural counties do not have a clinical practice or program that educates individuals on diabetes prevention or care.  According to the latest release in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Rural Health Series, 62% of non-metropolitan counties did not have diabetes self-management education (DSME). Preventive care and self-management such as routine medical visits, glucose self-monitoring, and healthy dietary and physical activity can prevent or delay costly complications.   The report discusses factors impacting this lack of availability of DSME programs in rural communities as well as the need to strategically address rural disparities in diabetes care and outcomes.

These findings also emphasize the need for chronic care management in rural communities.  FORHP has joined with the CMS Office of Minority Health this year on a nationwide education initiative about the mutual benefit of the patient-provider partnership in managing chronic conditions.  To join this effort, check out Connected Care for details about new chronic care management services and resources for patients, as well as billing codes and specific requirements for Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

The Rural Health Information Hub also has a wealth of information and resources on diabetes prevention and management, including toolkits and case studies on effective programs in rural communities.

IMPACT Act Data Elements Public Comments Due June 26th

April 28, 2017

CMS has contracted with the RAND Corporation to develop standardized patient/resident assessment data elements in alignment with the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).

CMS seeks comments from stakeholders on data elements that meet the IMPACT Act domains of cognitive function and mental status; medical conditions and co-morbidities; impairments; medication reconciliation; and care preferences. The Call for Public Comment period opens on April 26, 2017 and closes on June 26, 2017.

For more information, view the public comment webpage.

Invitation: Medicare Basics Webinar

April 27, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Kansas City Regional Office invites you to Medicare Basics Webinar for Partners.  The webinar will provide high level information and resources, and will be beneficial to partners who are new to working with Medicare beneficiaries and those who would like a refresher.

Topics to be covered are:

  • Medicare Part A
  • Medicare Part B
  • Medicare Part C
  • Medicare Part D
  • Medicare Supplements/Medigap
  • Extra Help
  • Q&A

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 2:00PM –3:00PM CT


You will receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite after completing your registration, which will include the login information for the webinar.

We look forward to your participation.  If you have any questions or have difficulty registering, please contact Elissa Balch at

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Kansas City Regional Office
601 E 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
Ph: 816.426.5233

The oped is live!

April 24, 2017

A link to a Politico op-ed we worked on (thank you to everyone who had a hand in this!!) is below.

While it has my name in the by line, there were many hands in the crafting of this piece (Mary, Sandra, Doris, Joe, Matt).

I was approached in mid-March to do this, and we have been working with their editing team to boil HealthTran down into something that is a good read.

MRHA Board Meeting Documents

April 24, 2017

The BIC is a one day introductory inclusion workshop that provides awareness-building through short presentations, experiential activities, reflection and dialogue. Participants will:

  • Develop an awareness of one’s self in the process of socialization and one’s role in breaking down oppressive systems,
  • Practice effective interpersonal communication skills,
  • Build knowledge and awareness around issues of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ability, age, religion, and appearance; and
  • Walk away from the day with a greater understanding about how to create inclusive care environments for co-workers, caregivers, and patients.
Hannibal kirksville

Thu, May 25, 2017

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM CDT


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM CDT


Best Western On The River

401 North 3rd Street

Hannibal, MO 63401


Adair County Annex Building

300 N. Franklin St.

Kirksville, MO 63501



To register or for more information, contact

Announcements from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

April 19, 2017

What’s New

CDC Rural Health Series Webinar – Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm ET.  There will be a free webinar on the CDC’s report examining factors impacting mental and behavioral health for rural children. Mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders (MBDDs) begin in early childhood and often affect lifelong health and well-being. Persons who live in rural areas report more health-related disparities than those in urban areas, including poorer health, more health risk behaviors, and less access to health resources. The webinar will begin with researchers examining the factors impacting mental and behavioral health for rural children. This will be followed up with a discussion about the experience of one community’s response to this growing issue. Time will be available for a Q&A with the presenters. Connection details will be emailed to you immediately upon registration. A recording will be available after the event.

April is National Minority Health Month. The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIHub) features a number programs underway in rural communities to support minority health in their library of Rural Health Models & Innovations. RHIHub also lists 36 funding programs and other opportunities currently accepting applications to address topics relevant to rural minority health.  Last month, the CMS Office of Minority Health joined with FORHP to launched a campaign to improve chronic disease management, a health disparity impacting minority and rural populations disproportionately.

Economic Data in the Appalachian Region.   The Appalachian Regional Commission uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to provide state and county-level information on population, age, race and ethnicity, housing occupancy, education, labor force, employment, income, health insurance coverage, disability, and veteran status, for the 13 Appalachian states. The report includes breakdowns by five levels of urban to rural county types.

2017 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge. Are you a clinician, practice, or health system with exceptional rates of hypertension control? If so, you could be recognized as Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions! According to the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 42.6% of heart disease deaths in rural were potentially premature deaths compared to 27.8% in urban areas.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is announcing the 2017 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge to improve understanding of successful implementation strategies by motivating clinical practices to strengthen their high blood pressure control efforts.

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