May 5, 2021
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May 5, 2021
Click to view RHIhub This Week.
June 21-25 2021
Join daily for virtual lunch and learn sessions 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT
May 5, 2021
Click to view the Research Alert.
Date: May 17, 2021
Time: 11:30 AM CT
May 4, 2021
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of nearly $1 billion to respond to COVID-19 in rural communities. Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the funds will expand COVID-19 testing, and increase the number of vaccines sent to rural areas.
Additionally, HHS announced that approximately $250 million will be awarded to develop and support a community-based workforce who will serve as trusted voices sharing information about vaccines, work to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, and address any barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities.
Over the next few months, HRSA will:
For more information about HRSA’s rural programs, visit the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy website: https://www.hrsa.gov/rural-health/index.html.
One of the key pieces of your application documentation is for the Sliding Fee Discount Program. You need to upload the following as part of your application:
Remember: eligibility for the Sliding Fee Discount Program at National Health Service Corps (NHSC)-approved sites must be based solely on family size and income. Please be sure your documents reflect this important feature of NHSC.
For additional information about Sliding Fee Discount Program documentation, review pages 9-13 of the 2021 NHSC Site Reference Guide.
May 1, 2021
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that ClosedLoop.ai was selected the winner and Geisinger the runner-up in the agency’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health Outcomes Challenge. This multi-stage competition, operated by CMS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and Arnold Ventures, began in 2019 with the aim of accelerating development of AI solutions for predicting patient health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries for potential use by the Innovation Center. The competition has significantly broadened the Innovation Center’s knowledge of AI and its potential applications, which will help the CMS Innovation Center better design and implement future models as part of its mission to test innovative payment and service delivery models.
Out of more than 300 initial entries, ClosedLoop.ai was chosen as the grand prize winner and will receive up to $1 million in prize money. Based in Austin, Texas, the company is a leader in developing healthcare data science solutions. Challenge Runner-Up Geisinger, a non-profit healthcare system based in Danville, Pennsylvania, will receive up to $230,000 in prize money.
ClosedLoop.ai and Geisinger were among the seven finalists chosen in October 2020 to take part in the final stage of the competition. In this last stage, the participants further refined the solutions that they developed in the prior stage to help predict unplanned hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions and adverse events, and additionally developed predictive algorithms to identify beneficiaries at risk of mortality in 12 months. The finalists worked to address sources of bias in their solutions that could have the potential to affect health disparities in their submissions. The finalists also demonstrated how their solutions would easily explain the predictions to clinicians.
More information on the CMS AI Health Outcomes Challenge is available at: https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/artificial-intelligence-health-outcomes-challenge.
May 3, 2021
The deadline to submit applications for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program is extended until Thursday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Health Resources and Services Administration is excited to award a record number of clinicians this year thanks to additional funding through the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan. Don’t wait – apply today!
Get specific details on eligibility and how to apply on the NHSC website.
April 30, 2021
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that $80 million will be available in grants to Federal Navigators in Marketplaces for the 2022 plan year. Details about the grant funding, including eligibility requirements and required Navigator duties, are available through the 2021 Navigator Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Forecast. The NOFO is expected to be posted June 1, 2021
April 30, 2021
There is a new Special Enrollment Period for consumers to enroll in a Marketplace health insurance plan, assistance available for consumers in paying for health coverage, and an upcoming funding for navigator programs. This is an opportunity to reduce the number of uninsured rural Americans and to lower premiums for those already enrolled in Marketplace coverage who qualify.
Rural areas face multiple challenges. Consumers in rural areas are less likely to have health insurance compared to those in urban areas (14.6% vs. 12.2% in 2017), and rural consumers in states that did not expand Medicaid are even less likely to have health insurance than those in states that did expand (18.0% vs. 11.1%). Rural residents also tend to have shorter life expectancies and higher prevalence of chronic conditions than those in urban areas. Compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts, non-Hispanic Black and American Indian rural residents reported having worse self-rated health.
Enrolling more eligible people into the Marketplace at this time produces a number of benefits. It helps rural residents receive needed coverage, and it ensures that health care providers are reimbursed, which reduces their bad debt and helps their financial bottom line. Engaging in outreach and encouraging enrollment is a way to generate revenue for your community or hospital.
From now until August 15, 2021, residents who live in the 36 states that use Healthcare.gov can sign up for or change their health insurance through a Special Enrollment Period due to COVID-19. No qualifying life event, such as marriage or moving, is required, and coverage starts the first day after the month of enrollment. Residents that live in states that run their own Marketplace websites may also be offering similar options, so check your state’s website for more information.
In addition to this window for enrollment, more people will qualify for help paying for health coverage, even those who were not eligible in the past. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 increases premium tax credits for all income brackets for coverage years 2021 and 2022. As a result, most people will see lower premiums, and many consumers with household incomes from 100% to 150% Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would have $0 premium plans (after tax credits) available to choose from when considering their options and selecting a plan. Some households earning more than 400% of the FLP may also qualify for tax credits to help pay for 2021 Marketplace coverage as well as taxpayers who receive unemployment compensation during any week beginning in 2021.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) created resources to support outreach and enrollment: