Nationwide Study Shows Continued Rise in Opioid Affected Births

January 12, 2021

A new study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that the rates of pregnant women diagnosed with opioid use disorder and of babies born with withdrawal symptoms increased from 2010-2017. The study, published today in the Journal of American Medicine indicates that mothers with opioid-related diagnoses documented at delivery increased by 131%. Additionally, the incidence of babies born with withdrawal symptoms, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS, increased by 82% nationally over the same period. Increases were seen for nearly all states and demographic groups.

Read the release.

How to Design Value‐Based Care Models for Rural Participant Success: A Summit Findings Report

The Rural Health Value team recently released a Summit Findings report focused on design of value-based care models to support rural health organization participation and success.

How to Design Value‐Based Care Models for Rural Participant Success: A Summit Findings Report

Based on the input from a two-day virtual summit of rural participants in value-based care models and programs, this report summarizes themes and actionable recommendations that can be used by those designing and supporting value-based care models to improve the viability, relevance, and likelihood of rural health care organization participation and success.

Direct Link:

Top resources on the Rural Health Value website:

Medicaid in Missouri: Back to Basics

Medicaid is a safety net insurance program that allows Missourians to see a doctor when they are sick, get checkups, buy medications, and go to the hospital. Having health insurance allows people to maintain their health, go to work, and take care of their families. The Medicaid program, however, is intricate, with many different pieces and rules that can be tough to navigate.

This complexity is exactly why MFH releases an annual publication, Missouri Medicaid Basics, that unpacks the various moving parts of the program.


Population Health Toolkit

In cooperation with the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, the Population Health Toolkit provides visualizations of data from multiple sources that answer questions that rural hospitals and communities have about the health of their communities.

Are you looking for data to support an idea or story for your rural community?

Do you wonder about the relationship with poverty, preventable hospital stays, and access to mental health providers? Have you examined the socioeconomic status of your community related to well-being?

These are just a few questions you can explore in the Toolkit.

  • The Toolkit crosswalks multiple federal, publicly available datasets.
  • Data visualizations provide a concise and easy to understand story of your data.

Explore your data further by downloading the information to create your own analysis and graphs.

Compare Metrics From 12 Scenarios

The 12 scenarios listed below include benchmarks for hospital or county-level users to compare their metrics to state and national benchmarks. All scenarios include explanations, visualizations, and instructional videos on how to use and export the data. Be sure to view the introductory tutorial video on how to use the data in the Population Health Toolkit.

  • Diabetes Demographics
  • Discharge Instructions
  • Emergency Department Access
  • Injury Demographics
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Poverty, Preventable Stays, and Mental Health Shortage
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Socioeconomic Status and Well-being
  • Understanding of Care and County Race Demographics
  • Uninsured Rates, Behavior and Mental Health


Contact Tracy Morton, Director of Population Health, 218-216-7027

2019 National Survey of Children’s Health Data

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau released the latest data from the 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) on October 5. The NSCH provides annual, national and state-level data on the health and health care needs of children, as well as information about their families and communities. The NSCH covers a broad array of health-related topics impacting children and families such as mental and behavioral health.

The survey data reveals that 13.2 percent of children aged 3-17 years in the U.S. (about 8 million children) had a current diagnosed mental or behavioral health condition. The most common condition was anxiety, which affected 8.5 percent of children, followed by behavior disorder at 6.8 percent and depression at 3.8 percent.

The data also shows that 66.5 percent of children aged 6-17 years met all criteria for flourishing, a term describing children who have positive health and are thriving.

Learn more about the 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health data and how it can provide information for program and policy decision-making, implementation, and evaluation.

HRSA Releases 2019-2020 Report on Health Equity: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities

October 14, 2020

The Health Resources and Services Administration, through the agency’s Office of Health Equity, released the HRSA 2019-2020 Health Equity Report: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities. The report indicates substantial progress has been made nationally for all Americans in vital indicators including life expectancy, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and influenza and pneumonia; while health inequities between population groups and geographic areas persist.

The report will help HRSA and others build upon the agency’s mission to improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative, high-value programs.

“This remarkably comprehensive report captures a vast range of data on a wide array of health indicators which will help scholars and policy makers track and gauge our nation’s progress to improve the health and well-being of all Americans,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “HRSA is committed to continuing this research in order to build upon its efforts to build a healthier and more equitable future for all.”

Read the release.

New Brief: Supporting CAHs during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Summary Results of a Survey of State Flex Coordinators

This policy brief summarizes key findings from a survey of State Flex Programs conducted by the Flex Monitoring Team. The survey collected information on:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs);
  • Support requested by CAHs from State Flex Programs;
  • How State Flex Programs are working to support CAHs during the pandemic;
  • Promising strategies develop by State Flex Programs to support CAHs; and
  • The technical assistance and resources needed by State Flex Programs to support CAHs now and as we emerge from the pandemic.

State Flex Programs have played an important role in addressing the evolving COVID-19 needs of their CAHs and will continue to do so as we emerge from the pandemic. The brief also contains a link to a list of COVID-19 related resources for State Flex Programs, CAHs, and rural communities.

Click to view Policy Brief.

Please contact for further information on this survey.

New Brief: Addressing Opioid Use in Rural Communities

The opioid epidemic continues to have a devastating impact in rural areas disproportionately affected by a lack of infrastructure to provide treatment for opioid use disorders (OUDs). Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), often the hubs of local systems of care, can play an important role in addressing OUDs. Using a substance use framework developed for the Flex Monitoring Team’s earlier study of CAH substance use strategies, this brief highlights strategies adopted by CAHs to combat opioid use in their communities. It also identifies resources that State Flex Programs can use to support CAHs with this challenging population health issue.

The report may accessed via on the Flex Monitoring Team website.