Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

October 1, 2020

New Research on Child Health. A new report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics compares 41 indicators of well-being in children by the type of community they live in. (These are metropolitan, nonmetropolitan, micropolitan, or rural, according to the Office of Management and Budget.) The brief finds that infant mortality rates were highest in rural counties (6.8 per 1,000). During the same time, the mortality rate for Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic infants was also higher for those living in rural counties than those living in micropolitan and metropolitan counties. Separately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Mental Health Treatment Among Children Aged 5-17 years, 2019, finding that as the level of urbanization decreased, the percentage of children who had taken medication for their mental health increased.

GAO: Federal Efforts on COVID-19 Could Be Strengthened. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviews data collection, equipment and testing supplies, and economic payouts, among other issues related to the pandemic and makes 16 recommendations to address them. 

The Impact of Coronavirus on Households Across America. This is the third in a series of reports based on surveys conducted by NPR, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. With a significant section on rural households, the report finds that many challenges cascading from the pandemic are due to long-standing inequities. 

COVID-19 Resources

Federal Office of Rural Health Policy FAQs for COVID-19. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our grantees and stakeholders, updated regularly. 

COVID-19 FAQs and Funding for HRSA Programs. Find all funding and frequently asked questions for programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

CDC COVID-19 Updates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides daily updates and guidance, including a section specific to rural health care, and a Toolkit for Tribal Communities. New this week: the Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CMS Coronavirus Stakeholder Calls. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts recurring online sessions to share information related to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the health care community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

HHS Coronavirus Data Hub. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched a website in July with data on the COVID-19 response at federal, state, and local levels. The hub includes estimated and reported hospital capacity by state, with numbers updated daily.

GHPC’s Collection of Rural Health Strategies for COVID-19. With support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) provides reports, guidance, and innovative strategies gleaned from their technical assistance and peer learning sessions with FORHP grantees.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Counties. The RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis provides up-to-date data and maps on rural and urban confirmed cases throughout the United States. An animated map shows the progression of cases beginning January 21.

Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019. The Rural Health Information Hub posted a guide to help you learn about activities underway to address COVID-19. The online resource now includes Rural Healthcare Surge Readiness, a tool with resources for healthcare systems preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 surge in their communities.

SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created this list of resources, tools, and trainings.