Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

November 5, 2020

HRSA Celebrates National Rural Health Day. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will recognize the annual event with online activities on Thursday, November 19. HRSA Administrator Tom Engels will kick off the day, along with a welcome from Jeff Colyer, Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. HRSA will host a variety of events throughout the week which are open to the public, including a virtual rural job fair and webinars focused on the rural response to COVID-19, social determinants of health, and telehealth.

USDA: The Meatpacking Industry During COVID-19. The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides data on rural counties where meatpacking is the primary employer, and where confirmed cases are higher than in other rural areas. 

States Turn to Telehealth During the Pandemic. With funding support from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Conference of State Legislatures provides details of more than 79 bills changing telehealth policies in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

ONC Interim Final Rule on Pandemic-Related Health IT. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is accepting comments on an Interim Final Rule, effective on December 4, pertaining to Information Blocking and the ONC Health IT Certification Program that were outlined in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule released in March 2020.