Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

Date: September 9, 2021

Helping Families Sign Up for the Child Tax Credit. Representatives from the Department of Treasury will join the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for a brief training on advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, a part of the economic recovery effort that sends families monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child through December of this year. The payments are made automatically to families that filed tax returns for 2019 and 2020. Non-filers may also qualify; this training is for safety net providers in underserved areas that may be in a position to help those families sign up. More than 20 percent of rural children are living in families that are poor and data show a strong link between poverty and health.  

  • The Child Tax Credit: Ensuring Successful and Equitable Implementation – Tuesday, September 28 at 3:00 pm. HRSA has invited representatives from the Department of Treasury and White House to help awardees understand the Child Tax Credit, with a particular focus on enrolling families that may not usually file taxes. Join a one-hour session for an overview of the Child Tax Credit and instructions on how to help enroll families using the Non-Filer Portal.  If you prefer to join by phone, dial: 833-568-8864; meeting ID: 161 456 3976.

AmeriCorps and CDC Launch New Organization for Public Health. AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and national service, has launched Public Health AmeriCorps, a new partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support the recruitment, training, and development of a workforce ready to respond to the nation’s public health needs.  The program, which is supported by a $400 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act, is anticipated to fund up to 5,000 AmeriCorps positions over the next five years.  

  • AmeriCorps State and National Public Health AmeriCorps – November 8. The federal agency for volunteering and national service will invest $400 million over five years to recruit and train a public health workforce at the community level. AmeriCorps members will serve primarily in state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments or in service to public health departments.  Eligible applicants include state, local, and Tribal governments; public institutions of higher education; public housing authorities; and nonprofit organizations. 

First Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model. The project was designed by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to reduce the risk of rural hospital closures by giving them a predictable revenue stream. This report examines the experiences of participating hospitals and their financial performance in 2019, the first year of the project. 

JAMA: Paying for Telemedicine in Smaller Rural Hospitals. In an open-access opinion piece, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) discusses barriers to hospitals that could most benefit from telemedicine and potential policy solutions.