The National Association of Rural Health Clinics and the Missouri Office of Rural Health and Primary Care want you to be aware of a scam targeting recipients of Rural Health Clinics (RHC) COVID-19 funding. For example, individuals are contacting RHCs posing as a government contractor informing them that they must pay a fee to maintain their SAM.gov account.

Although this particular scam is targeting a grant program, there are concerns that other individuals or organizations may create additional scams targeting other RHC COVID-19 relief funds.

Here are some things you can do to protect your organization. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact HRSA directly.

  • If an individual claims to represent HRSA, SAM.gov, or Grants.gov, check that the email address contacting you is .gov.
  • Grants.gov and SAM.gov will never contact you requesting money for any reason, including account activation or maintenance.
  • You should always follow the official instructions related to reporting, drawing down funds, etc. on official .gov websites. These instructions or reporting requirements will not suddenly change.
  • Because certain grant awardee information is public knowledge, scammers can more easily pose as legitimate program representatives, do not automatically trust that they are.

Thank you for all that you do and for your continued vigilance on this matter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) is identifying and evaluating health systems or healthcare providers using telehealth and virtual services to deliver evidence-based interventions for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension. Three health systems will be identified to undergo rigorous evaluations.

Health System Role in the Telehealth Evaluation

  • Selected health systems will collaborate with CDC for about 2 years during the evaluation and will receive an evaluation report assessing telehealth strategy implementation and sustainability.
  • Health systems will meet regularly with CDC, host CDC for a virtual site visit, and provide CDC with patient- and system level data for the evaluation.
  • Selected health systems will receive an honorarium for providing patient- and systems-level data for evaluation.

If you know of any specific health systems or healthcare providers that may be interested, please let us know as soon as possible by sending an email to Julia Jordan at JJordan1@cdc.gov. You are also welcomed to share this letter and nomination flyer with your network and partners. Please let CDC know if you have any questions.

The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, October 22.

Telehealth Services Nomination Flyer

Telehealth Services Nomination Invitation Letter

Date: December 14, 2021

Time: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM EDT

2022 CPT CHANGES & Evaluation & Management Training

This interactive training is intended for healthcare practitioners, medical billers, coders, auditors, office managers and IT professionals involved with authoring clinical documentation, generating E&M progress notes, auditing professional physician service claims and maintaining a healthy revenue cycle. The primary course focus will emphasis documentation guidelines set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for reporting Evaluation and Management services (E&M), as defined by CPT. The curriculum will provide attendees with a strong grasp of Evaluation and Management auditing, coding and documentation techniques.

The curriculum is designed to assist in development and mastery of the necessary skill set to successfully audit Evaluation and Management (E&M) services. This education and training has been designed to promote compliance and minimize the risk mitigation associated with post-payment review and 3rd party audit exposure.

Click to view Registration

Diagnosis and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection

Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021 2:30-3:30 pm CST

  1. Introduce Helicobacter pylori infection and associated antimicrobial resistance
  2. Familiarize attendees with testing for H. pylori infection
  3. Share information about a new PCR test for detection of H. pylori and simultaneous characterization of clarithromycin resistance, and its potential benefits in rural settings
  4. Provide an overview of proper utilization and timing of H. pylori testing using an algorithmic approach

Register

Swing Beds and the Best Way to Improve Your Outcomes: Transitional Care

Thursday, October 14, 1:00 – 2:00 pm CST

Allevant, a joint venture between Mayo Clinic and Select Medical, helps Critical Access Hospitals thrive by developing post-acute Transitional Care programs using available Swing Beds. Focused on helping patients transition to their highest level of independence, Transitional Care is a program that involves the patient and family, makes available the full resources of the Critical Access Hospital, and focuses on measured outcomes and evidence-based processes to ensure patients get the best care possible. The Transitional Care Program is centered on teamwork, communication, and collaboration. Along with project management, staff training and education, a quality database, and process improvement; Allevant also provides marketing support and referral education to help Critical Access Hospitals grow their Swing Bed volume.

What you will learn:

  • Participants will be able to understand the value of developing high-quality Post-Acute Transitional Care in Critical Access Hospitals in response to a growing patient population and demands and challenges in acute care hospitals. 
  • Participants will be able to begin to quantify the opportunity, understand the key steps to initiate, implement and track progress in developing high-quality Post-Acute Transitional Care.
  • Participants will learn how Transitional Care is an effective way to incorporate population health, chronic disease management, and wellness.

Register

400 Rural Hospitals Hit by Ransomware in Last 12 Months – Learn How to Protect Your Hospital

Friday, Oct 29, 2:00-3:00 pm CST

Rural hospitals are being targeted for cyberattacks. In the last 12 months, over 400 Critical Access and Rural hospitals fell victim to a cyberattack. Join NRHA for this educational session where NRHA will share information around modern ransomware attacks, what to look out for, strategies to lessen your chances of being a victim of ransomware, and how to respond if you do fall victim to an attack. You’ll also see a demo of a ransomware attack in progress. NRHA will review tactic examples, the financial impact of a ransomware attack, defensive strategies, and threats for rural hospitals.

Register

Date: October 15, 2021

Time: 2:00 PM ET

Free to American Ambulance Association (AAA) Members | $250 Non-Members

Register Now

Speakers: Scott Moore, Esq. & Kathy Fredrickson

Join AAA Human Resources Consultant Scott Moore, Esq., and Kathy Fredrickson, Digital Marketing Clinic Director and Faculty from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, as they discuss the evolution of digital marketing and how it has evolved to become one of the most powerful recruitment and retention tools an employer can utilize to drive results. During this program, AAA will discuss how an employer can develop a workplace brand that will attract candidates and engage your existing workforce. AAA will review several EMS agencies’ digital marketing efforts, highlighting those elements that your organization can employ to achieve your recruitment and retention goals!

 

Every year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) takes action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers to help keep you updated on the latest influenza (flu) vaccine resources from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu is to get a flu vaccine every year, especially since flu viruses are constantly changing and the flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death especially for those 65 and older. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine. This year the flu vaccination is critical due to the ongoing COVID-10 pandemic. Co-administration of the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are possible so if you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, please be sure to do so.

With information coming from many different sources, CMS has summarized resources and materials to help you communicate with the people that you serve including:

You can find these and more resources on the CMS Flu Vaccine page and Flu Vaccine and Partner Toolkit page.

Please share these materials, bookmark the page, and check back often for the most up-to-date information. CMS looks forward to working with you to encourage beneficiaries and consumers –especially those with chronic conditions – to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu.

Flu vaccines are offered in many doctors’ offices and clinics. Flu vaccine is available in many other locations, including health departments, pharmacies, urgent care clinics, health centers, and travel clinics. Vaccines may also be offered at your school, college health center, or workplace. Visit: www.vaccinefinder.org at to find a flu or COVID-19 vaccination clinic near you.

The National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (NHSC S2S LRP) application is now open through November 4, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Students in their final year of school may qualify for up to $120,000 in tax-free loan repayment for your medical, nursing, or dental school student loans in exchange for a three-year service commitment in a high-need rural, tribal, or urban community.

A historic increase in funding means NHSC will be making more awards in a single year than ever before. NHSC strongly encourages all eligible students to apply! 

Start an application

Frequently Asked Questions About S2S Loan Repayment Program

Who is eligible for the S2S Loan Repayment Program

  • You must be:
    • US Citizen or US National
    • Enrolled as a full-time student in the last year of medical, nursing, or dental school with a graduation date during the application year
    • Pursuing an eligible discipline: MD/DO, DDS/DMD, NP, CMN, or PA
    • Eligible for federal employment

What loans are eligible for repayment? 

Qualifying educational loans are government and private student loans, which includes the applicant’s undergraduate and graduate education. When you submit your loans, you will be notified which ones are eligible or not.  

Application Help

Latest Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Data Highlight Children’s Mental Health Needs

A letter from Dr. Michael D. Warren, Pediatrician and Associate Administrator for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) at HRSA

The health and well-being of our children will determine the future of our nation.  As we recognized Child Health Day on Monday, I reflected on the nation’s journey through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the barriers children faced to growing and developing physically, socially, and emotionally this past year and a half.

Read Dr. Warren’s letter.

HHS Awards $2.21 Billion in Fiscal Year 2021 to Help Americans Access HIV Care, Support Services, and Medication

October 5 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced approximately $2.21 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding for cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2021. This funding, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), supports a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential support services critical to improving the health outcomes of nearly 560,000 people with HIV in the United States.

Read the release.

Biden-Harris Administration Provides Nearly $1 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funds to Modernize Health Centers and Support Underserved Communities

September 28 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to nearly 1,300 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-funded health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to support major health care construction and renovation projects. These awards will strengthen our primary health care infrastructure and advance health equity and health outcomes in medically underserved communities, including through projects that support COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination. The awards were made through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Read the release.

HHS Announces $350 Million to Strengthen Maternal and Child Health Across the Nation

Health care providers can apply for $25.5 billion in provider relief funds. The package includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for those who serve rural patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It also includes $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers experiencing changes in operating revenues and expenses.

Providers may apply for both programs with a single application. HHS is hosting technical assistance webinars for applicants. 

Application Due Date: Tuesday, October 26, 11:59 p.m. ET.

HIV and Aging Webinar: Enhancing Support Services for Older Adults with HIV

Join the HIV/AIDS Bureau and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) on Friday, October 22, 1 p.m. ET for a national HIV and aging webinar.

Presentations will include:

  • ACL and its network of programs and services
  • Area Agencies on Aging from USAging
  • ACL’s Evidence Based Chronic Disease Self-Management Education program
  • Healthcare Information and Counseling Programs’ support of older adults with HIV who are aging in the RWHAP

Presenters will offer examples of how state and local aging agencies have collaborated successfully with RWHAP providers. The target audience includes RWHAP providers and people with HIV.

Register for the webinar.

New Workforce Projections Dashboard and Primary Care Data Available

Will there be a shortage or surplus of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants in the coming years?

The new health workforce projections dashboard allows users to view projections of supply and demand for health care workers by occupation, geographic area, and year, including the newest set of primary care projections. Policymakers can use this data to help limit shortages and surpluses. 

In the calculations, HHS factored in:

  • Changing population size, demographics, and location
  • New and exiting providers across the occupation
  • Differences in levels of access to care

Join the webinar on Thursday, October 14, 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET to learn more about this new tool. 

NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop

Join the Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy, Tom Morris, on Tuesday, October 12, as he and other speakers kick off the 3-day NIH Pathways to Prevention (P2P) Workshop.

The workshop will discuss how telehealth can help providers collaborate to improve care for rural patients. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments during discussion periods.

Register for the workshop

Three-Part HIV Primary Care Webinar Series

Register for a three-part HIV primary care webinar series that the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) Region 2 office is hosting in collaboration with Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine and the HIV Primary Care and the Prevention Center of Excellence. The series aims to provide medical providers updates to HIV primary care in New York State.

  • Part 1, Tuesday, October 12, 12 – 1 p.m. ET 
    Primary Care for Adults Living with HIV will explore the key concepts and best practices when providing primary care services to adults with living with HIV. 
  • Part 2, Tuesday, October 19, 12 – 1 p.m. ET
    HIV Prevention Updates will focus on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) efficacy and use, New York State PrEP guidelines, and evidence and guidelines for PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
  • Part 3, Tuesday, October 26, 12 -1 p.m. ET
    Antiretroviral Therapy Updates with Protocol for Rapid Initiation will be a deep dive in antiretroviral therapy updates with protocol for rapid initiation. 

All providers are welcome. Free CME, CNE & CPE are only available for New York State medical providers (1 CE per session).​

DATA 2000 Waiver Training Payments Still Available for Rural Health Clinics

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) continues to accept applications for payment from Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) employing buprenorphine-waivered providers under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) Waiver Training Payment Program. 

The program gives RHCs the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment for each eligible employed provider who attained a DATA 2000 waiver on or after January 1, 2019.  Approximately $1.5 million in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.

HRSA is collaborating with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to process these applications. For more information, the program provides a video and FAQs.

New Results on the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Children

New results about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the health of children under 18 years of age are available from our Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). MCHB partners with the U.S. Census Bureau on the Household Pulse Survey to gather data about children’s telemedicine appointments, missed and delayed preventive check-ups, and disruptions in childcare.

Results are available from Phase 3.1 of the survey (April-July, 2021). Phase 3.2 data collection continues July-October, 2021.

Primary Care Case Management

State Medicaid agencies have operated primary care case management (PCCM) programs for 40 years. In recent years, states leveraged these programs to improve primary care. Compared to other states, most states that operate PCCM programs have a greater portion of their population living in rural areas, where there are often shortages of primary care and other providers. As a result, these states’ efforts to leverage their PCCM programs to improve primary care can produce significant benefits for rural residents. The National Academy for State Health Policy report examines the efforts of five states to leverage their PCCM programs to strengthen primary care.

HRSA’s National Organizations of State and Local Officials Cooperative Agreement provided support for this resource.

AHRQ Toolkit Now Available to Help Engage Patients and Family Members in the Diagnostic Process

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a new toolkit to engage patients and family members in the diagnostic process. The toolkit is for patients and clinicians and includes:

  • Two evidence-based strategies to promote meaningful engagement and communication to improve diagnostic safety
  • A patient note sheet to help patients share their symptoms
  • Several practice orientation and training tools to help clinicians foster deep listening and “presence” in the encounter