Webinar: The Intersection of Workforce Incentive Programs and Telehealth Policy

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Webinar Slides

Webinar Recording

RHIhub Spotlight

i Jul 11th No Comments by

The RHIhub has a new topic guide on the Rural Response to the Opioid Crisis. The guide identifies rural-specific initiatives and funding opportunities, program examples, and tools and resources focused on prevention, harm reduction, and treatment, to help address this crisis in your rural communities.

We’ve also updated other Topic Guides:

We have two new articles in the Rural Monitor:

Our Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention toolkit has received its annual update. Created in collaboration with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis and the University of Minnesota’s Rural Health Research Center, this toolkit is designed to help organizations identify and implement sustainable health promotion programs in their rural communities.

We have several new Models and Innovations:

  • Bridges to Care Transitions-Remote Home Monitoring and Chronic Disease Self-Management – Virginia’s Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance, a HRSA 2018 Rural Health Champion, shares the “how-tos” in addition to the impact of a remote patient monitoring project.
  • Jana’s Campaign: Love Doesn’t Hurt – Jana’s Campaign’s Love Doesn’t Hurt project has led school-based initiatives to reduce gender and relationship violence in 67 rural counties in Kansas, 33 rural counties in Nebraska, and 10 rural counties in Colorado.
  • Tele-ICU for Veterans – A Veterans Affairs (VA) facility in Oklahoma uses teleconferencing equipment to connect with Cincinnati VA providers so urban specialists can help monitor patients and consult with rural clinical staff.
  • Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care (ECCCC) – To bring needed child care into the region, eight employers—including local healthcare facilities—in rural Mercer County, North Dakota, formed this nonprofit.
  • Vermont Hub-and-Spoke Model of Care for Opioid Use Disorder – The Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Blueprint for Health created a Hub and Spoke treatment model to increase access for those with opioid use disorder.
  • COPD Inpatient Navigator Program – Through CHI Mercy Health’s Mercy Medical Center in rural Oregon, this program impacts quality of life in addition to decreasing readmission rates.
  • The Minnesota Integrative Behavioral Health Program – Hospital, primary care, and community service representatives collaborate during strategy sessions at the Minnesota Integrative Behavioral Health Program. This program was started by the Rural Health Innovations’ National Rural Health Resource Center in response to a statewide need for behavioral health solutions.


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Committee Clips

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NOSORH committees are great focal points for engaging in many NOSORH initiatives.  Descriptions of all committees and contact information can be found on the NOSORH website.


Development- With the recent release of the Sponsor Prospectus, the Development Committee is “leaning in” to work on sponsor development. All information related to potential sponsors is welcome and should be directed to Teryl Eisinger (teryle@nosorh.org). The Committee is beginning to explore potential NOSORH service line expansion through enhanced partnerships with a few long-term strategic partners. More information will be forthcoming as this work takes shape. For additional Development Committee information, please contact Tammy Norville (tammyn@nosorh.org).

Flex- The Flex Committee focused on the recent resurgence of CAH distance requirements. CMS has received concerns regarding state surveyor interpretation and has made a concerted effort to redistribute the CMS interpretation to all interested parties. CMS confirmed that currently Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) are excluded from the distance requirements. The Committee also discussed Opioid work as it pertains to CAHs in the members’ states as part of the ongoing agenda item. For additional Flex Committee information, please contact Tammy Norville (tammyn@nosorh.org).

JCREC- The Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care met this month and all eyes are still on the EMS Tactical Agenda for the future, which is moving forward with the Advisory Committee. NOSORH recently released the RFP for hosting the 2019, 2020, or 2021 National Rural EMS & Care Conference, please contact Matt Strycker (stryckerm@nosorh.org) with any questions.


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Policy Update

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The following update was provided for our members by Hall Render, NOSORH Legislative Liaison:

House Releases Draft FY 2019 HHS Funding

On June 25, the House Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee released the draft bill text for the FY 2019 HHS funding. The draft bill increases the State Offices of Rural Health funding to $11 million, a million dollar increase over FY 2018.

That is particularly good news considering the draft bill decreases overall rural health funding by $9.5 million for the upcoming year.  The bill would also decrease the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funding by $196 million from FY18.   Other funding under the HRSA account includes $33 million for Rural Hospital Flexibility Grants and over $25 million for Small Hospital Improvement Grants.

The House Appropriations was scheduled to markup this bill the week of June 25, but delayed the markup to the week of July 10.  The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to markup their version of the HHS funding bill this week. The text has yet to be released.  Any differences between the House and Senate funding levels will have to be reconciled before the bill is passed into law.  Federal funding expires September 30, 2018.

SORH Reauthorization Bill Picks up Momentum in the House

Over the past three weeks, the House version of the State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization bill (H.R. 5641) picked up two important cosponsors. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) added their names to the list of House members officially endorsing the legislation.

Also during June, NOSORH leadership met with the House Energy and Commerce Committee to chart a path forward for the reauthorization bill.  Please contact your House members and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 5641.

Congress and HRSA Examine 340B

On June 19, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held the third in a series of hearings examining the 340B drug savings program. The hearing featured testimony from Capt. Krista Pedley, the director of the Office of Pharmacy Affairs at the Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the program. Likely, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will pivot back to the 340B program after opioid crisis work is completed.

The hearing came two weeks after HRSA released a final rule delaying the effective date of implementation and enforcement of the previously issued final rule implementing the 340B Drug Discount Program. The delayed rule, which was originally published on January 5, 2017, established the methodology for calculating the 340B ceiling price and civil monetary penalties (“CMPs”) for knowing and intentional overcharges of 340B covered entities. After repeated delays, this final rule further delays the effective date until July 1, 2019.

Also in this rule, HRSA signaled the intent to make additional changes to the 340B program including changes affecting providers. The agency stated, “HHS plans to issue separate policy documents related to drug pricing in government programs, including the 340B program, and disagrees with the commenters advising HHS to address these issues concurrently.”


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NOSORH to Hold First Frontier Listening Session on July 11th

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NOSORH wants to learn more about challenges and opportunities in frontier communities, and the efforts that State Offices of Rural Health are making on their behalf.  We are conducting a listening session with State Offices of Rural Health on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 3 PM ET.

To join the meeting, use the following WebEx link and dial-in information:


Call-in toll number (US/Canada): (650) 479-3208

Access code: 666 214 487

Topics to be discussed include (but are not limited to): definition(s) of frontier; SORH work uniquely focused on the needs and/or challenges of frontier; efforts related to frontier EMS, transportation, behavioral health (including the opioid crisis); resources needed to build capacity to better meet frontier community needs; and interest in holding a Frontier annual meeting. Additional information will be forthcoming as we approach the listening session. We appreciate your time, consideration, and participation in this listening session.

In the meantime, please contact Tammy Norville, NOSORH Technical Assistance Director, (tammyn@nosorh.org) with questions, for additional information, or for further assistance.


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TruServe Update

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The next TruServe training will take place on July 25th at 2pm ET. If you’d like to participate, please dial in using the information below:

Webinar link: https://undmed.webex.com/join/mark.barclay

Dial into: 1-415-655-0002, passcode 921 776 408#


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Rural Health Clinic Committee Seeks Input on Survey

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The RHC Committee needs your input on the annual RHC Technical Assistance Survey! It should only take 10 minutes or so to complete and the information gathered will help shape the work of the RHC Committee over the coming year. Click here to access the RHC Technical Assistance Survey 2018. The committee appreciates your willingness to participate in this important annual event!

The Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Committee reminds you there are great resources for Quality and Behavioral Health for RHC.  “Performance Measurement and Quality Improvement” (Module 5) and “Incorporating Behavioral Health in the RHC” (Module 6) have been recently updated with format, and other minor changes.  Module 6 includes an new appendix of opioid resources.  The revised versions will be available by August 1, 2018.  These and other, related modules can be found on NOSORH website’s Rural Health Clinic Educational Resources page.

Additional Opioid and Behavioral Health infrastructure information will be added to Module 6 as they become available. Once there is a significant amount of resources and other pertinent information, a separate module on Opioid and Behavioral Health infrastructure, focusing on RHCs and rural Primary Care, will be added to the library.

If you or someone in your SORH has an interest in RHCs or rural Primary Care, please contact Tammy Norville (tammyn@nosorh.org) to join the RHC Committee.


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Nominate a Community Star for National Rural Health Day!

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Shine a spotlight on someone making a difference in rural health and help us celebrate the #PowerofRural by nominating an outstanding Community Star!

We are now accepting nominations for the 2018 Community Stars through August 24, 2018. Visit the Community Stars page for more information and to make your nomination.

Selected Community Stars will be announced at the NOSORH Annual Meeting and featured in the 2018 Community Star electronic publication released on National Rural Health Day, November 15, 2018!


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2018 NOSORH Awards: Call for Nominations!

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The Awards Committee co-chairs Cathleen McElligott (MA) and Margaret Brockman (NE), are now accepting nominations for the 2018 NOSORH Awards. These awards are a special way to celebrate and recognize the hard work and leadership of individuals and organizations dedicated to rural health. Awards will be presented during a ceremony at the NOSORH Annual Meeting.

Click here to submit a nomination! (Nominations will be accepted until Friday, August 31, 2018 at 5:00 EDT.)

Award Descriptions


NOSORH SORH Award of Excellence

This award is to be presented to a State Office of Rural Health that has made an outstanding contribution in the field of rural health. The committee should consider broad benefits to rural health, innovative programs, unusual contributions, or activities that have advanced State Offices of Rural Health.

NOSORH Distinguished Service Award

This award is bestowed on an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to NOSORH, is a member of the organization, and is actively involved in a State Office of Rural Health.

The James D. Bernstein Mentoring Award

This award honors an experienced, long-time rural health individual leader who is a member of NOSORH, is actively involved in a State Office of Rural Health, has sincere interest in emerging leaders’ professional growth, and has played a key role in developing future leaders within the national rural health movement.

Emerging Leader Award

This award is presented to an individual SORH staff member who has demonstrated new leadership, initiative, involvement and commitment to the mission of NOSORH or State Offices of Rural Health. This individual may be a new staff member or an existing staff member who has newly demonstrated exemplary communication, passion, or understanding of an issue to enhance education, advocacy or partnerships to improve rural health.



NOSORH Legislator of the Year Award

This award recognizes an outstanding individual federal legislator for her/his work and support of rural health initiatives that address national rural health care needs. Individuals who meet the following criteria should be considered: introduced or supported an existing piece of significant legislation that addresses an identified rural health need or issue; made a special effort to effect change in rural health policy and/or legislation that benefits rural health outcomes; OR demonstrated leadership that benefits rural communities in America.

NOSORH Values Recognition Award

This award recognizes any individual or group, including State Office of Rural Health leaders or others, who have demonstrated commitment to NOSORH’s values including: health equity for rural Americans, collaboration, trust in SORH capacity to make a difference, inclusiveness and accountability. Recipients of this award will have applied forward thinking and led efforts to envision and implement rural reforms including initiatives in telehealth, population health, quality improvement, alternative payment methodologies, policy and program changes, research or other areas which inform the work of SORH to improve rural health. 

The Distinguished Andrew W. Nichols Rural Health Advocate Award

This award recognizes an individual who is a member of NOSORH, the National Rural Health Association, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, and/or another national organization, and who has made significant contribution to rural, frontier or border health, has demonstrated deep commitment to social justice and improvement for the health of underserved.

Click here to see past award winners


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Partner with NOSORH as a Sponsor

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You’re invited to partner with NOSORH to help build the capacity of State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and be an integral part of National Rural Health Day! Explore a sponsorship level that meets your needs and showcase your organization at the NOSORH Annual Meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on October 17-18, 2018. The Annual Meeting brings together over 150 attendees, including representation from all 50 SORH staff, and partners from across the country who are dedicated to improving access to quality rural health care.

When you partner with NOSORH, you’re helping to support state stakeholders working on the front lines. Rural health is vital to sustaining rural communities in America. The significant contributions of the 50 SORHs are critical to help meet the challenges facing 60% of our nation’s counties. No other resource does the collective work of a SORH. In every state, and with lean funding, SORHs work to develop and deliver long-term solutions designed to help strengthen rural health.  No matter what level of sponsorship you select, your contributions will make a difference!

To learn more about the levels of sponsorship and how you can help NOSORH, visit the Sponsor Prospectus page.

Click here to sign up to be a sponsor/exhibitor.


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