Using Patient Registries to Manage Chronic Disease

i Feb 19th No Comments by

Webinar Topic: Using Patient Registries to Manage Chronic Disease
This webinar provides an overview on the benefits of using patient registries to support chronic disease care within a health care setting.  Discussion includes information about creating a registry, data validation and  2017 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) considerations.

Recording: Using Patient Registries to Manage Chronic Disease

Presentation Slides: Using Patient Registries to Manage Chronic Disease Slides (.pdf)

Duration: 35 Minutes

Date: January 25, 2018


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RHIhub Spotlight

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The RHIhub has updated the Topic Guide on Rural Schools and Health to include a new Frequently Asked Question on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in rural areas.

There are two new Rural Monitor articles:

  • HEROs in Rural Health: Q&A with Art Kaufman – Dr. Art Kaufman discusses the Health Extension Rural Offices (HEROs) model, how he is helping promote the use of community health workers, and his work with the University of New Mexico’s World Health Organization Collaborating Center.
  • Young Rural Healthcare Leaders – In addition to providing advice for those with potential interest in rural healthcare executive positions, four Critical Access Hospitals leaders – all under age 40 – share stories of innovation and impact on their organizations and communities.

RHIhub is hosting a webinar, Improving Access to Transportation in Rural Communities, with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis to present the evidence-based toolkit on Rural Transportation. Scheduled for Monday, February 12, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. Central, this webinar will feature speakers from ITN America, HealthTran, and Community Asset Builders, LLC.

There are several new Models and Innovations featuring the great work being done in rural communities around the country:


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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. 

Finance – NOSORH released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an investment advisor. RFPs are due by Monday, February 5th. For more information, contact Donna Pfaendtner.

PPMT – The Policy Program Monitoring Team meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 3 PM EST and works to respond to policy changes, respond to notices of proposed rulemaking, and looks at analysis of the impact of policy changes on rural populations. The work is chaired by John Barnas (MI) and Lynette Dickson (ND). This month, the committee worked with Harvey Licht of Varela Consulting Group, formerly of the New Mexico State Office of Rural Health, to consider comments to the Department of Health and Human Services on how to increase choice and competition for health care services. The comments filed provide a great overview of issues of completion in rural America and provide some simple summaries of current data. The committee also reviewed comments to submit to the FCC on Promoting Telehealth in Rural America.

JCREC-  JCREC’s first meeting of the year was held in early January and discussed submission of final edits of the JCREC 2017-2018 work plan. NASEMSO announced a change to their 2018 meeting schedules, with the Spring meeting to be held in May 2018 in Providence, RI. Another regional meeting will be held in the fall of 2018. The group also discussed a presentation of a National Rural Health Association EMS Policy Paper at the February 2018 NRHA Policy Forum.


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TruServe Tips and Training Sessions

i Feb 1st No Comments by

Ever struggle to remember your username and password for different sites? TruServe now has a feature that allows you to stay signed in on your work computer! When logging in, simply click the new box labeled “Keep me signed in” and you will no longer be logged out of TruServe automatically after a period of time. You may still manually log out at the top right-hand side of the screen when logged in. Please only use this new function on a private (not shared) computer.

Join fellow SORH staff from around the country to learn more about maximizing the utility of TruServe. The next TruServe training will be Tuesday, February 27 at 2:00 pm EST. These monthly training sessions work to answer questions for existing users and provide a broad overview of TruServe for anyone using the system. Keep an eye out for an email with connection details soon.  If you have questions or would like to be part of the TruServe trainings, please contact Mark Barclay at mark.barclay@med.und.edu.


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NOSORH Board Meets for Annual Planning Meeting

i Feb 1st No Comments by

Each year the NOSORH Board meets to review needs of State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and to identify strategies to build the capacity of SORH. President Melissa Van Dyne (MO) kicked off the meeting with some thoughts on the role of NOSORH. The Board discussion was facilitated by Steve Barnett, CEO of McKenzie Health Systems. The meeting was also attended by FORHP Project Officers. Key objectives of the planning were to:

  • Understand a value and wellness focus, and how these efforts impact SORH work.
  • Review NOSORH organizational foundations (vision, mission, values) to ensure effective and efficient structure to strategically focus NOSORH resources.
  • Engage Board to plan and lead the accomplishment of strategies and services that are highly valued by members.

The Board will continue their efforts to craft a 3-year strategic plan with a strategy to grow alliances, build capacity, and communicate the value of SORH. If you have insight to share on the future of SORH and NOSORH, please reach out to your NOSORH Regional Representative.


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Policy Update: NOSORH Prepares for NRHA Policy Institute

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As of the most recent count, approximately 60 SORH attendees will participate in the National Rural Health Association’s Annual Policy Institute. NOSORH will provide a member and partner brief with Legislative Liaison Andrew Coats (Hall Render) and convene the State Office Council on Monday, February 5 at 6:00 PM.

NOSORH is asking SORH and their partners to request to pass Senate Bill 2278, please introduce a House companion bill to support for reauthorization of the State Office of Rural Health Program and for level funding for the SORH appropriation. A fact sheet is available for all SORH and their partners to print and include in their visit packets during the Policy Institute or to make a simple contact by email.  Printed copies of the fact sheet will be available at the NOSORH members meeting.

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

Congress Votes to End Government Shutdown – What’s Next?
After a three-day government shutdown, the Senate voted 81-18 on January 22 to fund the government through February 8, 2018. The continuing resolution (CR) was then sent to the House, where it passed 266-150. President Trump subsequently signed the bill into law on January 22. The three-week CR includes a six-year funding renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The bill also delays the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax and Cadillac tax on high-cost health insurance plans for two years and its tax on health insurance providers for one year.

Despite passing the CR, lawmakers remain under increasing pressure to reach a long-term budget agreement. In order to strike such a deal, Republicans will need support from at least nine Senate Democrats. While CHIP now has long-term financial support, funding for many other health programs, including “Medicare extenders” and DSH, expired at the end of September but were not included in the most recent CR. In a meeting with senior health care policy staff on Capitol Hill, Hall Render attorneys were told that lawmakers plan to include money for Medicare extenders and DSH in the next government funding bill that must be passed before February 8, if offsets can be found to cover the costs. Historically, Congress has covered such costs by implementing new cuts for providers, and it is expected that lawmakers will do so again in this case.

340B Remains Active Topic in Congress
On January 17, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a bill (S. 2312) that seeks to prevent certain hospitals from entering the 340B drug discount program until certain transparency measures and reporting requirements are strengthened. The Cassidy bill is the Senate version of the recently introduced 340B Pause Act and can serve as another reason for the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to hold future 340B oversight hearings.

The measure would create a moratorium on new DSHs from entering the 340B program for at least two years or until the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) writes regulations for the 340B program with additional transparency measures and reporting requirements for hospitals. The bill would also require hospitals to use CMS’s new 340B claims modifier on drugs purchased through the program.

Under the Cassidy bill, critical access hospitals, rural referral centers, sole community hospitals, grantees and PPS-exempt children’s or cancer hospitals would still be able to enroll in the 340B program. The bill also exempts grantees and rural and critical access hospitals from most of the bills reporting requirements.

On January 10, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report following a broad review of the 340B program and several oversight hearings held in 2017. While the report highlights the strong bipartisan support of the program, the report also includes its perceived weaknesses such as the lack of transparency and oversight. The report concluded HRSA lacks sufficient regulatory authority to adequately oversee the program and the audit process in place is inadequate. The report also claims there is a lack of reliable data on how program savings are used because the 340B statute does not include reporting requirements for covered entities.

 Azar Confirmed as HHS Secretary
The Senate confirmed Alex Azar as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services in a 55-43 vote. Six Senate Democrats and Independent Angus King (I-ME) joined nearly all Republicans in backing Azar’s nomination. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only Republican to oppose Azar, which he said was due to his disagreement with Azar over drug re-importation. As the country’s top health official, Azar has pledged to prioritize lowering drug prices.


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SORH Encouraged to Register for Rural Health Clinic Institute

i Feb 1st No Comments by

The Rural Health Clinic Institute, a webinar series developed exclusively for State Offices of Rural Health (SORH), kicks off soon! SORH will learn about the needs of RHCs, compliance issues, how to support RHCs to do better billing and collection, ways to help clinics become innovative, and how to organize their efforts to be effective technical assistance providers for RHCs.

Registrants have the option to attend a face-to-face Institute “Kick-Off” session at the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) Spring Institute in San Antonio on March 18. This two-hour workshop serves as a primer for SORH to gain a basic understanding of RHCs. NOSORH will then launch the Institute webinars on April 3.

View the RHC Institute flyer for more details and an outline of the curriculum.

Click here to register for the Institute. Registration ends on March 16 and class size is limited. The registration fee is $500.


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The National Rural EMS & Care Conference 2018 Session Highlight

i Feb 1st No Comments by

NOSORH, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care, and the Arizona Center for Rural Health invite you to join them on April 24-25 in Tucson, Arizona, for the 4th Annual National Rural EMS & Care Conference. Invited attendees include rural EMS directors, medical directors and officers, rural health care providers, state EMS officials, hospital administrators, elected officials, federal agency officials, and other EMS partners. This will be an amazing opportunity to engage with partners from all over the country and at different levels of EMS care.

One session on the agenda that you will not want to miss is the FirstNet Update with Kevin McGinnis, MPS, Communications Technology Advisor with the National Association of State EMS Officials. “FirstNet is now a reality, having been accepted for development by governors in all 50 states and territories,” said McGinnis. “The nationwide network core will be completed in March, and devices and service plans are now available. With AT&T (FirstNet’s system operator) offering FirstNet service with priority and preemption on its entire existing and new network to public safety, what does that mean for rural EMS providers? What will it buy us, where is it available? Check out the applications that FirstNet will make possible.”

To learn more about the conference, view the agenda, and watch for registration materials for the meeting, click here.


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Save the Dates for Upcoming NOSORH Meetings

i Feb 1st No Comments by

It’s that time of year again for the Regional Partnership Meetings and the NOSORH Annual Meeting! NOSORH would like to thank all the work of the host states to help get all the locations, dates, and hotels confirmed. In the coming days, the Regional Meeting Planning Committees will begin to put together meaningful agendas for each of the regional meetings. If you have not already responded and would like to participate on one of the planning committees, please contact Matt Strycker at stryckerm@nosorh.org. Below is the list of locations to date:

·         Region A: Charlottesville, VA, June 12-14, 2018

·         Region B: Florida, TBD

·         Region C: Minneapolis, MN, August 14-15, 2018t

·         Region D: Little Rock, AR, June 26-27, 2018 (TENTATIVE)

·         Region E: Salt Lake City, UT, August 28-29, 2018 (TENTATIVE)

NOSORH is also pleased to announce that the 2018 NOSORH Annual Meeting will be held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on October 17-18. The meeting will be held at the Little America Hotel and Resort. The save-the-date with hotel reservation information will be available soon. For any questions and additional information about the meetings, please contact Matt Strycker.


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NOSORH and ASTHO Collaborate to Support Primary Care Offices

i Jan 31st No Comments by

Through a thoughtful and strategic partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), NOSORH will have the opportunity to work more closely with the state Primary Care Offices (PCOs) for the next three years. NOSORH will be providing logistical support for the PCO National Committee by managing the agendas, minutes, scheduling, and follow-up between meetings. In addition, NOSORH will be providing the logistical support for the PCO Training Academy, a mentoring program for new PCO staff that includes a face-to-face meeting and site visits. The application period for applying to the PCO Training Academy closes on February 8 and applications can be found here.

The work with ASTHO goes much further than the logistical support components, including new resources that will benefit SORH, PCOs, State Health Officials and rural communities. One such resource will be an issue brief on best practices for completing the required PCO Needs Assessment, with examples from peer PCOs and suggestions from federal partners. Building upon the previously successful work around Social Determinants of Health, a toolkit will be developed to describe and identify the intersection of rural education and rural economic development, and the impact these sectors have on community health.

NOSORH would like to thank ASTHO for their support and great partnership to support the PCOs in their daily work.


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