COVID-19: Legislation, Guidance and Funding

i May 1st No Comments by

COVID-19 has not only taught us more about social distancing, testing and the FDA approval process than we ever wanted to know, it has brought us hundreds of pages of new legislation leading to new funding, new service lines and new regulatory guidance. On April 30, yet another round of “sweeping changes” to support the healthcare community were announced. There are too many nuances to delve into all of them here, but the press release and other related guidance that has been released to date can be found on the NOSORH COVID-19 Resources web page. A couple of items of note:

When delving into these new guidelines, if using sources other than the agency providing oversight, ensure they are trusted and have established credibility. Rely on the official guidance from the oversight body when possible.

With guidance coming so quickly, there are more questions than answers in some topic areas. The NOSORH website houses two pages dedicated to COVID-19:

  • The first is the SORH COVID-19 Response page. This page is dedicated to documenting the weekly SORH COVID-19 Learning Community calls and related materials.
  • The COVID-19 Resources page houses regulatory announcements and guidance as well as relevant resources and tools from members of our partner family. These resources are made available to assist in navigating the onslaught of new and revised guidance from our federal program partners.

Looking to share your rural-specific questions, concerns, models, innovations, successes and challenges? The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is now operating an email address for the general public. Send to 

NOSORH Partners with Washington SORH for Technical Assistance Project

i Dec 5th No Comments by

Early November in Washington state is a beauty to behold. Tammy Norville, NOSORH Technical Assistance Director, had the opportunity to partner with the Washington State Office of Rural Health to provide a half-day interdisciplinary team education session grounded in palliative care services. The live session was on location in Dayton, Washington, and simulcast to Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and other partners around the state.

The session was a journey through the revenue cycle and explored options to ensure the sustainability of palliative care services in an environment with no straightforward payment structure while continuing to transition to value. A lunch session with the host organization and an onsite visit with one CAH rounded out the visit.

The top three takeaways from the experience:

  1. Community-based providers are in need of in-depth, nuts and bolts assistance and they are willing to lose provider time to strengthen operational efficiencies.
  2. Community-based providers are providing services that their patients need – regardless of reimbursement structure. The sweet spot is finding a way to cover expenses associated with these services within the given documentation, coding and billing guidelines.
  3. This project provided NOSORH the opportunity to come alongside the SORH, providing support and building their capacity, while enhancing the capacity of the participating organizations.

Thank you to the Washington SORH team of Pat Justis, Lindy Vincent, and Kassie Clarke, who coordinated the event and was an outstanding tour guide.

If you have an interest in this or other technical assistance projects, please contact Tammy Norville (, Technical Assistance Director.

NOSORH & Lilypad to Co-Host Technical Assistance Web Session on June 26

i Jun 4th No Comments by

NOSORH and Lilypad will co-host a web session for State Offices of Rural Health POND subscribers to review NOSORH technical assistance as it relates to RHCs and other rural primary care providers. Additionally, the session will explore the importance and use of data at different levels – in clinics for performance improvement, at the SORH for technical assistance and other related topics.

Data-Driven Success: The Who, What, When, Where and Why of RHC Technical Assistance

To review the NOSORH technical assistance vision for RHCs and other rural primary care providers including the importance, collection and use of data.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 1 PM ET (POND Subscriber States)
(No registration is required- click the link above to join the session)

Keep an eye out for the web session flyer with more information! Hope to see you there!

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New Partners Introduce Work of SORH and the Power of Rural to Elder Justice Stakeholders

i Dec 6th No Comments by

Have you (or someone you know) received a phone call from your grandchild saying they’ve been arrested and need your help? What about someone calling claiming to be from the IRS and there was a problem with your taxes? These are a just two examples of fraud discussed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Summit, the first meeting of this type hosted by the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative.

Through a developing partnership with the DOJ, NOSORH was able to introduce National Rural Health Day (NRHD), the Power of Rural movement, the work of NOSORH and State Offices of Rural Health to the participants of this two-day event. The Summit was held in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 14-15 and featured speakers Matthew Whitaker, Acting Attorney General; Pamela Teaster, Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology Director and Professor; and Marit Anne Peterson, Minnesota Elder Justice Center Program Director. The topics covered were as varied as the speakers and were delivered by panels of experts. Topics included Federal Efforts to Support Rural and Tribal Communities, Challenges and Opportunities in Rural and Tribal Communities, and Harnessing the Power of Technology to Respond to Elder Abuse in Rural and Tribal Communities.

Tammy Norville, NOSORH Technical Assistance Director, shared information regarding NRHD and the Power of Rural movement, providing a great segue to information about SORHs after discovering that most participants were not familiar with State Offices. Following her remarks, Norville made several connections with participants, including Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living. Robertson introduced Norville to his team to begin discussions regarding the Aging in Rural Interest Group.

Overall, the first Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Summit was successful and moved the developing partnership between NOSORH and the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative Team forward.

Contact Tammy Norville ( for additional information.

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