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.

Executive – Last month’s meeting of the Executive Committee included a discussion of the Presidents’ role at the regional meetings, employee benefits, and plans for the continuing work on the NOSORH strategic plan.  Two major efforts for the strategic plan include a review of NOSORH’s governance and the future of the work of State Offices of Rural Health.

Policy Program Monitoring Team (PPMT)– PPMT met last month to consider a variety of potential program changes including the newly released CMS proposed rule on outpatient payment, Stark Law revisions.  The proposed rule would expand the reimbursement of some telemedicine encounters for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Comments are due September 10th. The full text of the proposed rule can be found at this Federal Register site. CMS also released a Request for Information Regarding the Physician Self-Referral Law, which regulates physician referrals and can have a potential impact for many rural physicians. PPMT will draft comments and distribute them before comments are due by August 25th.

Flex- The Flex Committee did not have a regular committee meeting due to the Flex Reverse Site visit held in Washington, DC, July 17th through 18th. The theme of the two-day event was “Engage. Measure. Improve.”  The event kicked off with presentations by Sarah Young, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Flex Coordinator and Katy Lloyd, FORHP Small Healthcare Provider Quality Improvement Coordinator. In addition to a presentation on results that matter in the rural health setting delivered by Shantanu Agrawal, DO, National Quality Forum, there were several sessions regarding CAH financial topics, and sessions on integrating and engaging EMS into the rural healthcare landscape. There was also a focus on the future direction of the national Flex Program and on strengthening the leadership of state Flex Programs as discussed in the Core Competencies for State Flex Program Excellence, including Managing the Flex Program.

RHC- The Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Committee has put the finishing touches on revisions of two modules in the RHC Technical Assistance Educational Series: Module 5 – RHC Performance Measurement and Quality Improvement, and Module 6 – Incorporating Behavioral Health Services in the Rural Health Clinic. Both of these and other, related modules can be found on the NOSORH website’s Rural Health Clinic Educational Resources page. Opioid resources will be added as appendices to the current Module 6 as they become available. Once we have 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. Mark your calendars! The RHC Committee will host a webinar with Captain Corinne Axelrod, Senior Health Insurance Specialist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on Chronic Care Management use for rural health providers. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, at 2 PM ET. Additional information to follow.

JCREC- JCREC met this month and is happy to say that all partner organizations have approved a letter to the JCAHO regarding concerns from rural hospitals on proposed standards for certification as a thrombectomy-capable stroke center (TSC). NASMESO information about a cooperative agreement with NHTSA on attrition in workforce for EMS; they are hoping to have a scope of practice paper out in the next two months.


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