Committee Clips

i Jun 4th No Comments by

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.

Board of Directors – The Board of Directors met twice in the month of May: during the NRHA meeting and on May 23.  They revised the Policy for Board responsibilities during NRHA and endorsed a new plan for the 2019 Community Stars effort. Maner Costerian reported on the annual federal audit and provided a clean report- “as good as you can get”. The Board formally commended Donna Pfaendtner, Administrator, for her exceptional work on the financial responsibilities of the organization. In addition, a policy for a new mentoring program for SORH Directors was approved. The Board also reviewed and approved draft comments for response to the CMS Request for Information regarding Geographic Population Based Payment model.

Communications- The Communications Committee met to provide input on the revamped Community Stars 2019 process, brainstormed possible presenters/topics for the NRHD webinar and reviewed their purpose statement to be sure it reflects the work they do. The June meeting has been moved to June 12 at 2:00 pm ET.

Development- The Development Committee continues to support Partnership Development and other sponsorship activities. The committee is reviewing its purpose statement and continues to discuss strategies to increase membership engagement. If anyone has potential partner and/or sponsor suggestions, please contact Graham Adams ( or Kylie Nissen (, co-chairs of the committee.

Executive Committee – The Executive Committee considered amendments and additions to the Board policies on the use of Executive Sessions, a policy on Diversity and whether the current policy on the CEO compensation and performance are needed. Recommendations to the Board that there is no need for a policy on executive session, the CEO performance review policy is sufficient and that the board should plan to study models for diversity policies in the future. The Committee will work with the CEO to review bylaw changes, which will allow for needed changes to NOSORH governance.

Educational Exchange The EE Committee met in May to review the future focus of the committee and revise the committee purpose statement; Chris has sent out draft language to all members, please submit feedback as soon as possible. The committee also reviewed the first draft of the Communicating SORH Value rubric. The committee will continue the discussion on the future focus and review the first draft of the Workforce rubric at the June 17th meeting.

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Committee Clips

i May 1st No Comments by

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.

Aging in Rural- The Aging in Rural Group would like to take this opportunity to thank Scott Ekblad for his vision, passion and facilitation of this Learning Community. His organic facilitation vision provided fertile ground for topics of group interest to grow and relationships to develop. As you may know, Scott retired from the Oregon State Office at the end of April with plans to move to Southern California! We wish Scott well in his next adventure! During the April meeting, the group learned about the Washington SORH Palliative Care work. Pat Justis shared history, details and resources related to this work. The group also briefly discussed the 2019 Prevention Week Planning Guide & Resource Calendar, the Get Connected Linking Older Adults with Resources on Medication, Alcohol, and Mental Health 2017 EDITION, Promoting Older Adult Health – Aging Network Partnerships to Address Medication, Alcohol and Mental Health Problems, and A Day In the Life of Older Adults – Substance Use Facts all from SAMHSA. The next Aging Group meeting is scheduled for July 16 at 3 PM ET.

Communications-The Communications Committee met to provide input on the new theme of the 2019 Partnership Invitation and the Power of Rural – “Plug into the Power of Rural”, the Community Stars book and possible presentation ideas for the NOSORH Annual Meeting. The May meeting has been moved to May 14 at 1:00 pm ET.

Executive Committee – The NOSORH officers met last month to discuss the policy for the Chief Executive Officer performance review, provide direction for future meetings of the Board, moving forward the efforts on the strategic plan and the Power of Rural campaign.

Educational ExchangeThe EE Committee met to review two documents, the SORH Proficiencies Benchmarking Report and the Mentoring program outline, and discuss how the work of the committee may shift to support the new NOSORH strategic plan. Members were asked to provide feedback to NOSORH staff which will be compiled into the final draft. The next meeting of the EE committee will be May 20th at 3:00 pm ET to further discuss future updates to the committee and review the first draft of the workforce proficiency and SORH impact rubrics.

PPMT- The PPMT committee met in April to begin discussing data points to add to the SORH Profiles. Updates were provided on Medicaid work requirements, Association health plans, AHA’s comments on the Hospital Star Rating system and ACA Insurer notice of benefits and payment final ruling. The next meeting will be May 22nd at 3:00 pm ET.

RHC Committee –The RHC Committee is reviewing questions for the RHC Technical Assistance Survey which will be distributed to all SORH mid-summer. The information gathered through this survey helps frame the work of the committee. Another resource that is coming soon is the revised RHC Education Module #1 – An Introduction to the Rural Health Clinic Program. All SORH will receive the revised module link via email, in Roots and another shout out in the Branch. The Committee heard from our NARHC Partner, Nathan Baugh, about the RHC Modernization Act legislation introduced a few weeks ago. Nathan is working toward having a strong advocate champion for this legislation in every state. If you have a contact (Hospital CEO, RHC individual, etc.) that might represent the work of RHCs in your state, please reach out to Nathan directly via email (

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Committee Clips

i Mar 4th No Comments by

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 Committee – The officers of NOSORH met last month to review the first draft on the 2019-2022 strategic plan and prepare for the February Board of Directors meeting. Graham Adams joined the Executive Committee for 2019 to fill the Past President role left vacant when Melissa Van Dyne left the State Office of Rural Health to join the Missouri Rural Health Association.

NOSORH Board – The Board of Directors met in February to review the first draft of a strategic plan for 2019-2022.  Three themes were identified by the Board at their planning meeting in January:  cultivating a vital, innovative rural health landscape and infrastructure, developing leadership for population health and health equity, and building capacity for data driven rural programs and decision making. The board also adopted a policy for investing any NOSORH reserve funds, use of social media, staff paternity/maternity leave and adoption benefit, and revised the procurement policies.

Communications- The Communications Committee reviewed the recommendations from Impact! Communications to help inform this year’s National Rural Health Day activities. The committee meeting scheduled for March 5 has been cancelled.

Development- The Development Committee began work on the sponsor prospectus for the coming year by revisiting a brief history of sponsorship and then focusing on where the organization would like to go. The group would like to ensure that sponsorships/partnerships go beyond the Annual Meeting, focusing on the NOSORH mission and the Power of Rural. The goal is to have a meaningful Rural Champion level of sponsorship within the next month and to have the Sponsor Prospectus ready for distribution in April.

Rural Health ClinicThe RHC Committee welcomed the Department of Justice – Elder Justice Initiative Administrator, Andy Mao, as a new partner. The Committee is excited to engage in this new partnership and to assist the Initiative with information dissemination to rural communities. In addition, the Committee continued work revising the RHC Education Modules 1 and 2. These modules should be ready for re-introduction by mid-summer. John Gale, from the Maine Rural Research Center, shared a new resource that examines the breakdown of cost per visit in Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). With the current discussion of RHC reimbursement levels, this information is timely.  If you have interest in joining the RHC/rural primary care discussion, please reach out to Committee Chairs, Crystal Barter or Tammy Norville.

Educational Exchange- The EE Committee met in February to review the outline of the Mentoring program and plans for completing additional topical proficiencies. In March, the committee will review an outline of the Mentoring program’s curriculum and provide insight to resources for the upcoming Proficiencies Benchmarking Report. The March meeting is set for March 18 at 3:00pm ET.

Policy Program Monitoring Team- The PPMT worked together with the Policy Committee last month to craft comments to CMS on Payment Parameters for Federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs) and State-based Exchanges on the Federal Platform (SBE–FPs), including recommendations on silver-loading issues, automatic participant re-enrollment, and user fees for federal marketplace participation. The group also discussed an upcoming EMS demonstration project.

Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care – The JCREC was given an update on the Tactical plan, and they also discussed opportunities to expand sponsorship of the National Rural EMS & Care Conference in Charleston, SC this year.


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Committee Clips

i Feb 4th No Comments by

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.

Communications- The Communications committee met to review a summary report and accomplishments of the 2018 National Rural Health Day event, including recommendations for 2019. The group will soon begin planning for this year’s National Rural Health Day and Power of Rural campaign.

Educational Exchange- The committee reviewed the plans for accomplishing the mentoring program and the new topical proficiencies rubrics, including workforce and EMS, before the end of the year. Due to President’s Day, a new date and time will be scheduled for the February EE meeting. Stay tuned for more information.

Policy Program Monitoring Team- Last month, the PPMT reviewed and made comments on Healthy People 2030 objectives and made comments to CMS on the Child Health Insurance Program. These comments provide a rural perspective to agencies and stakeholders. If you’d like to learn more about these issues and rural policy, the PPMT is a great group to join. The team meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 3 PM eastern. To join the email list, contact Beth Kolf, Program Coordinator.

JCREC- The JCREC heard about the successful NAEMSP Medical Directors meeting with resources from that meeting being made public soon. They also heard about community paramedicine – mobile integrated health.


Committee Clips

i Jan 14th No Comments by

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.

 Board of Directors – The NOSORH Board met last week to begin its work on a 3-year strategic plan and a review of a framework of SORH and rural stakeholder needs. The Board’s early direction are for NOSORH to focus its partnership infrastructure for the future of the rural health landscape, population health and build capacity for data driven decisions and programs. 

Executive-The Executive Committee met in December to review a policy on a new employee benefit, the Board’s 2019 meeting schedule and to provide input regarding the Board’s strategic planning effort.

JCREC- Be looking for the EMS Tactical Agenda for the Future to be released for comment soon.

PPMT– The Policy and Program Monitoring Team reviewed comments on CMS Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Managed Care and Rural Healthy People 2030. The next PPMT meeting will be held January 23 at 3:00 pm ET.

Educational Exchange- The EE committee met in December to discuss the experiences of the committee members with the SORH Proficiencies, begin strategizing on the development of the Benchmarking report and discuss the future mentoring program. The committee will reconvene on January 28th, 2019 – a week later than normal due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

RHC Committee – The RHC Committee met with eight states represented along with our partners. Nathan Baugh (NARHC) and Kerri Conejo (FORHP) spoke regarding the newly proposed, soon to be final Physician Fee Schedule changes. One change provides opportunity for RHCs to take advantage of new Tele-Communication Codes that are reimbursed outside their All-Inclusive Rate (AIR). The Committee also discussed the newly proposed Value Based Project that is an opportunity for SORH and their RHCs to tap additional technical assistance resources coordinated by NOSORH in partnership with LilyPad and John Gale. The Committee is currently reviewing the RHC Education Modules #1 and #2. A re-release effort will be announced as the committee moves through the revision process. The next RHC Committee meeting is scheduled for February 18 at 2 PM ET.

Development Committee – The Development Committee discussed committee engagement and participation over the last eight months as well as current projects. The Committee will release the SORH Compensation Survey results shortly. The January 2019 meeting has been cancelled due to the Board Planning Meeting. The next Development Committee is scheduled for February 12 at 2 PM ET.

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Committee Clips

i Oct 31st No Comments by

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.

Aging in Rural Group – The Aging in Rural Group held its October meeting at the NOSORH Annual Meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The group was fortunate to have two experts on hand to provide perspective and introduce the group to innovative programs. Dr. Kathy Black, Principal Investigator, Age-Friendly Sarasota, and faculty at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, presented a plenary session on Rural Health Alignment with Age – Friendly Communities before joining the group discussion. She shared a vast array of resources and tools available for use in aging work. Shelly Jackson, OVC Visiting Fellow, Elder Justice Initiative, US Department of Justice, spoke to the group at length regarding the Rural and Tribal Elder Justice Initiative and associated resources. The group will continue to follow the work of these two highly regarded experts and will provide any relevant information and/or resources in coming months. If you have interest in joining the Aging in Rural group, please email Tammy Norville at

Development Committee – The Development Committee’s discussion centered around sponsorship status and potential growth of sponsorship opportunities moving forward. If you have interest in joining the Development Committee, please forward contact information to Tammy Norville (

Flex Committee –Harvey Licht, Varela Consulting joined the Flex Committee to share information regarding the CMS Star Rating Program for Hospitals proposed rules. Harvey is working with the PPMT Committee to formulate NOSORH comments on these proposed rules and having him join the Flex call provided members an opportunity to ask questions and provide “boots on the ground” input for consideration. There was also continued discussion around the desire for access to quality, affordable, easily accessible education for Board Members as well as potential topics for the coming year. Generally, the Flex Committee does not meet in November nor December. However, the Flex Guidance is scheduled for release in December, so there will be a call on Thursday, December 27 at 3 PM ET to discuss the Guidance. If you have interest in joining the Flex Committee, please forward contact information to Tammy Norville (

Executive Committee– Last month, the Executive Committee reviewed recommendations from the Governance and Structure task force, prepared for the NOSORH membership meeting and planned the appointment and election of Regional Reps to the 2019 Board of Directors.

Communications- The Communications Committee continued making plans for National Rural Health Day, including webinar topics and presenters. The group discussed the option of printing hardcover copies of the Community Stars e-book for the first time.

Policy Program Monitoring Team- Last month, the PPMT worked to finalize comments on rural ACO. At the Annual Meeting, Harvey Licht shared information on tracking state coverage initiatives and led a discussion on the increasingly important role of states on ensuring access. Analysis of these initiatives and several links for tracking these initiatives were included in the presentation. The work of the PPMT in November will include reviewing appropriate measures and recommends for hospital star ratings, and tracking efforts on global payment systems.

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Committee Clips

i Sep 28th No Comments by

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.

Board – During the September meeting, the Board heard plans of the Committee/Governance task force to assess Board expertise and to consider the Board Source recommended practices for non-profit Boards. These assessments will support the efforts to consider Board structure of the future. The Flex Committee Co-Chairs asked the Board to approve recommendations to update the Flex program for the future. The Board approved a budget for 2018-19 fiscal year and new policies on procurement, human trafficking and limited English proficiency.

Educational Exchange- The EE Committee met in September to discuss topics for future educational resources, review the results of the annual member survey, and receive an update on the SORH Proficiencies. On September 18th, co-chairs Natalie Claiborne (MT) and Alisa Druzba (NH) presented a webinar on completing the SORH Proficiencies self-assessment. The committee would like to thank Natalie and Alisa for their great work and encourage all SORH to complete the self-assessment. The Committee will host the next NOSORH 101 on Tuesday, October 2nd. Due to the NOSORH annual meeting, the committee will not meet in October. The next regular meeting of the committee will be Monday, November 19th at 3:00pm ET.

Executive Committee – The September meeting of the Committee included preparation for the NOSORH annual membership meeting, discussion of moving forward the strategic planning for 2018-19, and a brief on possible changes to personnel policies.

Flex Committee– The Flex Committee discussed what each program is doing with their new awards. Projects range from billing and coding workshops, to charge master reviews, to leadership education to revenue cycle management. The committee had a lengthy discussion about the need for board education and how Flex Programs are currently addressing the needs. The Flex Committee is scheduled to meet again on October 25 at 3 PM ET. Please contact Tammy ( if you would like to join the Flex Committee and/or if you have potential agenda items.

Finance Committee – Policies for the investment of NOSORH reserve funds were considered by the Finance Committee during its September meeting. The committee will work with Edward Jones to identify NOSORH priorities for investment. The committee reviewed a proposed annual budget in preparation for recommendation to the Board. Thanks to Shannon Chambers (SC) who joined the Finance Committee this month after reading the request in the Branch newsletter in September. 

JCREC- Considering some new input, the JCREC is postponing the release of the Stroke Center Designation position letter. The JCREC is also looking closely at pending legislation, especially with the upcoming elections. The committee is also in the process of reviewing an EMS Tactical Plan for the future.  Plans are to release the report later this year.

Communications- The Communications Committee continued preparing for National Rural Health Day 2018. Committee members provided input on the NRHD breakout sessions at the NOSORH Annual Meeting and are currently creating video clips to promote NRHD Toolkit resources.

Policy Program Monitoring Team- The PPMT committee met in September to discuss the first draft of NOSORH comments on the proposed ACO regulations. Comments were filed with CMS on the physician fee schedule last month. The committee also explored issues related to the CMS Hospital Star system, the final NQF report, and were provided an update on state Medicaid litigation. The PPMT committee will meet again on Wednesday, October 24th at 3:00pm ET.

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Committee Clips

i Sep 4th No Comments by

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.

Educational Exchange- The committee met on August 20th at their new time of 3:00pm ET. The group focused their efforts on the best way to work with SORH on completing the SORH Proficiencies self-assessment tool. Be sure to check the NOSORH calendar for upcoming webinars supported by the committee. Our next meeting will be held on September 17th at the new time of 3:00pm ET.

RHC Committee- During the August meeting, the RHC Committee examined the CMS proposed rule for the Physician Fee Schedule specific to Rural Health Clinics with presentations provided by Wakina Scott of FORHP and Nathan Baugh of NARHC. An overview of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Facilitator Training provided in partnership of the Louisiana State Office of Rural Health and The Compliance Team (TCT). Tracie Ingram, LA SORH, and Kate Hill, TCT, presented the recap to the committee. TCT is the newest CMS endorsed PCMH Accreditation Body. Finally, the RHC Committee will host the Chronic Care Management for Rural Provider webinar with a Medicare focus presented by Captain Corinne Axelrod of CMSon Wednesday, September 19at 2 PM ET.

Communications- The committee has been working on new resources for NRHD and is excited to be announcing the slate of NRHD webinars in the coming weeks.

Policy Committee – The August meeting of the Policy Committee included updates on the efforts for SORH reauthoriziation. Hall Render is strategizing with leadership to push for a vote on the House version of the SORH reauthorization bill (HR 5641). The committee heard an update from FORHP including information on CY 2019 Proposed Rule for Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System.

Policy Program Monitoring Team- The August meeting included a review of recent State health coverage initiatives and PPACA related court cases. The team also discussed and formulated points for responding to CMS Request for Information on the Stark Law. The team plans to review comments on telemedicine reimbursement and AC0 definitions this month.

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Committee Clips

i May 1st No Comments by

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.

Educational Exchange- The Educational Exchange Committee met this month to review an outline of a Medicare Advantage fact sheet for SORH and their partners. In addition, discussion began on components of a Community-Based Division fact sheet for frequently asked questions of SORH. Testing of the SORH Proficiencies is expected to begin next week, with a launch by mid-May. The next meeting of the EE Committee will occur on Monday, May 14 at 4:00pm ET.

Executive – The Executive Committee met on April 12th.  Major topics of discussion were a follow up on NOSORH’s strategic planning effort and a family leave policy for NOSORH staff.

Policy Program Monitoring Team – The PPMT focused last month on drafting comments on Short Term Limited Duration Health Plans. Comments were filed with CMS last week and are available here. Additional efforts of the PPMT include the planning of a webinar series on state coverage initiatives.

Communications- The Communications Committee discussed upcoming plans for National Rural Health Day, including selecting a logo for 2018 and planning a NRHD Key Message virtual discussion.

Development- The Development Committee discussed a variety of topics, including ensuring a diverse funding base, the annual meeting sponsor prospectus, differences in this committee and the futures group, and organic partnerships. A discussion related to the new opioid funding encompassed most of the meeting with committee members sharing thoughts on the main needs of SORHs around the opioid issue such as education, establishing strategic partnerships, and Narcan. Further discussion will include potential revenue generation and/or resource development activities.

Flex- The Flex supplemental funding guidance was discussed at length during the March Flex Committee call. The guidance provided clarification on using Flex funding to provide needed technical assistance to provider-based Rural Health Clinics (those affiliated with Critical Access Hospitals). Additionally, there was discussion around EMS work. Alaska shared that they are including trauma activation from the field, including if CDC field criteria are met. They have established benchmarks to show if hospitals are working together and provided education is adjusted based on benchmark status. The measures will be reviewed and discussed by the committee on a future call.

RHC- The RHC Committee discussed how each participating state is working with RHCs on the opioid epidemic. States shared TA activities ranging from providing a “warm hand-off” of organizations with possible grant funders to an in-depth project in Michigan where rural primary care providers are managing pain when there is no local pain management specialist. The committee is developing several education opportunities, including two upcoming webinars on Chronic Care Management and Workforce Challenges in RHCs. Louisiana has a practice manager back on the team and are looking to have two PCMH-certified staff by September 2018 in partnership with the PCA. They hope to begin offering TA starting in 2019 with a focus on RHCs. Finally, if you have an interest in Rural Health Clinics or rural primary care and would like to participate in the committee, please email Tammy Norville (

JCREC-  After many national updates and a talk about the National Rural EMS & Care Conference, the JCREC talked about a draft bill and a letter of support from Andy Gienapp, Wyoming State EMS Director. The JCREC was asked to  support the letter regarding stroke centers and the issue discussed about clot removal procedures per practitioner being a sticking point for rural facilities.

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Committee Clips

i Apr 3rd No Comments by

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.

JCREC-  The Joint committee met, and many federal agency updates were given, along with the Policy Page that NRHA is working on, NASEMSO supporting the National Rural EMS & Care Conference, and an update from Tom Perkins, Virginia Office of EMS, on their ongoing partnership with rural.

Board – The NOSORH Board met last month to follow up on strategic planning efforts. A task force has been assigned to review committee structure and governance and a “futures” effort lead by Graham Adams (SC) will provide insight on positioning SORH for the future. Additionally, the Board acted to allow NOSORH employees to donate Paid Time Off to other employees. The Board also heard about a funding lines increase and plans to grow SORH engagement with the CDC. Board minutes of past meetings are posted here.

Executive– The Executive Committee met in March to plan the March Board agenda, follow up on strategic planning efforts and to follow up on a NOSORH employee family leave policy.

Flex – The Flex Committee reviewed the Funding Extension Progress Report guidance released last month with a focus on provider-based RHC work and EMS services. The group discussed several approaches to meet the newly clarified requirements such as including operational support services to clinics such as coding and billing education. Additionally, the group is developing a list of potential updates for the Flex Program.

RHC- The RHC Committee continues to focus on technical assistance offered to Rural Health Clinics across the nation as well as topics pertinent to SORH work. Currently, the committee is investigating rural Home Health designations and discussing Chronic Care Management coding and potential billing impact. The NOSORH RHC Institute had its Kickoff on March 18th in San Antonio as a precursor to the NARHC Spring Conference. The RHC Institute runs through July.

Policy Program Monitoring Team – The PPMT will meet twice this month, Tuesday April 10th and April 25th. The group will discuss proposed short-term limited duration health plans and work to continue planning a series of webinars which will help SORH and their partners with a framework for understanding potential state health care coverage initiatives. The initiatives discussed will include those affecting Medicaid programs and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.

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