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July 2010 ORH Newsletter Share This OHSU Content

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Rural Oregon News

Oregon Rural Health Association Holds Rural Heath Policy Summit

The Oregon Rural Health Association (ORHA) held the 2010 Rural Health Policy Summit June 11 at Samaritan Health and Community Center, Lebanon, to look at key issues facing rural health in Oregon. Speakers included gubernatorial candidate Dr. John Kitzhaber and Dr. Jo Isgrigg, Executive Director, Oregon Healthcare Workforce Institute as well as a lineup of policy and clinical professionals. The summit looked at several rural health issues and discussed challenges as well as opportunities in the upcoming 2011 Legislative Session.

Dr. Kitzhaber was clear to the audience concerning the impact of the current economic crisis on the state budget. The current situation will “require a real re-thinking of the size and scope of state governments, something that’s long overdue but something that’s not going to be very easy.” No budget, including education and health care, will be spared. There is no quick fix for a $2 billion structural revenue shortfall. “There is no secret pot of money out there with which we can solve this problem. ... We’re going to have to manage through a significantly smaller state budget in the next two years,” said Kitzhaber.

“We need to shift from ‘how do we cut $2 billion’ to ‘here’s the amount of money we know we have.’ How can we allocate that to get us through the next couple of years, protecting essential services?” said Kitzhaber.

“In the short term, we need to create a really good savings fund, modify the kicker and create a big reserve that is very tightly controlled and gives us at least some cushion to help with ups and downs.” In the long run, “public money should be spent in a way that maximizes the health of the population at large.”

“Recruiting and retaining primary care providers in rural Oregon is a challenge,” said Kerry Gonzales, ORHA President. “We have lost funding for our state loan repayment program and the deadline is looming for the Medical Malpractice Reinsurance Program. We know that this next legislative session will be very difficult in the current budget crisis, but we must continue to support these programs if we are going to reach our goals.”

State and federal health care reform will expand insurance coverage to uninsured Oregonians in both urban and rural areas. Increased coverage will create an increase in demand for providers. To cope with this demand, rural communities must redouble their efforts to attract new providers to their communities and retain those they already have. Oregon doesn’t currently produce enough providers to meet the need, and must have effective strategies to compete with other states that are vying for the same candidates.

The Oregon Legislature voted not to continue funding the Rural Health Services Loan Repayment Program during its 2009 session. The program offered loan repayment to physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who agree to practice in a ‘qualifying practice site.’ While never well funded, this program allowed Oregon to compete with other rural states. As those states continue to offer loan repayment, Oregon’s ability to compete falls farther and farther behind.

During the 2010 Legislative Session, the loan repayment program was transferred to the Oregon Office of Rural Health from the Oregon Student Assistance Commission. When the transfer becomes effective on July 1, 2011, the fund balance will barely be enough to meet existing obligations to award recipients. No additional loan repayment awards can be made without additional resources. Scott Ekblad, Director, Oregon Office of Rural Health said “Not being able to offer potential recruits an incentive like loan repayment severely handicaps our ability to attract providers from outside the state.”

The Medical Malpractice Reinsurance Program (MMRP) is also a key program to keep our providers in rural Oregon. Passed by the 2003 Legislature, MMRP was designed to help offset the cost of malpractice insurance. Malpractice costs are higher in Oregon than many states and must be considered when a provider is thinking of starting a practice or continuing to stay in a practice. The current program is set to expire on December 31, 2011. “Without continued support for this program or a change in our malpractice laws, we will lose many of our current rural providers,” says Ekblad. “We understand the financial situation that underlies the 2011 legislative session, but driving away rural providers, who are often the primary economic generators in their communities, just does not make sense.”

The ORHA is reviewing health care workforce proposals being developed by the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians. These proposals attempt to address the larger issues of primary care in rural Oregon. The OAFP proposals fall into the areas of:

  • Recruitment:
    • Loan Repayment
    • GME — Graduate Medical Education
    • Scholarships for Rural Scholars
  • Retention
    • Malpractice Premium Subsidy for Rural Providers
    • Initiative for the Transformation of Primary Care
  • Payment Reform
    • Primary Home Payment
    • New Primary Care Payment Codes

“This year’s summit is the continuation of a long conversation about the health care needs of rural Oregon,” says Kerry Gonzales, OAFP Executive Director. “We will continue to work with interested parties to make our case next session. And we really want to hear from more people in rural Oregon about how we can work together to make this happen.”

Presentations and handouts from the Summit can be found on the ORHA website.

Oregon Health information Exchange — Health Information Technology Oversight Committee seeks public input

On June 17 the Health Information Technology Oversight Committee (HITOC) released theHealth Information Exchange: A Strategic Plan for Oregon - Draft for public review and input. Input will be gathered at six public meetings around the State, and through e-mail.

This process began on June 17 at the Health Information Technology Oversight Council (HITOC) meeting and will run through July 14. If you have comments and cannot make a meeting or the webinar, you can submit them via e-mail to . Comments are being taken through July 14, 2010.

The HIE Strategic Plan is the result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In September 2009, the Federal Government, through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, offered (ARRA) funds to assist with the development of state Health Information Exchanges (HIE). . The goal of the HIE is to “facilitate access to and retrieval of clinical data to provide safer, more timely, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered care. HIE will provide the capability to electronically move clinical information among disparate health care information systems while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged.

Oregon applied for and received $8.58M to plan and implement activities for statewide HIE. The work centers on the Oregon Health Authority's vision of Healthy Oregonians and three key goals: Improved Patient Experience, Improved Population Health, and Affordable Care.

The Strategic Health Information Exchange Plan (SHIEP) was released on June 17, 2010 for public review and input. The plan is a phased approach to statewide HIE so that efforts can be planned, timed, implemented, evaluated and refined as needed.

The SHIEP, developed by stakeholders and a planning team, includes:

  • A phased approach to planning and implementation of HIE;
  • State government in a role of facilitation, coordination and communication;
  • Adherence to federal standards and certifications as they evolve;
  • Development of Oregon-specific standards, certifications and accountabilities;
  • Collaboration and support of HIE efforts through local Health Information Organizations.

The current health care market is ever changing. These changes include regulatory change, relative newness of markets, technology maturity, systemic challenges, and economic and cultural considerations. To help meet that ever changing environment, the plan calls for a phased implementation.

The final report will be submitted to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in late August.

If you are able to attend one of the remaining meeting, please RSVP to Joan Lockwood (, or 503-373-7859) to let them know which meeting you plan to attend. It will greatly assist their planning efforts for these important events.

Here is the schedule of meetings across the state:

  • Tues, July 13, 2010
    8:30 - 10:30 am
    Bay Area Hospital, Myrtle Room
    1775 Thompson Rd
    Coos Bay, OR 97420
  • Tues, July 13, 2010
    3:00 - 5 pm
    Cow Creek Tribal Government Offices
    Conference Room
    2371 NE Stephens St
    Roseburg OR 97470
  • Wed, July 14, 2010
    1:00 - 3:00 pm
    St Charles Medical Center, room TBA
    2500 NE Neff Rd
    Bend OR 97701

Beware: Health Reform Insurance Scams

The Oregon Insurance Division Issues Warning to Consumers

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services is asking consumers to report any attempts by salespeople to use federal health care reform to pressure them into buying insurance.

National reports indicate that fraudulent sales representatives are going door-to-door claiming to be with the federal government and peddling phony policies. There are also reports of licensed agents telling people they need to enroll quickly in a policy because of a non-existent “limited enrollment” period.

Oregon law prohibits agents from using deception to sell insurance, and the federal government closely regulates marketing to people in Medicare. Agents, for example, are prohibited from making unsolicited phone calls or visits to people to market Medicare.

To report any improper sales tactics, call the department’s Insurance Division consumer advocates: 1-888-877-4894 or 503-947-7984 in the Salem area. “There is no need for you to change policies because of federal health reform,” said Teresa Miller, Insurance Division administrator. “It is important for us to know if Oregonians encounter anyone trying to use health reform to sell insurance, so we can stop dishonest individuals from preying on consumers.”

The Insurance Division will be providing detailed information on its Web site about health care reform and what it means to Oregonians. You can find an initial fact sheet discussing some of the protections that start in September 2010 online.

Meanwhile, consumers should beware of policies that advertise themselves as necessary because of health insurance reform. Here are a few key ways to guard against scams:

  • Be wary if someone shows up at your home or calls you and claims to be with the federal government. Medicare representatives do not visit your home or call you unless you request information.
  • In some states, fraudulent salespeople are attempting to sell a non-existent product called an “ObamaCare Insurance Policy.” There is no such thing. Health insurance policies are issued by insurance companies, not through legislation.
  • Do not give out personal information (bank account or Social Security numbers) to strangers.
  • Always verify that an insurance agent and company are licensed by the Oregon Insurance Division. The division’s advocates can help you with this information (1-888-877-4894), or you can use the search feature of the division’s Web site.

20,000 Oregonians enroll in Oregon POLST Registry

The new Oregon Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Registry, which is operated by the OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine through a contract from the state of Oregon, went "live" statewide Dec. 3, 2009. Although having a POLST form is voluntary, state regulations now mandate that a health care professional who signs a POLST form send it to the new Registry unless the patient opts out. So far, about 20,000 Oregonians have made their information available to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and physicians.

"This is a good outcome," said Terri Schmidt, MD, Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Director, Oregon POLST Registry. "In my decades as an emergency medicine physician, I know how quickly an unexpected event can become a medical tragedy for someone with a long-standing illness. The Registry is a tool that ensures professionals have rapid access to a patient's wishes."

The original bright pink POLST document remains the primary method of indicating one's preferences for emergency care. At OHSU, a copy is included in a patient's electronic health record (EHR), but not all systems and providers use an EHR, or the same EHR. Furthermore, the paper POLST form frequently is not immediately available to EMS personnel in a time of crisis. Now, copies of POLST forms are entered into a secure electronic database (the Registry) that allows EMS responders to call a phone number and – within about 80 seconds – determine whether the patient has a POLST form on record.

"The POLST Program came about as a way of ensuring that people with advanced illness or frailty receive the treatments they want and avoid those they do not want," said Susan Tolle, MD, Cornelia Hayes Stevens Chair, Professor, Department of Medicine, and Director, OHSU Center for Ethics in Health Care. "The Registry provides a backup system for quickly relaying a patient's wishes as medical orders to the health care professionals who need it, when they need it."

As of May 31, there are 17,626 active, searchable forms; 2,040 archived forms; and 2,437 forms that are not Registry-ready, meaning there is missing or illegible information. Steps to further enhance the POLST Registry will be taken later this summer, when Dr. Schmidt and her colleagues begin contacting EMS providers and patients or the patients' family members who have used the Registry to get feedback on their experience.

OHSU's Center for Ethics provides education about POLST to patients and health care professionals, and has distributed over one million forms in Oregon since 1995. However, there has been no way to track the number of completed forms nor has there been a centralized repository for them. Now, the Registry provides an unprecedented opportunity for leaders of the program. "For the first time, we will know how many POLST forms are out there," said Dr. Schmidt. "We'll know what choices Oregonians are making."

The POLST hotline for EMS is staffed 24/7 by the OHSU Emergency Communication Center in the Department of Emergency Medicine. The Registry has received a total of 151 calls, with a match rate of about 14 percent. Dr. Schmidt said she expects the match rate to increase as the Registry receives more entries.

Thirty-three states have either implemented or are developing a POLST program similar to the model pioneered in Oregon. "The POLST program, developed at the Center for Ethics at OHSU, is a model for the nation," said Dean Richardson. "It allows individuals to make choices about care they receive in advance of an emergency, when those decisions can be carefully and completely thought through."

OHSU School of Medicine June Newsletter

Out and About

Do you have something you want to share about your health care facility? Staff or provider? Community? Let us help you get the work out—e-mail us at

The Crook County CHIP

The Crook County CHIP has received a $10,000 grant from General Mills Foundation’s Champions for Health Kids Program! This grant will fund the construction of a greenhouse at one elementary school, help continue our collaboration with OSU Extension Service and their nutrition education in the elementary schools, and encourage kids to be more active through gardening. It helps advance the committee's goal to address childhood obesity. They were one of 50 grants selected from 1,100 applications! “Pretty cool, huh?”

OHN

Rural and urban health care providers team up with Oregon Health Network to build Oregon’s first telehealth network.

Seven health care organizations at 12 sites have each received a funding commitment letter from the Federal Communications Commission confirming each will receive money to fund up to 85 percent of costs to build out or grow their respective broadband infrastructure to support telemedicine and telehealth applications.

These sites are:

  • St. Charles Health System, Bend, Redmond and Prineville
  • Siletz Tribal Health Clinics, Siletz
  • Bay Area Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center, Coos Bay
  • Umpqua Community Health Centers: Drain, Glide, Myrtle Creek, Roseburg High School and Roseburg Health Center
  • Clackamas Community College’s Harmony Campus, Clackamas
  • Outside In Medical Clinic, Portland

The Oregon Health Network will fund the remaining 15 percent cost of broadband construction and installation as part of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP).

OHWI

OHWI (The Oregon Health Workforce Institute) has enhanced the Healthcare Careers' section of its website which is aimed at high school students and their families, displaced and incumbent workers, and career seekers. Updates include:

  • Eight additional profiles of healthcare occupations in demand, all of which have programs in Oregon’s Community Colleges. Profiles include information on educational programs, earnings, licensure and employment outlook. A total of 27 healthcare occupations in demand are now profiled on the OHWI website to assist you in your career search!
  • A section on certificate training in one year or less: Learn about short-term training possibilities in healthcare at Oregon’s Community Colleges to start or enhance your career.
  • Distance education programs: Explore several Community College healthcare programs where the majority or all of the courses are delivered online.
  • An updated financial aid section: whether you are still in school or thinking about returning, there may be support for you.

AHEC

Please join us in a warm welcome to our newest AHEC Executive Director, Amy Dunkak. Amy has been hired by the Northeast Oregon AHEC Board of Directors and assumed her newest role in June just in time to attend her first National AHEC Organization Conference held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Amy is a native of the Northwest and is a graduate of City University in Bellevue, Washington with a degree in Marketing. She appreciates the challenges of rural health care and the positive impact that NEOAHEC has had on economic development. Amy has over fifteen years of experience in both business and health care sectors. She comes to NEOAHEC from her previous position as the Executive Director of Communications and Business Development for the St. Elizabeth Health Services Foundation in Baker City, OR. We look forward to many great years of collaboration with Amy!

You may contact Amy at:


(541) 962-3423 (office)
(541) 519-1894 (cell)

Federal Rural Health News

Get the latest updates by going to our Policy Updates page.

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Website is now available on CMS.gov!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) has launched the official website for the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. This website provides the most up-to-date, detailed information about the EHR incentive programs.

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

Bookmark this linked page to learn about who is eligible for the programs, how to register, meaningful use, upcoming EHR training and events, and much more!

PECOS Enrollment Required for Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program One More reason to Establish Your Enrollment in PECOS

Information Specific to Medicare Physicians

The Recovery Act of 2009 established CMS programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. These EHR incentive programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as they demonstrate adoption, implementation, upgrading, or meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

While more detail on the EHR incentive program is forthcoming in the impending final rule, CMS is announcing that Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) records will be used to verify Medicare enrollment prior to making Medicare EHR incentive payments. Your enrollment information must be in PECOS, so act now if you do not have an enrollment record in this system.

Enrolled in Medicare before November 2003?

If you are a physician who enrolled in Medicare before November 2003 AND have not updated your Medicare enrollment information since then, you do NOT have an enrollment record in PECOS. Act now to establish your enrollment record in PECOS. For instructions, visit CMS's website, click on “Tips to Facilitate the Medicare Enrollment Process” under “Downloads.”

If you enrolled in Medicare after November 2003, or if you enrolled before November 2003 and have updated your Medicare enrollment information since November 2003, no further action is required.

If you are unsure, here are ways to verify that you have an enrollment record in PECOS:

  • Check the Ordering Referring Report on the CMS website. If you are on that report, you have a current enrollment record in PECOS. Go to CMS's website, click on “Ordering Referring Report” on the left.
  • Use Internet-based PECOS to look for your PECOS enrollment record. (You will need to first set up your access to Internet-based PECOS.) If no record is displayed, you do not have an enrollment record in PECOS. Go to CMS's website, click on “Internet-based PECOS” on the left, for information on using Internet-based PECOS.
  • Contact your designated Medicare enrollment contractor and ask if you have an enrollment record in PECOS. Go to CMS's website, click on “Medicare Fee-For-Service Contact Information” under “Downloads.”

Note: If you have submitted an enrollment application within the last 90 days, and your enrollment application has been accepted for processing by the carrier or A/B MAC, you need not take any additional actions based on this listserv message.

NOTE for physicians who reassign all their Medicare benefits to a group/clinic: If you reassign all of your Medicare benefits to a group/clinic, the group/clinic must have an enrollment record in PECOS in order for you to enroll using Internet-based PECOS. You should check with the officials of the group/clinic or with your designated Medicare enrollment contractor if you are not sure if the group/clinic has an enrollment record in PECOS. If the group/clinic does not have an enrollment record in PECOS, you will not be able to use Internet-based PECOS to submit your enrollment application to Medicare. You will need to submit a paper enrollment application (CMS-855).

The Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive programs are designed to support providers in this period of Health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help our nation to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care. More information on Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive programs can be found on the CMS website.

Information Specific to Medicare Hospitals & Critical Access Hospitals

The Recovery Act of 2009 established CMS programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. These EHR incentive programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as they demonstrate adoption, implementation, upgrading, or meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

While more detail on the EHR incentive program is forthcoming in the impending final rule, CMS is announcing that Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) records will be used to verify Medicare enrollment prior to making Medicare EHR incentive payments. Your hospital’s enrollment information must be in PECOS, so act now if your hospital does not have an enrollment record in this system.

Enrolled in Medicare before November 2003?

Medicare hospitals and critical access hospitals which enrolled in Medicare before November 2003 AND have not updated Medicare enrollment information since then, do NOT have an enrollment record in PECOS. Act now to establish an enrollment record in PECOS. For instructions, go to CMS's website, click on “Tips to Facilitate the Medicare Enrollment Process” under “Downloads.”

If your hospital enrolled in Medicare after November 2003, or enrolled before November 2003 and has updated its Medicare enrollment information since November 2003, no further action is required.

If you are unsure, here are ways to verify that your hospital has an enrollment record in PECOS:

  • Use Internet-based PECOS to look for your hospital’s PECOS enrollment record. (You will need to first set up your access to Internet-based PECOS.) If no record is displayed, your hospital does not have an enrollment record in PECOS. Go to CMS's website, click on “Internet-based PECOS” on the left, for information on using Internet-based PECOS.
  • Contact your designated Medicare enrollment contractor and ask if your hospital has an enrollment record in PECOS. Go to CMS's website, click on “Medicare Fee-For-Service Contact Information” under “Downloads.”
  • Note: If you have submitted an enrollment application within the last 90 days, and your enrollment application has been accepted for processing by the fiscal intermediary or A/B MAC, you need not take any additional actions based on this listserv message.

    The Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive programs are designed to support providers in this period of Health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help our nation to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care. More information on Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive programs can be found on the CMS website.

ONC Issues Final Rule to Establish the Temporary Certification Program for EHR Technology

On June 18, 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule to establish the temporary certification program for electronic health record (EHR) technology. Click on the following link to see the press release or link to the Final Rule on display.

HHS releases national plan to improve health

On May 27 the United States Department of Health and Human Services released The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy aimed at making health information and services easier to understand and use. The plan calls for improving the jargon-filled language, dense writing, and complex explanations that often fill patient handouts, medical forms, health web sites, and recommendations to the public. Click here to learn more.

Recent News from RAC

President Obama Announces Rural Broadband Projects to Bring Jobs and Economic Opportunity to Rural Communities and Native American Tribal Lands
Jul 2, 2010 — Today President Obama, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Commerce Secretary Locke announced investment in sixty-six new Recovery Act broadband projects nationwide, 37 in rural America that, according to the grantees, will not only directly create over 5,000 jobs up front, but also help spur economic development in some of the nation's hardest-hit communities, creating jobs for years to come.

Health Law Provisions Kicking In; States Prepare for High-Risk Insurance Pool Implementation
Jun 30, 2010 — Kaiser Health News offers a variety of articles discussing how high-risk pools implementation is scheduled to open Thursday and how in the next three months, several provisions will take effect, including expanded young adult coverage, tax credits for small businesses, a ban on denying people with pre-existing conditions from health coverage and $250 rebates for seniors in the so-called Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole."  

CMS to Expand Medicare Preventive Services and Improve Access to Primary Care in 2011
Jun 28, 2010 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week issued a proposed rule that would implement key provisions in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that expand preventive services for Medicare beneficiaries, improve payments for primary care services, and promote access to health care services in rural areas. 

House Passes 6-Month Medicare 'Doc Fix,' Obama to Sign Bill
Jun 25, 2010 — Kaiser Health News reports that last night, the House approved, 417-1, a Senate bill staving off a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, but some lawmakers grumbled the bill doesn't go far enough.  

Overcoming Rural Health Care Barriers through Innovative Wireless Health Technologies
Jun 24, 2010 — Brookings Institution article reports that in testimony before the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs, Darrell West argues that wireless health technologies can provide quality and accessible care to rural veterans. 

Reform Law Gives Major Boost to Community Health Centers, Medical Homes
Jun 21, 2010 — Kaiser Health News offers a series of articles discussing how health-care legislation signed into law in March provides a major boost to community health centers, and how positive results were achieved in quality of care, chronic disease care and prevention outcomes using the patient-centered medical home model of care.  

AMA Delegates Adopt Measures to Promote Primary Care, Rural Practice
Jun 17, 2010 — AAFP News reports that the American Medical Association (AMA) will begin promoting training in the patient-centered medical home as a way to encourage medical students and residents to choose a career in primary care, and will also start encouraging medical schools and residency programs to develop strategies to attract physicians to practice in rural and other underserved areas.  

CMS Proposes Easier Telemedicine Credentialing Processes for Hospitals
Jun 17, 2010 — AAFP News reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed rules that set out new credentialing and privileging processes for physicians and other health care professionals who provide telemedicine services.  

RAC Recent News

Funding Opportunities from RAC

Partnership for Oral Health Leadership Cooperative Agreement
Application deadline: Jul 14, 2010
Grants to support national membership organization efforts focused on maternal and child oral health to assist their members to improve public oral health programs for women and children and the delivery of maternal and child oral health care services.

Do Something Change for Children Grants
Application deadline: Jul 15, 2010
Grants to individuals who are taking action in their communities across the U.S. and Canada. 

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for Communities
Application deadline: Jul 21, 2010
Funds for cooperative agreements to advance evidence- and practice-based programs and culturally based community practices to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.  

Projects of National Significance: Family Support and Community Access Demonstration Projects
Letter of Intent (Optional): Jul 19, 2010
Application deadline: Aug 2, 2010
Funding to provide an opportunity for ADD to support innovative family support demonstration projects that rely on collaborative efforts and community-based solutions to reach unserved and underserved families.

Health Profession Opportunity Grants for Tribes, Tribal Organizations or Tribal College or University
Application deadline: Aug 5, 2010
Funding for demonstration projects that support the establishment and maintenance of training, education, and career advancement programs to address health care professions workforce needs. 

2011 Healthy Vision Community Awards Program
Application deadline: Aug 30, 2010
Funding for health education activities that support healthy vision and the Healthy Vision 2010 objectives.  

Rural Health Fellows Program
Application deadline: Aug 31, 2010
A year-long, intensive program that will develop leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America.  

Medicare Incentive Payments in Health Professional Shortage Areas and Physician Scarcity Areas
Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Medicare bonus payments to physicians in geographic HPSAs and PSAs.  

Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program
Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Loans and loan guarantees for the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment for broadband service in eligible rural communities. 

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Community-based Grants
Application deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
Funding for breast cancer education, screening and treatment projects. 

RAC Funding Opportunities

Research Updates

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A Summary of Provisions Important to Rural Health Care Delivery

This paper provides a consolidated summary of legislative provisions contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) that have particular meaning to rural residents and to the delivery of services in rural areas. Changes from the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 are incorporated. This paper serves as a rural roadmap of the PPACA for use by advocates, analysts, practitioners, and policy makers focused on rural health as they continue the important task of improving the system as it affects rural interests. Included in the paper are rural-relevant highlights of the legislation and detailed tables for each section. 

Contact information: 

Keith J. Mueller, Ph.D.
Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI)
Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Phone: 319-384-5120

Quality of Care for Acute Myocardial Infarction: Are the Gaps Between Rural and Urban Hospitals Closing? (Final Report) 

Learn More

Quality of Care for Acute Myocardial Infarction: Are the Gaps Between Rural and Urban Hospitals Closing? (Policy Brief) 

Many simple, evidence-based guidelines that improve acute myocardial infarction care outcomes are inadequately implemented in both rural and urban hospitals. Although performance on acute myocardial infarction quality measures improved during the interval between the mid-1990s and 2000-2001, patients seen in small and isolated small rural area hospitals remained least likely to receive a number of recommended treatments. Strategies to ensure that patients receive evidence-based medications for acute myocardial infarction are needed, particularly when they are discharged from small and isolated rural hospital settings.  

Learn More

Baldwin LM, Chan L, Andrilla CH, Huff ED, Hart LG. Quality of care for myocardial infarction in rural and urban hospitals. J Rural Health. Winter 2010;26(1):51-57.  

Contact information: 

Laura-Mae Baldwin, MD, MPH
WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 206-685-4799

Events

Upcoming CME webinar – Recognizing and responding to suicide risk in primary care

The American Association of Suicidology, the expert in suicide prevention training for health care professionals, is pleased to announce 4 webinar presentations of Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk in Primary Care. This 90-minute program, utilizing clinical video vignettes, provides the learner with an interactive approach to recognizing the signs of depression and determining suicide risk. But it's more than just a webinar. You will come away with tools and resources you can take back to your practice to put into use immediately. For more information and to register, please visit www.suicidology.org or e-mail

CMS Rural Open Door Forum – July 20 

The next Rural Health Open Door Forum is scheduled for July 20 at 2 p.m. ET. The call allows rural health facilities and practitioners to question CMS directly on reimbursement questions. Click here for participation instructions

More ORH Events