August 18-20, 2020

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More Rural Health Updates and Events

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News At-A-Glance

The Rural Health Information Hub provides a collection of Rural-Specific Considerations for COVID-19 Vaccine. 

Mobilizing Health Care Workforce via Telehealth features up-to-date information on emergency regulation and licensing by state as well as a provider portal to connect volunteer health care professionals to state agencies and health care entities.

Rural hospitals have higher percentages of patients with COVID-19. Learn more here.

The Trump Administration will purchase an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. Read the fact sheet on Operation Warp Speed.

The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for individuals 16 years of age and older caused by SARS-CoV-2. Read the FDA’s press release here. Read the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccine Providers) here.

CMS released the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, prioritizing CMS’ investment in primary care and chronic disease management by increasing payments to physicians and other practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions. Read the full release here.

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, APHA, Research!America and leading public health organizations take time to recognize public health professionals who work tirelessly every day to protect the health of all people and all communities. Read more and get involved here.

The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Rural Medicine Program seeks emergency volunteers for Indian Health Service sites within the Great Plains Area. MGH anticipates that travel expenses will be eligible for reimbursement. Direct questions to

A new CMS final rule will give state Medicaid agencies greater flexibility to tailor their managed care programs to fit their specific populations. Read more.

CMS removes administrative barriers to eliminate potential delays to patient access to a lifesaving vaccine. Read more about the rule here.

Making It Work: Models of Success in Rural Maternity Care. The goal of this case series is to describe key factors that underlie three successful models of rural maternity care and to inform communities, clinicians, and hospitals that wish to keep obstetric services available locally. Download the publication here.

The Trump administration finalized a rule requiring health insurers to disclose price and cost-sharing information. Read a CMS fact sheet on the final rule.

The USDA is investing $3 million to construct a healthcare clinic in Willard, MO. Read the release here.

New telehealth platform mobilizes health care during COVID-19.

Both the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have created resource lists of tools and trainings.

Funding Guide: PPE and Financial Resources for Specialized Transportation Providers (PDF)

Missouri Nurses Foundation’s Early Career Nurse Innovator Award nominations now open. Learn more.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Rural Action Plan

COVID-19 Resources & Helpful Links

The Department of Mental Health’s Show Me Hope program provides a free, confidential, multilingual helpline available 24/7 for anyone experiencing emotional difficulties due to the pandemic.  All Missourians are eligible to use it, and it connects individuals to the DMH system of care.  The number is 800-985-5900.

The National Infection Control Strengthening Initiative, funded through the CDC, provides biweekly webinars on varied topics, all working towards improving practices in infection control. Webinars occur every other Tuesday at 12 p.m. CST via Zoom. See a schedule of upcoming webinars here.

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting isolation guidelines can increase mental health issues and thoughts of suicide, and increased substance use, especially for addicts. Find more information on treatment, services, and support here.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is urging nursing home staff, residents and visitors to follow established guidelines for visitation and adherence to the core principles of infection prevention. Read the press release.

The CDC confirmed that COVID-19 cases and deaths are highest in small cities and rural communities, a trend underscored by the ongoing rural hospital closure crisis and rural communities being ill-equipped to deal with surges. Read more.

CMS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing

Check out this site and these informative FAQ tools:

American Heart Association issues this Rural Health Advisory/Call-to-Action:

Addiction Resources shares how to treat substance abuse during a pandemic: Learn more

A Guide to Medicare Benefits –

New Report Identifies Behavioral Health Crisis In Agriculture in Missouri – High Incidence of Suicides Among Farmers and Ranchers. Read report.

How Will Medicaid Block Grants Impact Missouri? Find out.

Your Community Cares Rural Health Coalition Recently released ‘Not My Child’ PSA: Watch

A Blueprint for Improving Care for Patients with Mental Health Conditions and Substance Use Disorders who Present to the Emergency Department. Learn more.

Rural Health Research Gateway archived webinars. Check them out here.

In Missouri, the top 10 counties for heart disease mortality are rural counties. Read more.

FCC launches $20 billion digital fund. Learn more.

Government phases out DUNS number. Learn more.

Rural Health Discussion on The Randy Tobler Show – Listen here and learn more

Helpful Resources from National Volunteer Transportation Center

County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Selects New CEO

Opioids & The Workforce Conference (Your Community Cares Rural Health Coalition) – watch video

ReImagine Rural Health 2020Gov. Mike Parson Delivers Video Address

Medicaid Expansion – Kaiser Health News (KHN)

Why Doctors Should Consider Giving Patients a Ride – Politico Magazine

Medical Transportation Service is a Lifesaver for Rural Missourians – The Rural Monitor

Health-Related Consequences for Not Having Transportation – RHI Hub


Upcoming Events & Funding Opportunities

ONGOING: The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a certified Community Development Financial Institution providing ongoing short-term loans to local nonprofits, for-profits, and government entities that are working to develop affordable housing for low-income, rural communities. Learn more and submit a loan inquiry here.

MATRC: Answering Questions About Telehealth and Telemental Health – Second and Fourth Fridays at 12:00 pm ET.  The Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) holds a live, one-hour event to answer questions about the basics. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). Learn more.

NIH Research to Improve Health Disparities encourages innovative health services research that can directly and demonstrably contribute to the improvement of minority health and/or the reduction of health disparities at the health care system-level as well as within clinical settings. Learn more and apply.

Rural Maternal and Obstetric Management Strategies (RMOMS) will run until August 2023 to improve maternal care in rural communities. Learn more.

The Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention (P4) Challenge will award up to $1,000,000 in cash prizes to incentivize innovations in pediatric primary care to increase well-child visits and immunizations within primary care settings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open Dec. 8, 2020 – Mar. 15, 2021. Learn more and apply here.

Register here for Rural Transit Planning in the Time of COVID-19 — January 14 at 2 pm ET. The National Rural Transit Assistance Program aims to help rural and tribal transit agencies with planning efforts through three phases during and after the pandemic.

Webinar Series on Telehealth Policy and COVID-19 – Friday, January 15 at 2:00 pm ET. This series is designed to tackle pressing telehealth policy challenges faced by Medicaid programs and offer medical directors, administrators, and program staff a chance to share lessons learned. Webinars will take place every Friday over a four-week period during Winter, Spring, and Fall 2021 from 2:00 – 3:30pm ET.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support research projects that test the effectiveness of multi-level interventions to prevent HIV in one or more geographic areas with a high rate of new infections. Learn more and apply by January 15.

The National Rural Health Resource Center provides technical assistance to small rural hospitals and rural health clinics to strengthen their foundation in key elements for transitioning to value-based care. Learn more and apply by January 16.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will make 92 awards with total funding of $44.2 million to increase the supply and distribution of behavioral health professionals. Learn more and apply by January 21.

The National Environmental Health Association provides credentials, training, and resources for professionals in the field that promotes a healthful environment. The organization also seeks public health departments to serve as host sites. The application deadline for both internship and site hosting is January 22.

HRSA Office of Women’s Health created a toolkit which provides resources and information to bolster care coordination services for women with opioid use disorder. A webinar introducing this toolkit and how to navigate it will be held on January 28. For questions or comments related to the toolkit, please contact

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will invest $500 million in up to 125 grants for local-level preparation projects that lessen the impact of future natural disasters.  Funding of $20 million is specifically set aside for resilient infrastructure projects for Tribal communities. Apply by January 29.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) offers a one-month clinical shadowing program to minority medical students who have an interest in substance abuse treatment and prevention services. Learn more and apply by January 31.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) will make eight awards with a total investment of $2 million to increase the number of older adults and adults with disabilities who participate in self-management education for chronic disease. Learn more and apply by February 2.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) places emphasis on women, economically-disadvantaged populations, and underrepresented or rural areas for this program to improve the role of small businesses in Federal research and development. Learn more and apply by February 2.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will invest $2.4 million in enhanced mental health services for college students, including those at risk for suicide, depression, and substance use disorders. Learn more and apply by February 5.

The National Rural Health Association’s 32nd Annual Rural Health Policy Institute will be held February 9-11th, 2021, via NRHA’s virtual platform. Register and find more information about the event here.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for the Advanced Nursing Education – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ANE-SANE) Program which will increase access to physical and mental health care treatment for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Apply by February 17, 2021.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will make 60 awards with total funding of $8 million to increase access to HIV primary health care services for low-income, uninsured, and underserved people with HIV. Learn more and apply by February 19.

The National Cancer Institute will provide funding to develop, adapt, and test interventions to address risk factors for cancer in rural populations. Learn more and apply by March 15.

Save the Date! Rural Health Workforce Conference – April 22-24, 2021. Courtyard Marriott, Columbia MO. Registration not yet open.

MRHA Get Link’d Conference Returns Summer 2021.

MRHA Partners with Avera eCARE® to Help Rural Hospitals Implement — RFP to be Issued. Five Hospitals to be Selected.


The Nonprofit Relief and Recovery Grant supports Missouri nonprofit organizations in meeting critical and emergent needs resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency and in building organizational capacity for recovery from the current emergency. Learn more.

MU Extension Continuing Medical Education and Physician Lifelong Learning Events. Learn more and register.