NRHA points to doc shortage aid; 4 free webinars; HIT benefits

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In this issue:

NRHA in The Washington Post: Osteopathic doctors may help alleviate rural doc shortage
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The national shortfall of family doctors, pediatricians and other generalists is expected to reach 52,000 by 2025. And only 9 percent of physicians practice in rural areas, where 20 percent of the U.S. population lives. “That’s where osteopaths have been largely helpful — in primary care and especially for those in need,” said NRHA’s Brock Slabach. And their footprint appears to be growing. More

Explore Louisville with colleagues from across the country
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NRHA’s 36th Annual Rural Health Conference, the nation’s largest gathering of rural health professionals, comes May 7-10 on the heels of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. There are plenty of opportunities to turn your trip into a vacation and explore renowned caves and caverns, the history behind the iconic Louisville Slugger and the life of hometown hero Muhammad Ali. Register now to save $100. More

NRHA sets its sights on the world
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NRHA has established the association’s International Rural Health Task Force to help lay groundwork for enhancing members’ expertise and experience. As issues in access to care parallel similar issues in other rural parts of the world, NRHA is looking to provide further leadership on rural health issues by fostering international connections in rural health and opportunities for members with international expertise and interests. More

NRHA’s Daily Yonder column: Sequestration, Medicaid and mortality
The Daily Yonder    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medicare cuts from sequestration will cost rural communities 12,000 health care jobs. But even bigger problems await rural residents in states that don’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Since rural areas have a disproportionate share of elderly and poor people, Medicaid expansion would have a more significant impact in saving lives and improving economic conditions for rural, writes NRHA’s Brock Slabach. More

HRSA webinar: HIT and quality for safety net providers
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This webinar titled “Using Clinical Decision Support in Safety Net Provider Settings” explores how safety net providers can implement and use a clinical decision support (CDS) system at 2 p.m. EST March 22. A CDS complements an electronic health record, helping to ensure all patients in a practice receive appropriate and timely preventive services and the right test, the right medication and the right treatment. Meaningful use requires that each clinician implement one CDS rule relevant to their specialty or clinical priority along with the capability to track compliance with the rule.More

Free webinar: Health literacy needs and barriers of rural patients
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Julie Halverson, University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center assistant researcher, will present a webinar titled “Health Literacy and Rural Residence: Identifying and Addressing Needs” at noon CST March 28. The webinar will identify health literacy needs and barriers among a sample of rural cancer patients, examine how cultural values influence help-seeking and identify resources that address health literacy needs and barriers. More

ONC releases materials on CAHs, EHR and health IT benefits
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In an effort to support better care coordination and access to patient information in rural America, HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator recently released content specific to critical access hospitals and other small hospitals, the benefits and implementation of electronic health records, as well as meaningful use incentives. More

National Health Service Corps invites providers to virtual job fair
New Mexico Department of Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Primary care medical, dental and mental and behavioral health providers in your state are being invited to register and participate in the NHSC Virtual Job Fair from 7-10 p.m. EST March 19. It makes finding job opportunities easy and convenient for clinicians and students with busy schedules who are interested in serving at Indian Health Service centers and Tribal clinics. Primary care providers from all over the country are welcome to participate. More

NRHA Partners offer free webinars on ICD-10 implementation and patient safety
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Contexo Media will present “Understanding and Preparing for ICD-10-CM/PCS” at noon CST March 20 to guide you through the basics of ICD-10-CM and PCS by clarifying the different code sets and defining project management requirements. “Safety — A Call to Action” will be presented by Verge Solutions to discuss the National Association for Health Care Quality’s patient safety strategies and goals at noon CST March 21. More

ONC offers free vouchers for health IT professional examinations
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HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator is offering free vouchers for health IT professionals to take one or more of the health IT professional exams. Exams will cover six key areas and must be taken by April 1. As of February, more 17,000 individuals in rural communities have taken part in the training offered through the program. More

Top 100 CAHs named
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iVantage Health Analytics’ 2013 “Benchmark Performance for Critical Access Hospitals” study is an extension of the industry’s first rural hospital ratings program developed by this NRHA Corporate Partner. See which hospitals made the company’s list. More

NRHA advocacy blog: Senate appropriations committee releases continuing resolution
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The Senate Appropriations Committee recently released its draft continuing resolution which would fund the government for the remaining six months of fiscal year 2013, operating under the caps and sequestration established in the budget control act. NRHA continues to advocate on behalf of all rural health programs. More

Fiscal cliff health care policy fix: Good for rural patients, taxpayers
Hawaii Reporter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rarely do federal lawmakers come upon a policy that can expand access to critical health care services and simultaneously save taxpayers money. More

HHS takes ‘time out’ on meaningful use stage 3 rule-making
AAFP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
HHS is effectively taking a “time out” in its rule-making process to ponder the best way to move forward with stage three of electronic health record meaningful use objectives intended to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care. More

Study: Patients balk at considering cost in medical decision-making
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In recent years, consumers increasingly have been encouraged to factor cost into their medical decisions — by, for example, avoiding unnecessary tests, buying generic drugs and reducing visits to the emergency room. The hope is that a patient better educated and more engaged in his or her health decisions will choose options that will both promote better health and decrease costs. More

Casting call for new TV show focusing on rural health care providers
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A New York City-based television production company is developing a new television series about rural physicians, nurses or midwives for a major cable network. The show will focus primarily on health care professionals who work with women and babies. Dynamic medical workers who spend a large portion of their time visiting their patients outside a typical office setting are sought in a casting call for this new show. More

How to track, attack a superbug
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently held a press conference to announce the need to “sound an alarm” on the advance of CRE, a highly drug-resistant bacteria. CRE and other superbugs are found mostly in hospitals and long-term care facilities. More

Solar power brings health care to rural areas
Gadget    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At the 2013 Samsung Africa Forum, Samsung Electronics Africa launched its Solar Powered Health Centre model in Cape Town, South Africa, marking the start of a large-scale medical initiative on the continent. The mobile centers are built for use in remote rural areas, and intended to eliminate the economic and geographic barriers that prevent people across Africa from obtaining quality medical treatment. More

Apply now for scholarships through NURSE Corps
Health Resource and Services Administration    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2013 NURSE Corps Scholarship Program — formerly known as the Nursing Scholarship Program — application cycle is now open. Through their scholarship and loan repayment programs, NURSE Corps is empowering and enabling nurses to follow their passion for helping and healing others. The deadline to apply is 7:30 p.m. EST May 2. More

National Nutrition Month sheds light on childhood obesity
New Mexico Department of Health    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The New Mexico Department of Health has released “The Weight of Our Children: New Mexico Childhood Obesity 2012 Update” to coincide with National Nutrition Month. The fact sheet reflects data collected in an effort to understand and address the problem of childhood obesity. Data was analyzed by grade, gender and ethnicity, and results were weighted to represent the kindergarten and third grade public school populations in New Mexico. More

Health care cuts from vaccinations to research
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sequestration spares Medicaid and almost all of Medicare, but automatic cuts to other federal health care programs will make it more difficult for low-income Americans to get maternal and infant care, vaccinate their children and receive treatment for mental illness. More

ONC: Hospitals make strides to show meaningful use
InformationWeek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals are making good progress acquiring and implementing basic electronic health record systems that are capable of showing meaningful use, but only a small minority has comprehensive EHRs, according to a pair of new reports from the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT. More

A bump in the road to accountable care?
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pioneer accountable care organizations have long been the shining stars of the Affordable Care Act’s strategy to rein in the country’s out-of-control spending on health care. The 32 organizations are part of a Medicare pilot project called for in the health law that could revolutionize the health system by paying doctors and hospitals for quality of service rather than the volume of services. Pioneers would be offered a bonus for giving patients high-quality care at a reduced cost. If they failed to hit certain quality targets or did not manage to reduce the cost of care, they would be dinged accordingly. More

TRENDING ARTICLES Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

What do sequestration, Medicaid and mortality have in common? (NRHA)
NRHA blog: Does DC recognize repercussions of rural cuts? (NRHA)
Rural health care workforce shortages defy easy solutions (HealthLeaders Media)
Rural Health Clinic and Critical Access Hospital Conferences (NRHA)
The country doctor is in (Parade)

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