The Public Service Commission recently unanimously issued a resolution requesting state law be changed in the 2019 legislative session to allow rural electric cooperatives to provide high-speed internet service. Clarion Ledger has more.
On October 30, the National Rural Healthcare Association, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a resource guide of federal programs that can be used to build rural communities and address substance use disorders. The Rural Resource Guide to Help Communities Address Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse is a one-stop guide for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities. The guide combines resources from every agency that houses programs that can be used to address substance use disorder and rural development. For the press release, click here. In addition to the Rural Resource Guide, USDA recently partnered with NORC on an interactive data tool to help rural communities address Substance Use Disorders. The tool enables users to overlay substance misuse data against socioeconomic, census and other public information. More information is available here.
The Texas A&M University Rural and Community Health Institute recently received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to create a technical advisory center for vulnerable rural hospitals. Hospitals can apply between Oct. 30 and Nov. 30 for assistance. The center plans to select five hospitals from across the country for on-site assistance and 25 hospitals for intensive virtual assistance. For more information, register to attend the Oct. 29 kick-off webinar (https://optimizingruralhealth.org/go-live.html) at 1 p.m. CT.
The Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP) assists eligible hospitals in meeting the costs of implementing data system requirements established under the Medicare Program. It funds technical assistance to assist hospitals in participating in improvements in value and quality to health care. Submit an online application for a SRHT Onsite Consultation Project through October 31, 2018 at https://www.ruralcenter.org/rhi/srht/application. Contact Bethany Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rhonda Barcus at email@example.com or (218) 216-7038.
HHS is pushing providers—particularly those in rural areas—to take advantage of telemedicine to increase access to medication-assisted addiction treatment (MAT). With the Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Administration working together to ease certain restrictions, doctors can now prescribe buprenorphine, one of the most commonly used drugs for MAT, through a virtual platform, when before these clinicians had to be physically present with patients to offer these prescriptions. Read more here.