According to Becker's Hospital Review, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a draft order earlier this month proposing a $171 million increase in funding for the program, highlighting the increasingly critical role broadband plays in providing rural patients ...

FCC votes to raise rural telehealth funding by $171M and more

FCC votes to raise rural telehealth funding by $171M

According to Becker's Hospital Review, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai  released a draft order earlier this month proposing a $171 million increase in funding for the program, highlighting the increasingly critical role broadband plays in providing rural patients with access to healthcare services. The majority of commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of Pai. Read more here.


HRSA Announces Funding to Develop Rural Opioid Response Plans

Eligible organizations can apply through July 30 for up to $200,000 in fiscal year 2018 funding to develop opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery plans for high-risk rural communities, the Health Resources and Services Administration announced. The lead applicant must be part of a group including at least three other partners. The initiative is part of a $130 million multi-year initiative to improve access to and recruitment of new substance use disorder providers; build sustainable treatment resources; increase the use of telehealth; establish cross-sector community partnerships; implement new models of care, including integrated behavioral health; and provide technical assistance. The agency expects to award about 75 grants in FY 2018.


Laird Hospital wins MHA Outstanding Mississippi Small Rural Hospital Award 2018



2018 MHA Outstanding Small Rural Hospital from Mississippi Hospital Assoc on Vimeo.

The Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA)  is proud to announce its 2018 Outstanding Mississippi Small Rural Hospital Award recipient, Laird Hospital in Union. 

Laird Hospital is a 25-bed acute-care hospital that provides a wide range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services. Laird Hospital has a rich heritage as a hospital built by the community. Founded on the vision of Dr. Earl Laird, Sr., the hospital believes in providing compassionate health care services that reach out to those living in Union and the surrounding area.

MHA’s Outstanding Mississippi Small Rural Hospital Award will recognize each year a rural hospital in the state with less than 100 beds that has improved access to health care or has launched innovative programs in their communities.  Three criteria are considered:  

  • What has the hospital done to contribute to rural health in ways that go above and beyond?
  • How have they demonstrated leadership and vision for rural health?  
  • What impact have their efforts had on rural health in their community?

A congratulatory video was created to recognize all of the staff at the hospital for their hard work. 


June 12 AHA Webinar on Rural Emergency Medical Center Act, CAH Issues

On June 12 at 2 p.m. ET, the American Hospital Association will host a special members-only webinar to discuss recently-introduced legislation that would allow existing critical access hospitals and certain small rural hospitals to convert to a new 24/7 Rural Emergency Medical Center designation under Medicare and receive enhanced reimbursement. Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced the AHA-supported legislation on May 7. On the call, AHA staff also will provide an update on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' interpretation of CAH location and distance requirements, which was discussed during the agency's Rural Health Open Forum call on May 17. The AHA seeks information from members to help in its response to CMS and Congress.


FCC Chairman Proposes Funding Increase for Rural Telehealth Program

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on June 6 asked his colleagues to approve quickly an order that would increase funding for the Rural Health Care Program by $171 million. "This money will help health care providers get the connectivity they need to better serve patients throughout rural America," Pai said. "Demand for funding has been outpacing the program's funding cap, so I also believe that the increased cap should apply to the current funding year so that rural health care providers can be fully reimbursed." The order would, if approved, increase the program's annual cap to $571 million. The increase represents what the funding level would be today had the cap, which was established in 1997, included an inflation adjustment. The order also would adjust the cap annually for inflation and allow unused funds from prior years to be carried forward to future years.


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