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Rural COVID-19 relief summary as of April 2021.

Throughout the fall and winter, rural America was disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic more than 94 percent of nonmetropolitan counties were considered ‘red-zone’ counties, those with a new COVID-19 infection rate of 100 or more per 100,000 residents per week. Unfortunately, while rural America was addressing the pandemic head-on, relief stalled. From July until December 2020, rural providers were facing a disproportionate share of....

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NRHA outlines new Rural Emergency Hospital model.

Rural hospital closures are at crisis levels with over 135 rural hospitals closing since 2010 and more than 450 identified as vulnerable to closure based on performance levels. Section 125 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) model as a new Medicare provider type. NRHA believes the REH model will be an opportunity for vulnerable rural communities to maintain an essential access point for health services. It will be critical for....

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NRHA joins HHS' COVID-19 Community Corps, more.

To reinforce the association’s dedication to health equity in the midst of the pandemic, NRHA has recently joined several national coalitions aimed at communicating vaccine safety and efficacy. HHS’ COVID-19 Community Corps aims to establish a network of trusted voices to promote vaccines. The Made to Save Coalition is a public education and grassroots effort to increase vaccine access in communities of color. And the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project includes....

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JRH Recognizes 2021 Article of Year.

The Journal of Rural Health (JRH) will recognize its 2021 Article of the Year during the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) virtual 44th Annual Rural Health Conference May 4-7. The JRH Editorial Board selected the winner from all JRH articles published online last year..

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How to review your utilization review in 2021.

In today’s health care environment, there are so many barriers to success. For critical access hospitals, utilization review is the first (and often the last) line of revenue defense. With strict parameters (< 96 hour stays, high-acuity patients), discerning inpatient versus outpatient status could not be more crucial. Yet critical access and rural hospitals face clear constraints – lean staffing, less technology, limited size – that make utilization without effective....

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