News and Updates

Some Digital Divides Persist Between Rural, Urban and Suburban America

  PEW RESEARCH TRUST AUGUST 19, 2021 BY EMILY A. VOGELS Rural Americans have made large gains in adopting digital technology over the past decade and have narrowed some digital gaps. However, rural adults remain less likely than suburban adults to have home broadband and less likely than urban adults to own a smartphone, tablet computer or traditional computer. Read more

HOW NEW YORK STATE CAN PRESERVE RURAL ACCESS TO EMS

In order to preserve rural communities’ access to emergency medical services, New York State government must act now. Due to inadequate reimbursement from Medicaid causing strained budgets, minimal provided incentive for volunteers, and lack of utilization of EMS capabilities, rural ambulance agencies are at risk of closing down or consolidating with other agencies. Fewer ambulance agencies will only increase response and wait time for emergency medical situations, putting rural New Yorkers at an even higher risk of serious medical complications. To amend this crisis, New York State can increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for EMS, increase incentive for volunteerism by providing SUNY scholarships for volunteers and/or their children, and initiate community paramedicine programs in rur...

NYS Budget Summary

NYS Budget Summary Thanks to the federal American Rescue Plan, the New York State enacted budget is largely the opposite of the austerity plan presented back in January.  Thanks to the advocacy of NYSARH members and our many partners, key elements of our priorities are included in the new budget. Restoration of funding for Rural Health Networks and Rural Health Care Access Hospitals to the SFY21 level of $9,410,000 plus $1,100,000 appropriation; Restoration of funding for the Area Health Education Centers to SFY20 level of $2,200,000 after being cut out of the SFY21 budget; Funding and regulatory reforms to increase access to Telehealth and Broadband; new $15/month internet plan for low-income families; Changes to the 340B Medicaid pharmacy benefit program are delayed to 2023; Most public ...

National Government Services

As your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), National Government Services is dedicated to working with providers in the rural areas we serve. Our goal is to keep you informed about changes to Medicare and the training opportunities available to you. National Government Services Part A & B News 2021 Medicare Participating Physicians Directory Appropriate Usage of Modifier 99 Article Updates for February and March 2021 COVID-19 Vaccine and/or Monoclonal Antibodies in Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers Medicare Advantage Plan Beneficiaries Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine and Monoclonal Antibody National Government Services Part B Medical Review Newsletter – March 2021 Practitioners: Are You Ordering Lower Limb Orthoses for Your Patients? Real Time Claim ...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Launches a New Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a new Emergency Broadband Benefit resource last week.   The tool allows partners and consumers to view by state or territory the providers that will be participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.  Each listing includes the type of service offered, whether it’s “fixed” or “mobile”, and whether the provider offers connected devices as part of the program.

NYSARH Administered Legislative Appropriation

NYSARH was selected to administer $1.1 million for Rural Health Care Access Development and Rural Health Network Development programs included in the 2019-20 NYS budget.  We are pleased to announce that this project has been successfully completed having overcome several challenges. A survey of 2019 financials demonstrated that for every $1 of NYS RHN funding, the RHNs were able to secure $2.93 of funding from other sources. Rural Access Hospital Development Program The purposes of the funding are to allow small rural hospitals to: Strengthen infrastructure or capacity, Improve and/or sustain rural critical access hospital activities, Plan or implement diversification of underutilized acute care beds, Plan or implement projects that diversify hospital services, Plan or implement activities...

#GetTickedOff

Watch the  first-ever virtual #GetTickedOff forum, in conjunction with the Office of Assemblymember William Magnarelli, theThe Central New York Lyme Alliance, and the Dutchess County Tick Task Force. To access the event, click here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/6QTIDc7jiTrIBBF2Nzt1uVFwj5dh14Z6CnP7FWRxXI9CUA3cQY-MNuET-FkEsRtL.m2bgylD5w5gFZEx6?startTime=1611871511000 Password: rg#6D7R#

NY Community Star: Jo Ann N. Brown

As the debate over mental health continues across the country, many rural areas still lack resources for proper treatment. Jo Ann Brown, Program Director and Coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mid-Hudson, is working to change that. In her role at NAMI Mid-Hudson, Brown helps address awareness issues and provides resources and education for families affected by mental illness. Brown and her team of volunteers have provided invaluable leadership and energy to ensure rural residents’ mental health needs are met with unique programs and services. Brown helps lead the “Ending the Silence” program in the local schools and teaches “Family-to-Family,” a 12-week, evidence-based course that provides communication and problem solving skills, m...

Dr. Andrew Williams Honored as Practitioner of the Year

Andrew Fox Williams, MD was recognized with the Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year for his contributions to the North Country community during the COVID-19 pandemic. His dedication in time and knowledge to this pandemic response demonstrates his sincere commitment to the core values of public health and quality care that Dr. Ogden exemplified. When COVID-19 struck the North Country in March 2020, Dr. Williams helped lead the St. Lawrence County public health response.  He directed the clinical response to COVID-19 at St. Lawrence Health System to keep our community safe and use the rapidly evolving guidelines and evidence to provide the support needed within our county to respond to this pandemic. Dr. Williams worked day in and day out to ensure all stakeholders were incl...

Tina Cobb Honored with Senator McGee Award

Tina Cobb received the Senator Patricia McGee Award for Leadership in Rural Health on National Rural Health Day, November 19, 2020. She is acknowledged as a leader for her insight and know-how as well as for her devotion to improving rural health. Cobb is a tireless advocate, at every level, ensuring that rural issues are never forgotten. She is regarded as an expert not only in maternal/infant and adolescent health, but in the overarching issues impacting rural communities, such as access to insurance and health care, lack of transportation, and prevention services. Cobb has been an active member of multiple local, regional and statewide coalitions, boards, and networks committed to addressing the social determinants of health through systematic and individual level change. A few of these...

Donna Kahm Honored with Senator McGee Award

Donna Kahm works to foster collaboration among community agencies to enhance the health and wellness of residents living in rural southwestern New York.  She works with a wide variety of community agencies to develop and administer programs that promote access to health care and continuing medical education and directs numerous initiatives that identify and overcome barriers to quality of care and quality of life. In 2016 Kahm was responsible for initiating the Cribs for Kids program through her participation in the HFWCNY’s Health Leadership Fellows program to respond to unsafe sleep-related infant deaths. Since the program began the program has distributed 488 cribs and trained 627 parents/caregivers in safe sleep practices. We are happy to report that 0 infants involved in the pro...

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