News and Updates

Rural Hospitals, Short of Staff, Brace for Omicron By Savannah Maher Dec 28, 2021 Heard on: Hospitals in the U.S. are struggling to stay staffed up. Many were short of workers even before the pandemic caused an exodus of doctors and nurses from the field. Now, the more transmissible omicron variant is sending some of the remaining workers home, and hospitals are running out of backup plans — particularly in rural areas. Vermont was already in dire need of health care workers, even before the pandemic drove many into early retirement and other careers, according to Jeff Tieman with the Vermont Association of Hospitals. “Our workforce is shrinking and stressed, you know, at a time when we need it to be growing and resilient,” he said. In New Mexico, more...

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


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...


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: 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...

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