VRHA Weekly Update
In this Issue  July 7, 2014

VRHA News Virginia News National News Mark your calendar
Resources
Funding Opportunities
VRHA Site

VOHC

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VRHA News

In Memory                                                

The Virginia Rural Health Association was very sorry to hear of the death of Ken Studer. 

studer

Dr. Studer played a major role in creating the VRHA in the 1990s and drafted budget language to create the VDH Office of Rural Health in 1995 in order to receive the Federal matching dollars. Rebecca Davis, original Executive Director of VRHA stated; "Ken is the reason why I am working in rural health." 


Click here for Dr. Studer's obituary and here for a tribute from the VDH Office of Minority Health and Health Equity.

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Members in the News

By Laurence Hammack - Roanoke Times

[VRHA member] Bedford Memorial Hospital is no longer affiliated with Carilion Clinic. 
As part of a transaction finalized June 30, Carilion sold its half ownership of the hospital to Centra, a Lynchburg-based health care system that has held the other half since 2001.

In January, the two health care systems announced that Centra would be assuming full operations of the small hospital, which has 50 licensed beds but an average of about 14 patient admissions a day.

With the sale, Carilion still owns seven hospitals in Southwest Virginia and remains the Roanoke and New River valleys’ largest private employer.  Bedford Memorial Hospital has about 300 employees, who had been employed by Carilion and then leased to the hospital.

Read the full article.

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Webinar Schedule

This week - 

HIPAA Privacy and Security for Rural Providers: The Security Risk Analysis Tool and other free compliance resources
Thursday, July 10, 2:00 p.m. -
click here to register
In 2013, HHS passed Omnibus legislation amending the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  This Fall, the agency will begin proactive audits of health care providers and vendors. A finding of noncompliance can result in civil and even criminal penalties. There has never been a more important time to focus on HIPAA compliance in your organization; however, rural providers in particular may lack the time and resources to implement the necessary updates to documentation, technology, and protocols. This webinar will provide an overview of HIPAA basics to bring providers up to speed with current requirements and highlight free resources available from HHS to help ensure compliance. Presented by Healthcare Solutions Connection

Coming up - 

Cybercrime and Payment Fraud Trends - July 17, 10am - click here to register

For more information on these webinars and to review slides and recordings from past events, visit the VRHA webinar page.
 

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Virginia News

Medicaid Fight Hits Home

By John Stang & Jason Dunovant - Smith Mountain Eagle

The final versions of a two-year $96 billion budget agreement from the Virginia General Assembly will not include an expansion of Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.  Hospital administrators for Carillon Clinic and Centra Health view this as harmful for their long-term fiscal sustainability.​
With the future of Medicaid expansion in doubt, hospital administrators in Franklin and Bedford Counties worry about the long-term implications, which they say would affect 400,000 low-income Virginians.  

“We’re disappointed,” said Diane Riley, a Centra spokesperson. “We see, a lot of times, patients that don’t have insurance wait until the last possible minute to get healthcare.”

Read the full story, and other Medicaid Expansion stories:

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Dental School on Hold

By the Associated Press

Bluefield College has announced that plans for a dental school have been put on hold because of uncertain funding. The project was a joint venture of the college and Tazewell County, but county officials recently suspended funding and terminated the agreement. Bluefield College President David Olive says it isn’t practical for the college to move forward on its own at this time.

The college hopes to receive a $19.2 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to resume the project. The commission will meet in September.

The college and the county announced plans in September 2012 to establish a school for dental students primarily from southwest Virginia, southern Virginia and Central Appalachia.

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VaOHC Legislative Committee

A message from the Virginia Oral Health Coalition

VaOHC’s legislative committee members help to shape our policy positions by making recommendations to the VaOHC board of directors about specific legislation. Committee members use VaOHC’s Guiding Principles, which are based on the Virginia Oral Health Plan, to determine these recommendations. The recommendations may address whether VaOHC should support, oppose or remain neutral on pieces of legislation or recommend if VaOHC should champion a specific policy initiative.

If you are interested in joining the VaOHC legislative committee, I hope you will review the Guiding Principles document and consider submitting an application. Applications are due by Friday, August 1, 2014. 
 

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National News

Bureau of Health Workforce

By The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

HRSA Executive Director Mary Wakefield has announced the formation of a new bureau within her agency – the Bureau of Health Workforce, which will integrate the programs previously administered by the Bureau of Health Professions and the Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service.

Specifically, The Bureau of Health Workforce implements programs and activities to:

  • Train the next generation of diverse health care providers to serve underserved populations through its grants to health professions schools and training programs.
  • Examine a broad range of issues that impact the supply, demand, distribution, and education of the Nation’s health workforce and provide policymakers with the information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the health professions workforce and provision of care.
  • Support graduate medical education.
  • Recruit and retain providers and students to underserved areas through both the National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs.
  • Protect the public from health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers with a history of malpractice, adverse actions, fraud and abuse through the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Visit the Bureau of Health Workforce website for more information.

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Aging Rural Veterans

By Tim Marema - Daily Yonder

As the nation paused to honor our veterans this Memorial Day, the Economic Research Service at the Department of Agriculture called attention to some of the special characteristics of the nearly 4 million veterans who live in nonmetropolitan America.

Today, as in years past, a disproportionate share of men and women serving in the military grew up in rural counties and most return home after completing tours of duty,” write Tracey Farrigan and John Cromartie in their report, “Rural Veterans at a Glance.” “Thus, rural Americans are disproportionately represented in the veteran population.”

Rural veterans make up 19% of all veterans in the U.S., compared with just 16% of the general population. But the biggest demographic characteristic of the rural veteran population is how quickly that population is aging. 

Read the full article.

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Pharmacy + Critical Care

By Idaho State University

Bengal Pharmacy, LLC, owned by the Idaho State University Foundation, opened Idaho’s first-ever full-service telepharmacy on June 20 in Arco, Idaho. The pharmacy, in partnership with the Lost Rivers Medical Center, will utilize innovative technology to provide critical health care access to one of the state’s many rural communities, while also providing hands-on experience for ISU’s pharmacy students.

After the announcement that Arco’s community pharmacy would be closing with the retirement of local pharmacist Steve Streeper in 2014, Bengal Pharmacy began working with the Lost Rivers Medical Center to develop a plan for continued access to medications.

The pharmacy will be under constant video supervision of a licensed pharmacist physically located in the Bengal Pharmacy on ISU’s Pocatello campus and patients will receive private consultations with the pharmacist using video technology. The Arco telepharmacy will be staffed with a pharmacy technician.

Read the full article.

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Recruiting for Rural

By Kelly Baumgarten - KHAS

Doctor Keith Shuey believes more medical schools need to work on recruiting students from rural communities. Dr. Shuey also says that the greater use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants could improve rural medicine.

Only 25% of newly educated doctors go into primary care and less than 5% of physicians go on to practice in rural communities, that's according to researchers at the George Washington University. Dr. Keith Shuey is one of the few primary care doctors left in rural Nebraska.

"
When I go to a doc meeting, especially family practice docs... there's a lot of them sitting there with gray hair like I am and they're gonna retire at some point in time and that's the big thing."

Dr. Shuey thinks medical schools need to focus on recruiting students from small towns. That way they can fill the shoes of rural Nebraska's aging physicians But there's another solution. Nurse Practitioners and Physician's Assistants.

"I see the real need for more pas and nps in rural Nebraska just because I think that that is a great way for us to extend our care out in rural Nebraska."

Read the full article.

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Mark Your Calendar

For more information about these and other events, visit the VRHA Calendar

July 10: HIPAA Privacy and Security for Rural Providers - webinar
July 16-18: Rural Quality & Clinical Confernce - Atlanta, GA
July 17: Cybercrime and Payment Fraud Trends - webinar
September 30-October 1: Rural Health Clinic Conference - Kansas City, MO
October 1-3: Critical Access Hospital Conference - Kansas City, MO

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Resources

Rural Health Workforce Funding Programs (webinar recording)
Webinar presented by Rebecca Cruger, RAC Funding Specialist. Provides information on how workforce investment boards can collaborate with state offices of rural health and highlights funding programs designed to grow and sustain a new crop of rural health workers. 60 minutes in length.

Rural Long-Term Care Topic Guide
RAC's topic guide on long-term care facilities in rural areas has updated FAQs. Visit the guide to learn more the importance of long-term care services in rural communities and challenges these facilities face, including workforce shortages and reimbursement. 

Community Health Coaches for Successful Care Transitions 
The initial health coach program used community volunteers trained as health coaches to mentor older patients with chronic conditions, to help them learn to manage their illnesses and thereby reduce hospital readmissions.

Health Coaches for Hypertension Control
2nd phase of the health coach program using community volunteers health coaches that provide hypertension management training. Provides a cost-effective approach to help rural hypertension patients over age 60 better manage their condition.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Toolkit for Rural Communities
The toolkit provides a range of strategies and success stories to assist practitioners in child-serving sectors, including: early care and education, schools, out-of-school time, community initiatives and healthcare. The profiled communities were able to leverage their unique rural resources and benefited from close community bonds to improve children’s health. The toolkit also includes policy recommendations and an overview of the evaluation process.

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Funding Opportunities


Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) supports nonprofit organizations whose programs help improve the health and well being of children throughout the world. RMHC’s Global Grants are provided to stable, efficient U.S-based organizations that are national or global in scope. (Projects that are local in scope are not supported.) The current focus is on sustainable, replicable projects that include a train-the-trainer component in their pursuit of addressing the most pressing issues relating to children’s healthcare. Online applications will be accepted through August 29, 2014.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Culture of Health Prize
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize honors outstanding community efforts and partnerships across the United States that are helping people live healthier lives. Up to ten winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their success stories celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country. For the purposes of this prize, "a community" is defined as one of the following: town, city, county, tribe or tribal community, or region (such as contiguous towns, cities, or counties). The Phase 1 application deadline is September 17, 2014. 

 

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